If your kids are anything like mine, there’s a good chance that every time you buy them a box of crayons, the majority of them end up in broken pieces scattered all around the house. In the past, I used to just throw these pieces away as they were destined to never be used again. But nowadays I collect these pieces so I can upcycle them and make brand new crayons that will get used over and over again.
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘upcycling’, it basically means to reuse discarded objects or materials in a way that creates a product of higher quality or value than it originally was.
So, in this case, I’m taking discarded crayons that will most likely never be used again, and I’m making them into nice new crayons that the little ones just can’t wait to get their hands on!
Want to learn how I do it? Then make sure you read on …
You will need:
- Silicone mould in a design of your choice (I used this dinosaur one from Amazon)
- A selection of different coloured crayons
1. Pre-heat oven to 100°C/212°F/Gas Mark 1. Next, work on removing the wrappers from the crayons. This can be quite tricky, so you might want to run a knife down the length of the wrapper to make it a little easier.
2. Break the crayons into small pieces and fill each of the spaces in the mould with them. I find that the smaller the pieces, the quicker and easier they melt when I put them in the oven, therefore reducing the chance of them bleeding into any of the neighbouring colours. Make sure you overfill each mould slightly, as they will melt down and take up less space.
You can see in the image below that some of the pieces of crayon in my mould look quite big, but I actually broke them down a little more after I took the picture as I was worried they wouldn’t melt efficiently.
3. Place the mould on a baking tray and bake in the oven for around 10-12 minutes, or until the crayons have melted completely.
4. Remove the baking tray from the oven very carefully, so as not to spill any of the melted crayons. Leave on a flat surface to cool for a few minutes.
5. Once the crayons have started to cool down, transfer the mould to the freezer for around 20 minutes to speed up the hardening process.
6. When the bottom of the mould is completely cool, it’s time to release the crayons from it. Start by gently pulling and stretching the mould to loosen the crayons, then push each crayon up and out from the bottom. I tend to be a little heavy handed when completing this step, and you can see from the image below that I accidentally snapped a couple of the crayons as I released them from the mould. Oops!
If the mould is still warm when you take it out of the freezer, put it back and check it again after 10 minutes. It should definitely be cool the second time around.
And, voila, you now have a nice new set of shaped crayons! How cool do they look? You’ll very often get a couple of minor imperfections when melting crayons like this. But I like them as I think it adds to their character. What do you think?
Oscar, my 3-year-old, loves it when we melt crayons down into new shapes, and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on this set of dinosaur shaped ones. He pinched them as soon as I’d finished taking photographs of them for this post and spent the rest of the afternoon drawing on some paper with them. Aww.
So there you have it, my tutorial on how to upcycle old crayons in 6 simple steps. Since I started upcycling them early last year I’ve saved a small fortune on crayon purchases, so I definitely feel it’s worth the time and effort to do.
Have you ever upcycled old crayons in this way before?
Let me know what you think of upcycling by leaving me a comment below.