At my house I am constantly picking up 3 things: pennies, Legos, and broken crayons. Seriously, I have no idea where they all come from, but without fail, 5 seconds after I sweep or vacuum any surface in my house, I look down and there are pennies, Legos, and crayons. it’s like some mystical force that spews them out just to mock me. If you’ve got mystery crayons at your house too then this one is for you. I used to make these with my Mom when I was little, so strangely enough, the smell of baking wax is as nostalgic as baking cookies for me.
Rummage through your big bucket of crayons and pull out all of the misfits: broken, paperless, etc. Remove all the paper wrappers. For some reason, there’s always a few wrappers that seem to be attached with super glue. (Edit: Love this tip from a reader: for hard to remove papers, place crayons in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes and they slide right off!) Divide them by color if you are like me and obsessed with organizing things by color.
You might want to chop them up into small pieces. If you’re doing solid color crayons you can just place large pieces in together. If you want multicolored ones like you see in my photos below, pea sized is best. It helps to use a sharp knife and to cut on some folded paper towels to minimize the little pieces shooting off everywhere.
There’s a few different ways to do these, so I’ll tell you my opinions. You can pop these crayon bits right into a muffin tin (I prefer a mini muffin pan; it’s a good size for little hands to hold onto). If you have a nice non-stick pan, the crayons actually pop right out cleanly-in my experience, without a paper liner or anything. Pans without a non-stick finish might leave some waxy residue, but spraying it with a little non-stick spray helps. Regardless of what kind of pan you use, you might want to use paper cupcake liners just to protect your pan if you’re worried about it. I have a few older pans I use for projects like this just so I don’t ruin my good ones in case anything happens. Using paper or foil liners gives the crayons a slightly more matte finish, whereas putting them straight in a pan usually yields a shinier crayon.
You can make solid color crayons or mix up the colors for multi-colored ones. Just nestle little piles of crayon bits into your muffin tin.
Or, try silicone molds for fun shapes. Be aware that the crayons will leave a residue on silicone, so use ones you don’t mind dedicating to crafts. And make sure to place your silicone molds on top of a foil lined cookie sheet when you put them in the oven; this is important!
I bought these little heart shaped ones from the Target dollar section last year and I just saw them there again the other day. $2.50 for two! Now- they’re labeled as ice cube trays, and a couple of people have commented that there’s didn’t work well in the oven, but I’ve used these several times and they’ve worked great. If you’re worried, you can always lower your oven temperature and just take longer to bake the crayons. OR, instead of baking, use the microwave method of melt-and-pour that I talk about later in this post. Like I said, I use these all the time in the oven and I’ve never had any problems. I’ve also used my heart-shaped ice trays from Ikea in the oven and they work too!
After your tins are full, just place the pan in the oven. Let them bake until the top layer is mostly melted and smooth. It can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes at about 250 so just keep an eye on it. Baking time depends on how full they are, and the brand of crayons, and more. Carefully remove the pan and let the crayons cool completely, overnight is best, before removing them. Placing the pan in the fridge or freezer helps. After they’re cooled, pop them out of the molds.
Cheaper brand crayons sometimes have leave a clear wax on the top layer after baking, but it’s easily scraped off.
It’s always fun popping them out of the pan and seeing which ones turned out the coolest.
If you want well defined crayons like these ones, place the pieces in carefully and try to move the pan as little as possible after taking it out of the oven.
Another method you can do is placing crayons in a double (or triple!) layer of paper cups, or glass baby food jars work great, and heating them in the microwave until melted and smooth. Some people put them in tin cans in the oven, or in a pan of simmering water, but I honestly think the microwave is the easiest.
Then you can pour the wax into molds or muffin tins and after it cools and dries (speed that process up by putting the pan in the freezer) add more layers of colors for striped crayons. I was working with reeeealy thin layers, so they’re kind of messy, but you get the idea. Still fun! Plastic candy molds work great for this method as well and you can make them in all sorts of fun shapes.
Since I had all of these cute heart-shaped crayons, I thought it would be fun to turn them into Valentines. Now, let me be clear in saying that I am generally not the kind of Mom who goes out of her way to make homemade heart shaped crayons for her kid’s Valentines. I’m the mom who got way more excited that one should when she purchased a dozen doughnuts at Krispy Kreme over the weekend and found out she got 12 free doughnut coupon Valentines. And then tried to figure out how she could sneak more so she’d have enough for the entire kindergarten class and wouldn’t have to make anything else. But let’s say you do have the time to make adorable little crayons for all your kids friends; which is really fun and a nice change from all the candy! Then you’ll definitely need adorable labels too.
These are for the little 3 inch bags, but like always, you could just cut the labels out into rectangles and tie them on to any little baggie. And you certainly don’t have to use heart molds for this, any shape crayon would be super cute! In fact, these would also be super duper cute with our Candy Crayons. Dipped in red, pink, and white? Too cute.
And since every time we post anything like this there are
obnoxious (oops, did I just write that out loud?) concerned parents who say things like, “Um, hate to be a downer but you’re a horrible mother because this will just teach kids to eat crayons because they’ll think they’re candy.” I made a special little poem on the back just for you :)
Secondly, most kids are smart enough to realize they are crayons, if not by the adorable labels, then by the fact that they smell like crayola. And lastly, crayons are non-toxic; babies eat them all the time, so you’re good. Just embrace the fun!
What are you waiting for? Go raid your crayon bucket!
Click here for small rectangle cut-out labels
(Just use a small hole punch on one end and tie onto baggie with ribbon or string)