Crayons are fun drawing instruments which create colorful artworks and can be used from the age of three and up. For all craft-inclined enthusiasts, broken crayons are a fantastic craft idea. By melting these tools, you can both repurpose old crayons and transform them into new ones or get new patterns and shapes. This easy and inexpensive DIY idea involves a minimum number of materials and ingredients, but for kids, it will be an impressive spectacle.
However, this craft requires adult supervision, because handling melted wax can be dangerous. The following techniques will help organize your kid’s activity and create cute masterpieces to display in the house.
What Should I Do If I Haven’t Any Crayons?
Crayons may become stepped on, broken, or just unappealing to kids. There is a better idea to use them up rather than just throwing them away. Reincarnate the crayons with this fun and quick craft by melting them at home and reshaping them in different forms. Breathe new life into these misfit tools!
This craft is always a great hit with young artists, who will enjoy using such self-made pieces, like muffin-sized crayons, candles, stars, lipsticks, and other shapes and sizes.
First, collect all these drawing tools hidden somewhere in the house in various kinds of disrepair. Check all the leftover boxes brought from school, all the art drawers, and other secret stashes. Grab as many crayons as you can find. You can use crayon shavings, items with broken leads, and any nubs and stubs.
If you have no crayons to repurpose, buy a new box. This list of the best crayons will help you to choose the brand up to your taste.
Melt Your Crayons Using Oven
This method describes how to melt crayons in the oven. When you turn the oven on, make sure that the room is properly ventilated because crayons may release an odor while melting. Keep the window open.
Different brands show different melting temperatures, so it is better to group such crayons together.
Peel Wrappers for First
First, we have to prepare the crayons for melting. Collect all the coloring tools which you are going to melt. Peel the paper wrappers from the crayons.
If you have difficulties removing the label paper, here are some tips to help this step go quicker:
- put the crayon in a bowl with hot water for a couple of minutes (or in cool water for 20 minutes). The water softens the wrapper, and it removes easier;
- run a knife along the length of the crayon, slicing the wrapper gently. You will be able to pull the paper off easily.
Most crayons have wrappers which peel off quickly. Some paper may slide off on its own because it is not glued on.
Sort Crayons and Cut Them in Small Pieces
If you are melting a lot of crayons, it is better to separate them by color. Sort similar shades together – the greens with the greens, etc. You will melt the corresponding colors together.
If you want to mix and match various colors to make rainbow-color pieces, don’t group them. To get an expressive color spectrum, place the chunks in a particular order to get a layered composition, like a layer of white crayons, then black pieces over them, and so on. If you want your craft to have an ombre look, sort the drawing tools by similar colors with a gradient from dark to light shades.
Now, break the crayons into small bits (1-1.5 cm). You can do this using your fingers. If they are too hard to break, cut them with a kitchen or craft knife. You can also put them in a plastic bag and break them with a hammer. Small pieces melt quicker and have less time to run into neighboring colors. In addition, this prevents the formation of lumps.
Choose Molds for Melting
It is important to find suitable molds for melting. Old silicone molds for cupcakes, metal baking tins, disposable bread pans, and ice cube molds are perfect. Most of them come in a variety of shapes, like stars, hearts, fruits, etc.
As crayons are non-toxic, these molds can be reused while baking real muffins in your beloved tins next time. Just clean the wax off and wash the molds thoroughly with soap and warm water. However, try to keep some old molds solely for this melting. The wax may leave an aftertaste, and you may not want to utilize this container for food anymore.
Silicone can withstand high temperatures and can be used in oven safely. However, check its usage guide.
If you melt them in muffin tins, grease the sides with cooking spray or vegetable oil to prevent sticking. You can line the tins with muffin cups, waxed paper, or aluminum foil.
Silicone molds don’t require lining or greasing. They are flexible and stick-resistant, so the “crayon” muffins will pop out easily once they cool.
Put the chunks of crayons into the molds. Try to overfill the molds a little bit, placing them up to the top, because the wax will melt, fill in the gaps, and take up less space.
Try to consider the shape of the molds and the crayon color. For example, the red and pink colors better correspond to heart-shaped molds, while star-shaped ones match blue and yellow colors better.
Put Molds in Oven and Start Melting Crayons
- Turn the oven on. It should be preheated to 200-275°F (94-135°C).
- Put on an oven mitt and place a baking sheet into the oven. Place the muffin tins on it. Let the crayons melt for 10-20 minutes or until the melting is done. The time depends on your oven capacity, so you can monitor the process through the window. Don’t leave the oven unattended.
- Once they melt, switch off the oven.
Get Your Melted Crayons
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven using a mitt. Only adults can do that! Do it carefully so as not to spill the melted wax and avoid burning your hands.
If you melt the crayons in a tin, pour the hot wax into muffin cups, soap molds, or into shapes that you like. You can pour in only one color or make a mixture of two colors, or create a rainbow effect. Let the wax harden and cool.
If you “bake” the crayons in the molds, place the baking sheet on a flat and heat-resistant surface. Let the crayons cool at room temperature for half an hour and wait until the wax hardens. Touch the bottom of the molds to be sure that they are cool.
After that, you may put the molds into the refrigerator/freezer if you want to speed the cooling process. If you put them into the freezer before they are cool, the reshaped crayons may crack due to the extreme change of temperature.
