A new box of crayons is a wonderful thing.
Until about 30 minutes later and you or your kids broke some of the crayons. Let’s face it- broken crayons just aren’t any fun to play with.
But what if you could turn those broken crayons into beautiful art projects? What if I told you that using silicon crayon molds to melt broken crayons was more fun than coloring with new crayons?
In this post I’m going to explain about how how our family has used crayon molds to make fun-shaped crayons and give you step by step instructions on how you can use crayon molds to make your own creations.
Table of contents
- How we started making crayons
- Making crayons the hard way (Crayola Crayon Factory)
- Making crayons with crayon molds
- Step by step instructions: making crayons with crayon molds
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and buy crayon molds, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.
How we started making crayons
A couple of years ago, we couldn’t figure out what to get the kids for Christmas. We are grateful to have everything we need as a family. However, that means that none of the kids really *need* Christmas presents.
Furthermore, by the time you get to the third kid, it feels like you already own every toy that’s always been created. (Even though our budget for a family of 5 has very little spending on “kids”).
Since our kids love to be creative and do art, we thought that perhaps we could get them some sort of art set. Mrs. Gov thought the kids might like to melt crayons into new creations. But we never made crayons before and did not know what to buy.
It looked like there were two options: the Crayola Crayon Factory, and just some simple silicone molds. In the end, we bought both. Mostly because we weren’t sure what the kids would think if they unwrapped a weirdly shaped silicone ice cube tray on Christmas morning.
Making crayons the hard way (Crayola Crayon Factory)
After our traditional Christmas breakfast (waffles), the kids excitedly opened the Crayola Crayon Factory and started producing crayons.
The crayon factory looks really cool. And our kids were super excited about the concept of melting crayons using this device. However, everyone soon became frustrated with the crayon factory. (Not a total surprise- the toy had horrible reviews on Amazon).
Firstly it takes eons of geological time (if you’re an excited kid) to melt a single crayon. You can only melt one crayon at a time. And you need to wait for the crayon factory to heat up, open a shutter, melt the crayon, and cool down before you’re allowed to make another crayon.
Another frustrating aspect of the Crayon Factory is that it clogs easily. The toy contains a valve that you cannot access. Unfortunately, if the crayon viscosity isn’t just right, the crayon will only half melt and clog the the crayon factory. After the toy becomes clogged, and adult will need to try to “unclog” it by putting a pencil in the crayon tube.
While the kids were initially super excited about the Crayon Factory, they eventually started to play with the silicone molds we had purchased while they were waiting for their sibling to finish melting a crayon. Once they got going with the molds they abandoned the Crayon Factory completely and started to get really creative making different shapes. So while the Crayon Factory looks cool, we only played with it for about a half hour before putting it back into the box and relegating it to the basement. We had much better luck with crayon molds.
Making crayons with crayon molds
We learned that our kids (aged 3-11 at the time) loved making crayons. As I’ve said before, it’s really hard to find something all of our kids will enjoy. The whole family enjoyed choosing different color crayons to put together in a single mold. My wife and I found it relaxing just to sort the various crayon colors after we had peeled and broken the crayons. There’s something almost therapeutic about looking at the bold colors next to each other and simply sorting them.
Within several days of Christmas, we had melted down all of the crayons in our house into new and fun shapes. Since we were having so much fun, we put a call out to other families in the neighborhood to see if they had any old ones. Luckily we got lots of donations. It seems everyone has at least a few broken crayons in their house.
We then had a lot of fun leaving our molded crayons at the library and at daycare for other kids to enjoy and play with.
If this sounds like something you’d like to try, here are our step-by-step instructions for making crayons.
Step by step instructions: making crayons with crayon molds
Step 1: Peel the crayons
If you want to melt crayons, you first need to take the paper wrappers off of the crayons. Depending on what brand of crayons you have, you might struggle getting them off. Some crayon wrappers really stick to the crayons while others just slide off. You don’t want any of the crayon labels in the crayon molds- that will affect how your new crayons form.
We found that the “crayon peeler tool” from the Crayon Factory made the crayons a lot easier to peel. I don’t think you should buy the Crayon Factory just to get this tool. (But if you bought it like we did, at least you get something useful out of the box).
If you are having problems getting the wrappers off, you can try soaking the crayons. Since crayons are waxy, they will not absorb water.
Step 2: Place the crayons into the crayon molds
After you’ve peeled the crayons, you can break them into small pieces and place them in the molds. We really enjoyed mixing different colors in the molds. You can’t control exactly what the re-melted crayons will look like. However, you can choose colors you think will go well together. Part of the fun is discovering what the crayons will look like when they come out of the oven.
Step 3: Heat the crayon molds
Note: This represents our own experience and is shared for entertainment purposes only and is not an endorsement of any unsafe activities. Crayons are made of paraffin and it is safest to use a double boiler to melt them. Melt crayons in the oven at your own risk.
Once you have filled your molds, it is time to melt the crayons. I definitely recommend that an adult is in charge of melting the crayons. We used our toaster oven to melt the crayons. However, I found that melting the crayons was kind of smelly.
I found that 250°F was a good temperature for melting crayons in the toaster oven. Above that temperature, they started producing a lot of smoke, and once I actually caught the toaster oven on fire! It is also important to not place the molds near the heating element because this will also cause a fire. Crayons are flammable and should be continuously watched as you heat them.
Step 4: Cool and remove the crayons from the molds
After you take the crayons out of the oven, let them cool on a drying rack. I like to take them outside of the house to cool. Especially in wintertime, they will cool faster outside. It also reduces on the amount of paraffin vapors inside of your house.
Once the crayons are cool to the touch you can press them out of their molds and enjoy them!
Overall, the crayon molds were a great Christmas present. We found making crayons to be a very relaxing activity. It was fun to work with our hands and have something cool to show for it at the end. Interested in making crayons yourself? Check out these crayon molds on Amazon. Enjoy this article? Subscribe for more great tips!
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