written by: Elizabeth Wistrom•edited by: Diana Cooper•updated: 6/24/2011
Find a new purpose for those broken crayons! You can learn how to make recycled crayons with these easy-to-follow steps.
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Opening a brand new box of crayons can be such a magical experience! Yet, once the crayons become worn or broken, it can sometimes seem as if some of the magic has been lost. Not to worry! In this article, learn how to make recycled crayons that will give new life to those seemingly washed-up colors.
To make recycled crayons, begin by removing the paper wrappings from around each of the crayon pieces. From there, you have several different options.
Single Color Method
mini or regular cupcake tins
Sort the crayons by like colors. Take each group of colors and place them into the cupcake tins, filling the tin a little more than half-way. Place the tins into an oven preset at 150 degrees. Let the crayons melt. Once they have melted into wax, remove the tins from the oven using the oven mitts. Allow the wax to cool and harden. If necessary, loosen the newly formed crayon pubs with a knife. Turn the crayons out, and enjoy!
For a layered crayon, you will need the following items:
large, shallow sauce pan
silicone molds (like those used for shaped ice cubes, mini cupcakes or regular sized cupcakes) or metal cupcake tin
Once again, sort the crayons by like colors. Taking one colored group at a time, place the broken or discarded crayons in to the tin can. Place the tin can into the shallow sauce pan filled partially with water. Heat the water and tin can on a stove top. As the crayons begin to melt, you may need to stir the crayons gently with the disposable spoon, to aide the melting process. Once the crayons have melted completely, use the oven mitts to remove the tin can from the heated water. Working quickly, pour the melted crayon wax into the silicon mold or cupcake tin. Allow time for the crayon wax to harden. You can put the molds into the freezer to speed the process along. While the wax from the first batch is hardening, proceed with melting the next color group of broken or discarded crayons. Repeat the procedure, pouring the melted wax from the first batch on top of the cooled crayon shape from the first batch. Again, allow the wax to cool. Repeat as many times as needed to produce the desired amount of layers.
For a truly unique recycled crayon, try the speckled method. Again, sort the crayons by colors. Use the same materials used for a Single Color Method described above. This time, chop the broken and discarded crayons into small pieces using a knife. To create a speckled crayon of colors which are pleasing, combine the color piles by pouring two or three at a time into a cupcake tin. Fill the tin a little more than half-way. Place the tins in an oven preheated to 150 degrees. Allow the crayons to melt - but do not stir. Stirring will only produce a brown, mottled mess. This time, you want the colors to remain slightly separated. This is what will create the speckled look once the wax has cooled and hardened.
Now that you know how to make recycled crayons, it's time to have fun! Experiment with each and you will find that the layered and speckled versions produce multi-colored images. Before you know it, the magic will have returned! Looking to extend the learning? Check out this great lesson!