In 30 minutes, remove the molds from the freezer. Let’s release the crayons from the molds:
- if you use cupcake tins, the crayons should come out easily, just turn the tins upside down. In case, they don’t come out easy, tap the tray gently against the counter;
- if you use silicone molds, pull and stretch the molds to loosen up the crayons. Press the bulging shape to push them out.
Cover the counter with a dish towel and pop out the “muffins” on a soft surface. The towel will lessen the impact when the crayons fall out, otherwise, they may crack. The crayons are ready to use.
Microwave for Melting Crayons
This is one of the easiest and less dangerous methods of melting wax. There is no risk of getting burnt with hot kitchen supplies when using an oven. Just put on a mitt while holding the hot container with wax and pouring it into molds.
You should also use special microwave-safe containers, thus, melting the crayons in molds cannot be done in a microwave.
Get Off Wrappers and Cut Crayons
Remove the label paper from the crayons. This may take several minutes, so you can try to attract kids to engage in the process, as well. They will enjoy this activity for sure. If you don’t tear the wrappers off, the wax will melt with the paper and turn into a waxy and greasy mess.
If you have trouble peeling off the wrappers, apply the techniques recommended above. Use a craft knife and score the paper, or soak the coloring tools in hot water.
Sort crayons by similar colors if you are planning to make one-colored pieces. If you don’t want to focus on grouping them, put different colors together.
Cut the crayons into smaller bits to reduce the melting time.
Put Crayons In Plastic or Glass Container
To melt the crayons in microwave oven, we need a special microwave-friendly container (or a disposable one). An old coffee mug, a glass jar, or even paper cups will suit.
If you melt multiple colors, use a separate bowl for each shade.
Place the crayon pieces in the container. If you feel inclined to make candles, add shaved wax and a few drops of essential oil to the vessel. To make lipsticks, you may need some oil (almond, olive, or coconut) and a few drops of fragrance as well.
Use Microwave for Melting
You can melt multiple containers at a time, but don’t overcrowd the oven. The best way is to melt them one at a time or heat them in small batches.
Place the containers in the center of the turning table in the microwave oven. Set the temperature to “warm” or “high” mode. Heat the crayons for 2-4 minutes. All these electric devices have different capacity, and the crayons might melt sooner.
Keep an eye on the containers. Pause the process every 30-60 seconds and stir the melting mess with a spoon or a wooden stick.
Pour Melted Crayons in Molds
Once the crayons are melted into wax, you can pour it into candy/muffin/soap molds to create fun-shaped pieces.
The wax can be also used for making candles. You may add glitter to the mixture, but stir it well in the container. Don’t add glitter before melting, because it may interfere with the work of the electric appliance.
Now, cool the molds or freeze them for quicker results (read the above instructions). Remove the crayons from the molds.
How to Melt Crayons on Stove with Hot Water?
You can also use bain marie to melt crayons on stove. You will need empty aluminum cans, for example, a soft drink can or a coffee one. Cut off the top of the can. Prepare as many cans as the number of color combinations that you are going to make.
Prepare Crayons for Melting
- Again, you have to peel the wrappers off. You probably already know the proper ways to remove the paper. Refer to the description above if not.
- You may sort out similar colors or you may not, depending on the shade you are planning to achieve.
- Break or cut the crayons to get smaller pieces and diminish the melting time.
- Fill the cans halfway with the crayons.
Сreate Bain Marie on Stove
Now, there are two ways for wax melting using bain marie.
- Take a big saucepan and fill it with 2-3 cm of water. Place the cans with crayons in the saucepan. Check that the water covers the bottom of the cans.
- You may also assemble bain marie in a different way. Fill a large pot with 2-5 cm of water. Place a glass container inside the pot. Make sure that the container is heat-safe. The top of the glass vessel should be above the water level and its bottom should reach the water.
Turn On Stove and Start Melting
Turn the stove on and wait until the water in the pot boils. Then, lower the temperature and let the water simmer.
Drop the crayon stubs in the glass vessel. When they start melting, stir them occasionally, so that the whole thing can heat evenly. You are free to add any extra ingredients, like essential oils, fragrance, or glitter.
Don’t leave the stove unattended. Ensure good ventilation in the kitchen because the fumes of wax melting may cause a headache.
Watch the level of water in the saucepan. If it gets low, add more water.
To melt the crayons in the tins, place them into the pot with the boiling water. Stir the wax to avoid lump formation because the colored pieces can melt at different temperature rates.
Take Out Container and Use Wax for Molds
Once the wax is melted, take the glass container out of the saucepan. The vessel is hot, so use a pot holder or a mitt to protect your hands. Pour the wax into silicone or metal molds.
The same procedure goes for the cans. Remove them carefully from the pot. Pour the hot wax into shaped molds. Let the molds cool and harden. Leave them undisturbed at room temperature or put them in the freezer. When the wax is set, pop the crayons out of the molds.
Melted crayon wax is a very elastic material; it is flexible enough to fit any form. It is able to boost your imagination and open it up to a variety of bold ideas. It can be used for a great number of craft ideas, which your kids will enjoy.
We hope that the tips offered by WoWPencils will come in handy. Experiment with colors and melting techniques and share your suggestions and achievements.