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Vrroom! Recycled Crayon Race Cars

January 10, 2011

A few months ago I scored these bags of old crayons at a yard sale. Fifty cents!  I had grand plans to make recycled crayons like these from Homemade by Jill (aren’t hers lovely!).

I had no idea what I was in for .  .  .

We began by sorting the crayons into color families.

Then we started peeling. You know how kids always want to peel crayons and you usually say “No!” Well this time I said, “Yes, yes, yes!”

I was amazed at how much he loved peeling crayons. I don’t know if this is some fluke isolated to him, but he seriously spent hours at it. Over the course of about two weeks, he peeled EVERY SINGLE CRAYON!

Now, you don’t actually need anywhere close to this many crayons to do what we did next. Also, if you buy new crayons (say a large box at Michaels using a coupon) you would have easy-peeling ahead of you.

I have to say that I enjoyed watching him at his new “hobby.” He was focused and interested. He also was getting a great little fine motor skill workout. Peeling old crayons is not the easiest job in the world.

Next I took Jill’s advice and bought a candy mold at Michaels. I wanted to order one from here like she recommended, but I ran out of time before the birthday party I wanted to use them for so I had to make do.

The selection was relatively small at Michaels, but I found some race car pretzel molds (for our helicopter party :)) . We adapted them by gluing a piece of dowel rod into the space where the pretzel rod would go. We used 5/8 in. because it is what we had, but 1/2 in. would probably work better.  I also had the idea of sticking the end of a crayon in that space and forming the new crayon around it. It would work, but I preferred it without the point.

Next my husband used some water displacement calculation to figure out the exact length of crayon needed to fill the mold (me, I’m a trial and error girl).  If you want to know how he did it, leave me a comment and I’ll write it up. We let Pickle measure out the crayons to the correct length  (16 inches for our mold) but you don’t have to be so exact. We cut up the crayons with snips or broke them into smaller pieces for easier melting.

My husband also came up with the idea of using a can opener on a soda/beer can to take off the top without leaving a sharp edge. We used these to melt the old crayons in a pan of boiling water.  Notes of caution: melted wax is HOT! This is not a job for the kiddos. However, the aluminum can actually stays cool to the touch so that part wasn’t too difficult.

We melted the crayons, stirred them with a popsicle stick, and the poured the wax into the mold. I used different cans for each color as they don’t pour out completely and I didn’t want to muddy the crayons.

After you pour them out into the mold, you can put them in the fridge or freezer to cool. To speed the process along, we placed the mold on a top of an ice pack to cool them more quickly since we only did about 3 crayons at a time.

The crayons popped right out of the molds, and using the candy molds gave them a really nice shine that you don’t get from silicone molds.

The best part–seeing the little one Vroom, Vroom his new crayons around on a piece of paper. Priceless!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2011 9:55 am

    Thank you for the tutorial and the sweet tone of your writing.

  2. January 15, 2011 11:39 am

    Brilliant!! As a mother of five boys, this is a must try. We usually melt the crayons down into muffin tins and have large circles. But this is so much more fun!

  3. Anna permalink
    January 17, 2011 11:50 pm

    This is such a great idea. I can’t wait to try it!

  4. January 18, 2011 3:19 pm

    This is so cute, and such a great idea!

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