December 8, 2009

Recycled Crayon Tutorial

Everyday, I make sure to have 'Arts & Crafts' with my daughter, Marley. She definitely enjoys when we scribble together with crayons or dabble in paint. Funny thing is, it seems her favorite part is eating the art supplies. When she's not nibbling on the crayons or chewing on the paint brush - she's throwing her crayons on the floor, breaking them into pieces - of course while saying "uh oh". Since her crayon set was trashed, I decided to gather up all the pieces and make big marble crayons which will be easier for her to color with anyway.

Collection of Marley's broken crayons (note the nibble marks).

It took a little bit longer for me than the instructions to be found online suggested, but the results were worth it. This simple craft took me back to the many crayon-days of my childhood: 'stained glass' with crayon shavings, the pleasure and satisfaction of the names of colors - like 'cornflower blue' (this was really confusing for my six-year old brain), endless hours of coloring books. I could continue to wax nostalgic, but instead - I've made a tutorial for you:

First, you'll need to remove all of the paper. This is the most tedious part of the task, it seems Crayola has decided to glue their paper to the crayons these days...

The next step is to sort your crayons. I wanted marbled crayons, but not too crazy-colored, so I created six groups based on colors: reds, oranges, greens, blues, purples, and browns.

I highly recommend a mezzaluna for this craft - it lets you just rock the blade back and forth over the crayons, and keeps the bits from flying everywhere.

Once you've chopped each color group of crayons, pour into baking cups.

Baking cups placed in muffin tin, oven set to bake at 200F. Keep an eye on the crayons while they melt. And while you're waiting (other instructions promised a ten minute wait - these took nearly thirty minutes).....

Munch on one of these yumyumyummy all natural ice cream sandwiches from RubyJewel. Obviously, this isn't a necessary step for your crayons to come out great - but it does make the time pass more pleasantly.

Once you remove from the oven, simply allow to cool until hardened. I LOVE the green one...not sure why the others look so completely un-marbled. Ah well.

Not bad, eh! Of course, now Marley's sure to eat her crayons - they look like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!

They work good as new - only better!


jenjems said...

I used to make these with my daycare kids...sadly no oven at work anymore. I love that you do arts and crafts daily with your little girl. That is something I always remember doing with my mom growing up!

cabin + cub said...

Great idea! And I love how nothing is wasted. )

Tara said...

I'm hoping she has the same fond memories...Arts & Crafts were always my fondest memories too, with my nanny. It gets more and more fun as she gets older...Maybe I'll post some of her 'art' on the blog - it's really so cute!