Sun-Shaped Crayons

Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons

Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons

My daughters and I made recycled sun-shaped crayons a couple weeks ago out of our old, broken crayons! Over the past few years, we’ve acquired a baggie full of broken, paper-torn-off crayons. I hate throwing things away, so I kept them. I knew they could be recycled by melting them down on the stovetop. But the mess that melting crayons was sure to make did not sound appealing, so it never happened.

But then I saw this! Sun-upcycled Crayons from MaryAnne at mamasmiles.com . (MaryAnne actually guest posted for me not so long ago with this article, “Is it One and Done? Or the more the merrier?“).

In her post about making Sun-Upcycled Crayons, MaryAnne described the process,

We cut the tops off of some plastic cups, added pieces of crayons, put everything in some left over aluminum foil. We covered it with plastic wrap at the suggestion of my mechanical engineer brother, who happened to be visiting when I decided to try this.

I set up exactly as she did, with great success! I used our leftover medicine cups from our Doc McStuffins Birthday Party  and helped my kids break the crayons into even smaller pieces to fit into the cups. Within about 15 minutes, the crayons were melted, or nearly so (I can’t remember how long it took, exactly… all I know is, I was planning on this activity taking all afternoon but my kids were coloring with their new crayons in no time at all!).

Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons
I used my oldest pan- just in case! The broken crayons are in plastic medicine cups, the entire pan covered in plastic wrap.
Recycled Sun-Shaped Recycled Crayons
Look at the excitement on my oldest’s face! “The crayons are melting!”, she says!

About 15 minutes after setting our pan outside in 80 degree heat, my oldest dashed onto the back porch and said, “The crayons are melted! Oh, I am so ‘cited about my new crayons!”. I walked out to show her, no they are not not melted, they still have a long ways to go…but she was right. The crayons were already melted!!
Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons

I put the melted crayon molds into the fridge for a bit to harden them up faster because of my kids’ great excitement to use them.

Coloring with new recycled crayons Coloring with new recycled crayons

 

 

 

I noticed my kids were having a hard time holding onto these round crayons, and I also thought they looked a little…well, a little too homemade, let’s say. This was fun, and this was cool, but the aesthetics could be improved upon.

Homemade Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons
My daughter stacked these up for the perfect photo op! Looks cool, but it’s funny you can see measurement marks from the plastic cups we melted them in….Back to the drawing board! (Ha!)

 

So I texted my friend and asked if I could potentially ruin her silicone mold I’d recently borrowed (originally to make bath fizzies) if I promised to replace it. She said yes, so off we went outside again with our not yet depleted baggie of broken crayons.

Putting broken crayons into a mold to melt in the sun
My kids are serious crafters.

One piece of advice, if you chose to put the crayons into your cups or molds outside, do it in the shade. Yikes! That sun is blinding when it hits aluminum foil.

Melting Crayons in the Sun!

Again, in no time at all, the crayons were melted! I noticed, as MaryAnne did, that some melted better than others. Our triangle shaped Melissa and Doug crayons did not melt as quickly as Crayola, and the lighter colors took longer as well. There were just a few random crayons that didn’t melt completely, but they still melded with the other crayons into a new shape!

New Sun Melted Heart Crayons!

I did stain my friend’s silicone mold…she said she didn’t care because it is still usable, but I am still thinking I should probably buy her a new one.

But look at these gorgeous crayons!

Homemade Recycled Heart Shaped Crayons

These new crayons have more of a matte look. Gone are the glossy crayons we carefully arranged into molds, but these are much cuter than the broken ones doomed for the trash can!

This could also be a fun homeschool project! My kids learned that crayons are made of wax, which melts in the heat. Lighter colors don’t attract the heat like the darker colors, so those crayons didn’t melt as fast. They learned that the aluminum foil reflected the sun and the plastic wrap trapped the heat. This was a great little science lesson and the girls had no idea they were even learning!

I added this post to the “Life is Lovely” linkup at http://gracelovelife.com .

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23 comments

  1. The heart shaped ones are super cute! That is a great way to reuse broken crayons (and they do break so easily, don’t they!) I really liked how you turned a fun DIY into a science lesson too. Do your girls mind that the crayons are all different colours?
    Leslie recently posted…Summer SlugishnesMy Profile

    1. Haha, good question. My 4 year old daughter was a little confused that every crayon she happened to pick up colored in black…the most fun part of this activity for us was the breaking up and melting part. Still totally worthwhile. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Life is Lovely #14
  3. This is fantastic! I have silicone Lego men ice trays that haven’t really been that useful. I’m totally going to try this with them. The kids will freak out having Lego men shaped crayons. Thanks for the great idea!
    Emily recently posted…What’s Wrong With Him?My Profile

    1. That’s an awesome idea!!! I love it! Hope it works out! I did notice some of our cheaper crayons don’t work as well once melted. Some crayons colored in the shade of ‘invisible wax’, lol. But some are quite vibrant! It’s a trial and error process I guess. Let me know how yours turn out!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Erica! I love following your healthy journey and seeing your healthy eats on Facebook. 🙂 So glad you stopped by!

  4. This looks like such a fun & easy project! I love that the little ones can be so involved without any heat or burn mishaps.
    Thank you so much for sharing to the Monday Mish Mash.
    *Hugs*

    1. Aw, thanks! I think so! They’re especially adorable in photos where they can’t say a word. Peaceful silence, while gazing upon their lovely, non-crying faces. 😉

  5. What a fun idea to make these outside in the sun. We made some once in the oven (my mold also will never be the same again). Thanks for sharing your fun activity with #EverythingKids!

  6. Cute, Rachel! I have that very same mold and a few other shapes as well. I will have to try this with my girls soon. It is supposed to be in the 90’s this week here. Thank you for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-up Party. Hope you are having a great week!

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