Monday, December 21, 2009

Reuse those old crayons!

Inspired by LuAnn Foty and her Crazy Crayons (more about her in a future blog post), the boys and I decided to melt down some old crayons and make our own version of reused/recycled crayons. I found a recipe for melting down crayons in the oven and we set to work.

I have a box of 64 crayons with no tips, courtesy of last year's Sunday school class. I had planned to take them home and sharpen them (ugh!), but decided to melt them down instead.

Here's what you'll need to make "new" crayons: unwanted crayons and aluminum muffin cup liners. (Don't use paper liners, we discovered that they leave a waxy residue behind in your muffin tin!)

First, we broke the crayons into small pieces and took off the wrappers. Finally, I got wise about the paper labels and scored them with a knife to make them easier to remove. (Kids, be sure to get adult help for this!)

We came up with all sort of crazy color combinations for our new crayons, like grey-black-yellow and orange-purple. Be sure to put the same number of broken crayon pieces into each muffin cup. We didn't do this and the contents of one melted after 10 minutes, while the others took considerably longer.

I suggest using a 250 degree F oven, like the online recipe suggested. Initially, I thought that sounded a tad high, but after 20 minutes at 200 degrees F, most of our crayons still hadn't melted. This is what they looked like:

After 25 minutes, though, our crayons had liquified! It was fun to see how they looked in the tray.

I stirred a few of them and then took the muffin tin outside in the snow to quickly cool them. At 32 degrees F, they cooled solid within a half-hour.

When I took them out of their wrappers, I found that they had edges, kind of like Reese's peanut butter cups, so I broke the edges off.

Little Brother agreed to test the new crayons for us. They were a lot of fun to use!

hoto credits: Mama Joules

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