At the end of the school year, I end up with a bunch of ugly, broken crayons. I know that I hate using ugly crayons. The paper is peeling and dirty. There's no pretty tip. The crayons have speckles of all the other crayons. It's just yucky.
I've been wanting to make homemade crayons (or semi-homemade crayons) for quite some time now. I finally decided that Valentine's Day was the perfect opportunity. Silicone ice trays are everywhere now. I found a set of two heart-shaped trays in the Target Dollar Aisle (love it) for $1! So yesterday I brought home my big tub of crayons (I started a new one this year in my art center). I stopped by Target and picked up some ice trays. I went home, poured a glass of Cabernet, turned on an episode of Glee and I was ready to go. I started peeling ... and peeling ... and peeling. Let me tell you, it gets gooey. Some of the wrappers had been on there so long they had turned into a glue-like substance. Yuck. Once I finished peeling, the rest was simple.
Preheat your oven to 225. Break your crayons into 1/2 inch pieces. Place the pieces in your ice trays however you heart desires. I tried mixing random colors, similar colors, or all one color. I think my favorites were actually the solid color crayons... but a few swirly ones were great too. Do whatever your kiddos will like. As a side note, the name brands do work a little better for this project. There's something about the wax in some of the off-brands that doesn't melt into the other wax very well. It will still work, but I found it separated a little and the color melted into the other wax and I ended up with white wax chunks. In my particular trays, it took about five 1/2-inch pieces to fill one heart. This is about the equivalent of one or two whole crayons, but since you probably don't have whole crayons, that is really pretty useless information. Once your trays are filled, put them in the oven until they melt. They won't be completely melted, just ooey gooey. The colors will start to swirl together. Once they have melted to your liking, take them out and put them in the freezer. It took about an hour or so for mine to freeze. I popped them out of the trays and they were all set for little hands!
I actually used these as my valentines for my students this year. I put two in a little treat bag for each kid with a little note explaining what it was. I didn't want them to think it was candy. This is a project I will definitely do from now on. It was super simple and it's something they'll actually use. I had a few extras, so I threw some in my new crayon box in my art center and I saved a few for my own little man. They're the perfect size for his little toddler fingers.
Now ... it's time for some more Glee.