Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Recycle Crayons

I have seen these crayon creations all over the web. Working at a daycare center I had access to many tiny barely usable pieces of crayons. With a bunch of help from tiny hands I sorted out the smaller, undesirable crayons. We peeled off any paper pieces that remained, although many did not have paper at this point.

Next, I decided to chop up the crayons into the smallest pieces possible. (I simply used a pair of scissors but I’m sure you could use a knife). If you decide to not cut them or cut them into slightly larger pieces, it will still work, you will just have larger swirls of that specific color. 
Then we combined the colors we wanted, keeping with the general color family. After the first batch we began mixing colors a little more for a wider variety. I added white to almost every color combination simply because I like the look of the white swirls in the new crayons.

I purchased a baking pan from the dollar store and placed the desired amount of crayons in the tins. I filled them less than halfway so that they wouldn’t be too large.

If you search online you will see many different recommendations for the temperature and the length of time. I had time to kill so I simply set the oven at 300 and set the timer for 15 minutes.

I highly suggest filling each individual tin with roughly the same amount of crayon shavings so that they will ‘cook’ evenly.
*Once they have melted they will NOT look like that pretty swirl, it will look like one melted color. (As the picture above looks). This is because the oils separate. The swirl will be on the bottom of these new crayons. This will also be the side that you should color with.*

After a few uses, these have been a hit but have been somewhat hard to use with precision. The older children tend to just scribble with them so that they can see the variety of the colors. The shape is somewhat awkward for them to hold but they truly enjoy their new crayons and definitely use them more than they had used the tiny pieces!

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