Thursday, January 12, 2012

Don't Cry Over Broken Crayons

I cannot begin to count the number of crayons we go through in this household!  Thankfully, most of them come our way freely.  And I'll never understand why a broken crayon loses its ability to provide color - but it does.  It has too, or why else would the broken ones never be used again?  Insist as I might, my boys refuse to use these crayons.  But I refuse to toss them out.  We had to come up with some way to find a use for these outcast stubs of color that were piling up.  What could we do?

You guessed it: homemade crayons!  Now this was NOT a one day project in our household.  As a matter of fact, this first step took many many days.  But it was all worth it in the end.  Each of my boys had a set of crayons to give to each of their friends for the holidays (and we even kept a set for ourselves).

1.  Find your old and broken crayons and peel the labels off.  You can choose to make kalidescope crayons (multi-colored) or separate them by similar colors.  If separating, it is best to do it during this step. 

2.  Have a "responsible" adult chop the crayons into small chunks.  This is not as easy as you may think - those crayons have a tendency to roll away and fly across the room!  HINT: use an old cutting board and knife that you can keep for crafts only - the crayon does not wash off.

3.  Place your crayon chunks into a silicone mold (again, use one that is designated for crafts only).  Any shape and size will work, just make sure to adjust the time in the oven for larger molds.

4.  Place your mold onto a cookie sheet for support - HINT: line your cookie sheet with foil to protect it from possible crayon spill-over.  "Bake" your crayons for about 15 minutes at 230 degrees F.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from your mold.

TA-DA!!! Every time I see this set of crayons I start singing:  "We're a rainbow made of children..."  Good thing there's no video to this craft!

I even found the cutest poem to include with our recycled crayons by Helen H. Moore:
I had a box of crayons,
All shiny, straight and new,
I lent a friend on crayon,
And-oops-it broke in two!
My friend said she was sorry,
But I said, " I don't care,
'cause now we both can color
with one crayon-we can share!"

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