The snow is coming down outside, and I’d venture to guess lots of other parents like me are trying to figure out how to entertain their kids this morning. I love a seasonal DIY project, Jane loves a seasonal DIY project, and we both had a really fun time making this one for Valentine’s Day: recycled heart crayons! We have a big plastic container in our playroom that holds all the random crayons — broken crayons, crayons from restaurants, crayons from craft kits, crayons that somehow ended up in the bottom of my purse. With a little bit of prep work, a silicon mold, and some color sorting, we recycled the abandoned crayons and melted them down into festive heart shapes to share with our friends. To make the recycled crayons you just need two things: crayons in a variety of colors, and a silicon baking mold. You could make these in any shape, we chose hearts for Valentine’s Day. To prep the crayons for melting you have to first peel off any paper wrappers. I tried a few different methods for this, and my husband actually landed on the one that was most effective: run a utility knife down the side to split the paper and then you can peel it off. The crayon peeling took adult prep-work, and I did most of them while watching TV after Jane went to bed, if you had older kids they could probably handle peeling them by hand. The next day I put all of the peeled crayons in a bowl and Jane helped me with the color sorting to put like-colors together. After the colors were sorted we filled silicon baking trays. Break the crayons into small-ish pieces to allow them to melt easier, and fill the trays up to the top — they will they melt down quite a bit and be smaller when they come out of the oven. Then we slid the trays into a 250 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Different crayon brands melted at different rates, so after about 20 minutes I checked on them and gave them a swirl with a wooden skewer which helps give them a marbling effect and broke down some of the bigger pieces. Another tip is to put the silicon baking tray on a metal baking sheet for easier transfer when the crayon melt comes out of the oven (you don’t want to be scraping that off the bottom of your oven!). Once the crayons are nearly all melted, pull the tray out and transfer to the refrigerator to cool and solidify. After about an hour they were fully solidified and we could peel them out of the silicon tray. Then we sorted them out and packed them in little goodie bags to send to some of our buddies in the mail for Valentine’s Day. I love that we were able to recycle these old crayon pieces into something festive and functional!
- Old crayons
- Silicon baking tray
- Peel wrappers off the crayons and break into small pieces.
- Sort the crayons into your preferred color combinations and then fill a silicon baking tray with the crayon pieces.
- Place the silicon baking tray on a metal baking sheet and insert into a 250 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
- When crayons are fully melted, remove the tray and place it in the refrigerator for at least one hour to cool.
- Gently remove the fully cooled and solidified crayons from the silicon baking molds before using.
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