In the process of doing some cleaning recently, I rescued a bag of sad-looking crayons from church. The zip-top bag itself was opaque from much use and what remained of the crayon wrappers were dirty and stained from toddler fingers and old age. Nevertheless, I brought the sorry mess home because I have always wanted to try melting down old crayons to make new, pretty ones. And when you mix a handful of different colors together you get colorful tie-dyed crayons.
This is a great project to get your kids involved with, especially because they will have lost interest by the time you’re pulling burning-hot liquid wax from the oven to cool. You could use a standard metal muffin tin, but I happened to have some silicone muffin pans that made popping the finished tie-dyed crayons out even easier.
Here are the steps:
1. Remove all wrappers from the crayons and break into 1-inch, or smaller, pieces.
2. Place the crayon bits into the muffin pan, filling just to the top of the cavity.
3. Put the pan in the oven (275 degrees) for 5-15 minutes, or until melted. The amount of time depends on the age and wax composition of your crayons, the size of the cavity, and the true temperature of your oven. The heart-shaped crayons were pretty large and took about 30 minutes, but I also made some in a mini-muffin size pan and they only took about 8 minutes.
4. Let the wax cool to room temperature and remove from the pan. If you have a raised part around the top edge of the crayon, just gently rub against a piece of paper to smooth it down.
Pretty easy, right? The boys gave some of the heart-shaped tie-dyed crayons to friends as a belated Valentine’s Day present (there are some really cute Valentine cards made with similar crayons out there) and I sent some others to my friend the Leftovers Lady because these are exactly that, leftovers.
There will always be crayon bits to remake into new crayons, but what about other kid craft supplies? Is there anything to do with leftover watercolors or poster paint or tiny amounts of play-doh? If you have ideas, I want to hear them!