Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DIY Star Crayons - A family craft project showcasing recycling

We started a jar to collect broken crayon bits and pieces. It is amazing how quickly all those broken crayons pile up! My son really took ownership of this organization effort looking forward to a fun family craft and recycling activity, making new crayons.

To get started, you’ll need to find the right mold. Silicone molds are available in all shapes and sizes that work well to make your own crayons. I usually find the best selection of silicone molds available online, especially if you’re trying to find a specific shape to coordinate with a party theme or holiday. We chose a simple star mold, so we could try to make each of the five points a different color. Having a variety of usable colors in one big chunky star crayon not only looks good, but makes them extra fun to use.

My son helped with the entire process. He did a fantastic job with my least favorite part of this craft activity, peeling all those crayon wrappers! Although he didn’t mind patiently peeling off wrapper after wrapper, I found the fastest way to strip off all the wrappers is to soak the crayons in water. The water softens the paper and most importantly the glue securing the wrapper releases easier making this task much less daunting. My husband even helped and discovered using a sharp utility knife to carefully cut the wrappers also made them quick and easy to peel.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how our homemade crayons were going to turn out. After we filled the stars with crayons, some stars had noticeably more crayon pieces than others, so I was concerned that they would not all melt at the same time and I didn’t want a burnt mess.

To melt crayons, we use an old toaster oven at 275 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on them, you can see when all the crayon wax melts into a smooth liquid. If you’re going for the multicolor or rainbow effect, try not to shake or jiggle the melted wax too much so the colors don’t all mix into a solid color.

After the new crayons cool and set up, they are easy to remove from silicone molds.  We were so excited to see that our DIY crayons turned out great! The different amounts of crayon pieces in each mold didn’t seem to cause any problems, some star crayons simply turned out thicker than others. We love them all and like many handmade items each star crayon is one of a kind. My kiddos love drawing with their new crayons.

We even sold some at the craft area of our church’s annual Christmas bazaar. They all sold, but next time I would like to make some creative packaging to go along with them.

We enjoyed this craft so much! I love that it taught my kids about recycling in a hands on way and created something new that they were proud of and excited about using! I must admit these simple DIY crayons turned out more professional looking than I expected. We’ll definitely be making more crayons as soon as our broken crayon jar fills up again!

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Cupcake Liner Organization - Our broken crayon jar is a reused empty Trader Joe’s almond butter jar just like the jar we use for our Cupcake Liner Organization solution.

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