Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Rainbow Dinosaur Crayons

With two kids under 3, washable crayons are a mom's best friend.  Lucky rarely uses coloring implements unattended, but he has "accidentally" drawn on the wall and the floor a few times.  With washable crayons, I can wipe it right up and be on my merry way.

We have a lot of other random crayons in the house.  Crayons from when I was younger, crayons from restaurants or on-the-go activity kits.  Some crayons (washable and non) that are too "broken" for Lucky to use.  When he is older than 3 I might be able to reason with him to still use the old crayons, but there is no reasoning with a threenager.  Plus, this is going to let me do a craft project I've been itching to try... make my own rainbow crayons!

For a while I saved the broken washable crayons in their own container so I could melt just the washable versions.  I gave up on that since I don't want to guarantee to the people I give these crayons that they are washable when that might not be true.

It is a lot harder to remove dozens of wrappers than I expected!  Especially with 9 month old Rowdy trying to help.

I had a silicone candy tray (link is equivalent product) that is safe up to 450 degrees.  This would be perfect for making some party favors for Rowdy's Dinosaur Birthday party in January.  I can put these little dino crayons into Easter eggs for the perfect favor.

I couldn't fit as many crayons into each compartment as I had expected.  Some crayons are also much easier to break than others.  I filled the tray as best I could and popped it into the oven at 200 degrees F.  I placed the silicone tray on top of some folded foil in case I over-filled any of the molds.  I'd hate to end up with crayon all over my cookie sheet!

After 5 minutes not much melting had happened, but the crayons are starting to look "wet".  I'm sure that my results would be different if all crayons started out the same brand or even a similar age.

It took a lot of self control to not keep opening the oven.  I knew that if I kept letting all of the heat escape that it would take longer and longer.  A watched crayon never melts?

15 minutes after they're in the oven they crayons are getting super melty.  Woo Hoo!  They're only spilling over the edge in a couple of places where the crayons were sticking out.  I wonder if I should try to push this in with a chop stick.  I tried, but it didn't push that easily.  I expected the wax to still be a little solid but it was like trying to push water with a fork.  At least this means it should break off easily once cooled.

I let the crayons sit in the oven a total of 30 minutes and then let them completely cool on top of the stove.  Before trying to pop them out, I stuck the cooled (solid crayons) tray in the freezer for 10 minutes.  The crayons popped out easily and none broke!

Did you even make one of those melted crayons over a candle bottle growing up?  I LOVED melting wax!  This wasn't quite as satisfying as watching crayons melt in my hands, but I bet that my toddler would LOVE to color with these when he wouldn't touch many of the crayons I used to create them.

When breaking apart the crayons, I got some little chips of wax.  On my second batch of crayons i put these chips into one mold so they would be speckled on the top.  I wonder how this crayon will turn out!

Can you tell which of the above crayons was the chippy triceratops?  It is in the upper-mid-right of the above photo.  If I had enough chips to fill the whole mold maybe there would be more of a significant difference, but it doesn't stand out too much from many of the other dinosaurs.

With some warm water and a sponge the rest of the wax came off of the candy mold really easily.  However once the mold came out of the dishwasher there was a bunch of white wax residue that was previously invisible.  Cleaning the excess wax off of the silicone tray took a little trial and error, but by letting the tray soak in some cooking oil overnight the rest of the wax residue came off.  

Not only did this project help me create fun party favors for Rowdy's first birthday party, it added some new life to some old crayons.   Now I just have to wait until we have a new collection of broken crayons (or raid the stash I'm sure my mom still has from when I was a little girl) to make some more.  What kind of shape crayons would you like to make?