Well it sure has been a while since I last published a post hasn't it? In between field trips, multiple playdates and the enjoyment of the last warm summer days, my time spent at the computer has been cut dramatically but it hasn't prevented me from going shopping for back-to-school basics on one of our rainy days last week. Among the items on my list was of course the classic wax crayon pack. Who can forgo this staple? Every year, it seems like I buy a new pack or two; not because ours have been worn to nothing, mind you, but mostly because a few have broken in our pack and the children now refuse to use those despite mine taping them back together with masking tape (works great by the way!). On top of that, one must admit that the price of crayons at the back-to-school sales is quite amazing (19 cents, really?). Even if you don't need them, your brain almost tricks you into buying them because if you end up needing them later, you very well know they will be at least five times that price down the road...So I left the store with two packs of 24 brand new crayons (one for Zahavah and one for Adrian). I then decided it was time to figure out what to do with the broken crayons. After all, the kids were not suddenly going to start using them, right? It was time to recycle the old broken crayons into new crayons. What a "wicked" plan I thought: the broken crayons the kids had refused to draw with would, in the end, be used? hehehe I almost felt like I was sneaking medicine in their ice cream! :)
I first gathered all the broken crayons accumulated over the last two years (not including the washable kind as I was told they would leave a white waxy residue) and removed the paper surrounding the crayons. In many cases, I was lucky...the kids had already done that! :) I then sorted the crayons by color and broke them in more pieces so they'd melt faster. I kept all the divided colors in paper cups (I used small "bathroom cups"). Adrian helped too. He broke some crayons and helped sort the colors so kids can definitely help with this process. After that, it was time to melt the crayons. I turned my oven on to 160C (325F), put my paper cups on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet in. Please be aware that paper cups are not supposed to be used for hot liquids according to most manufacturers. Check the label on your box before proceeding (my cups were for cold liquids only and I still used them but I put only 2-3 crayons in each and made sure to stay above the countertop when pouring in case the bottom of a cup would fall out and had no issues but it doesn't mean nobody will...)
During this time, I sprayed a non-stick spray on my candy mold so the crayon wax would not stick to my plastic mold. My mold is heat resistant to 170C by the way so I knew my wax would not melt my mold during the pouring process. Be sure you check yours as well.
After 10 minutes, all my crayons were melted (I had 2-3 crayons per small cup) so I took the baking sheet out of the oven using an oven mitt (I did check after five minutes using a toothpick), and quickly poured the melted wax into the molds. The paper cup themselves were warm to the touch but not hot (unless I would have touched at the level of the wax of course, which would have been) so I used my bare hands right out of the oven to handle the cups but I had to be careful not to let the wax touch my fingers. Oven mitts are highly recommended for the pouring of the wax of course. We do not all have the same definition of what's warm and what's hot! :)
I let the mold sit on the countertop for half an hour after the pouring was finished and then I put it in the refrigerator for another half an hour. After that, the crayons were hard and ready and came right out of the mold with a light touch of my finger (they just slipped out thanks to the oily spray). I simply took them out one by one so they wouldn't break but a faster way might be to put a towel on top of the mold and then turn the towel and mold over. I just didn't want to chance it. :)
I chose this mold (purchased on Ebay by the way) with Zahavah's Princess themed week in mind. (coming up in October) I thought having "gem" crayons would be fun for her and yet, not too difficult for me to make since this is my first time making "recycled crayons". I quite enjoyed the experience. If it didn't take this many crayons (see how some of my molds are not filled? And yet I used about 30 crayons for that!) and if the paper wasn't always glued to the crayons (it can be difficult to remove at times), I would definitely consider making more fun shaped crayons and offer them as presents for the kids's friends...Until then, we'll have to wait until more crayons break! :)
|Beautiful crayon "pendant" for my beautiful little girl!|
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This post was shared with these wonderful blogs and websites this week:
The Kids Co-Op, Show-and-Share Saturday, Link & Learn, TGIF, Share it Saturday, Mom's Library, The Sunday Showcase, Sun Scholars's For the Kids Friday, Tuesday Tots, Preschool Corner &5K, Serenity Saturday, Kids in the Kitchen, Discover & Explore, and We Made That.
If you would like me to link up with you, please don't hesitate to ask, it might take me a week or two, but I generally do!