Melting Crayons

 

Ice cube molds and aluminum panWe have more crayons than we know what to do with in our house, and approximately all of them are broken.

Well, that may be exaggerating slightly, but there are a lot of half-crayons around here.

We decided that we’d go all green and re-use them. To play along, here’s all you need:

  • Broken crayons
  • A tray (I recommend buying a disposable aluminum mini-loaf bread pan; I got three for $2.99)
  • Ice molds. You can use a regular ice-cube tray or specialized shapes, like the IKEA Lego molds we used. I suggest using a soft silicone mold so that the hardened wax can be easily removed.

Red crayons in a disposable aluminum pan

Here’s what to do:

  1. Heat the oven to 275 degrees. I found that much lower than that means some crayons simply won’t melt. Much higher, and the wax begins to boil and smoke, making your entire house smell like the inside of the Crayola factory.
  2. Sort the broken crayons into piles arranged by color. This is a great “job” for younger kids to do. Keep it simple – red is red, no matter the specific shade.
  3. Choose a pile. Remove the paper from all of the crayons – again, this is a good task for the kids to do, especially since the feel of wax under my fingernails drives me crazy.
  4. Place the peeled crayons into the pan, and then put the pan in the oven.
  5. Keep an eye on the pans as they heat- you may need to stir the wax gently every few minutes. Our tray took about ten minutes to fully melt.
  6. Using an oven mitt, remove the tray from the oven and carefully pour the melted wax into your ice mold.
  7. You can leave the mold on the counter to harden or place it in the refrigerator for faster results.
  8. Once the wax is completely hardened, carefully remove your “new” crayons from the mold.

Wax Legos in blue, green, brown, red