Throwing all your crayon stubs into a mold and baking it into new crayons is fun for a while, but eventually it gets old. During the re-heating process the wax tends to separate from the pigment, so that your new crayon may be all pigment on the bottom and all wax on the top- yuck.
From a creative standpoint, you never know just what you’re going to get. Will your perfect combination of colors result in a perfect, swirly mixed crayon, or will it just be muddy and gross and all you see is that one little brown crayon bit that you threw into the mix?
Layering your melted crayons into the mold is certainly more time-consuming, but the result is so much better, with a better look and feel and functionality, to boot. Here’s how to do it:
You will need:
- Collection of old crayons, with the wrappers removed and sorted by color. To more easily remove a crayon’s wrapper, slice it first from top to bottom with an x-acto knife.
- Collection of old Mason jars, tomato sauce jars, or jam jars. Check first for any nicks, scratches, or cracks that might make the jars unsafe in the oven.
- Collection of old molds. I use silicon baking molds, muffin tins, and popsicle molds.
- Oven, preheated to 200 degrees
1. Sort all your unwrapped crayons by color, and put each color into a separate old Mason jar or equivalent.
2. Put all Mason jars of crayons into the oven, and bake at 200 degrees for 40 minutes. If any crayons remain unmelted after 40 minutes, leave them in the oven and check again in ten minutes.
3. While the crayons are melting, arrange your molds on a flat, heat-proof surface nearby.
4. Using your potholder, remove one Mason jar from the oven, leaving the others.
5. Stir or agitate the melted crayons to re-mix the wax and pigment, then pour a shallow layer of melted crayon into each mold. If you’d like to re-use that color later, return the Mason jar to the oven.
6. When that layer of crayon seems firm, you can pour another layer of melted crayon on top. If you want to make sure that each layer is perfectly separate from the next layer, with absolutely no color mixing, then refrigerate each mold for five minutes between layers.
7. If you want to put an object such as a popsicle stick or ring finding into the crayon, do it before, or as you’re pouring the last layer of melted crayon, so that it’s immersed well.
You can make your layers thin or fat, and you can even use the molds and the layering to help you imitate other items, such as candies or cakes or popsicles (my daughter is super-fond of her crayon rocket pop). Just remind people not to eath your creations, because they’re going to look very tasty.