Saturday, April 14, 2012

Upcycled Crayons: Don't Toss Out Those Broken Ones!

These are Easter egg-themed, though we made them before Christmas!

All you need:
  • Time
  • Lots of broken crayons (none made out of plastic!)
  • A candy mold (or something like it) that you no longer wish to use
  • An oven big enough to fit the mold in that can reach 250F
  • A freezer (optional)
  • Patience

Ever peeled the wrappers off of a box full of broken Crayons? It makes quite a mess.

Once you pick the tiny pieces off of every inch of everything, which will last for a few days if any children helped, then you'll be left with a bunch of naked broken crayons.

If you're ready to make the crayons now, go ahead and preheat your oven to 250. Otherwise, you can just put everything away for right now and do the rest later when you have more time.

Of course, there are going to be a lot of different sizes, so it's best to break them up into tiny pieces. Since the design we used was eggs and not very deep, they had to be rather small in order to fit into before being put in the oven.

Make sure that the crayon pieces aren't piled up too high or it'll spill over and it's horrible to clean up, not to mention it makes the whole house pretty smokey!

Let them set for a while. Just check every five minutes or so. Sometimes they melt fast, sometimes not. It has a lot to do with your oven, the size of the pieces of crayon, and some colors melt faster than others.

Eventually you'll know when to take them out. There won't be ay pieces left, unless you accidentally put in one of the unmeltable plastic crayons, and at this point you'll need to get an oven mitt and take them out very carefully--it is exceptionally easy to spill!

You can stir them now if you want to mix up your colors a little or a lot and if you do, I'd suggest using bamboo skewers because they are long so you aren't super close to the heat like if you use a toothpick and can just be tossed out afterwards.

Now, here's where the freezer comes into play: These things are an absolute pain to get out of the tray. Once the candy tray has cooled down enough, put them in your freezer. Let them cool thoroughly but not too much as they will crack, it may take a few tries to get it right. If you take them out and they are super cold, don't let the loud pops scare you--they're just cracking because of the change in temperature!

If you don't put them in the freezer, you will need to let them cool for quite a while and then try to get them out of the mold... And that's usually a pain. You may need to bash the mold on a hard surface or even pick them out if you don't use a metal mold. It's a good way to get your frustration out though!

They should just fall out with a little pressure once cooled, because they'll sweat. If you have any break, you can always just heat them back up a bit and try again. (We left them broken because it was easier for the kids to hold and draw with a point!)

We put together whatever colors we thought looked good together. The kids did most of that and loved it! We broke these apart and looked at the colors inside too. And, the good part is, if you get little pieces that can't be used you can always make more!


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