Melted crayons southern summer style

August 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Posted in crafts, homeschool, Quiet Activities, thrifty projects | Leave a comment
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Melting old crayons isn’t anything new.  I picked up a set of clearance silicone ice cube trays just so we could melt crayons.  Being my weird self I decided to try and melt them in the sun, just because I could.  And wouldn’t you know, it worked.  My son absolutely LOVED doing this activity – it took him an hour to peel and arrange his crayon pieces in the ice cube tray (he was being very particular) and he spent at least an hour after they were finished, admiring them and eventually coloring.

I ended up finding lots of old broken crayons around our house.  We used mixed brands to make this batch, and I noticed that the cheaper brands melted much quicker, and the clear wax was separated from the color pigment in the final product.  I prefer coloring with crayola crayons anyways, and you can find them for .10-.25 per box during back to school sales, so if I ever make these for a party favor or part of a gift I will just use crayolas.  (The cheaper crayons did work, but the wax layer annoyed me.)

I sat down with my son and we peeled the paper off the bits of crayon.  He very quickly figured that you can break the top off to make peeling easier.

You want to break the crayons into little pieces that will easily fit into your mold.  We had no problem just snapping them with our hands – no tools required.

Place your filled molds in a nice, sunny spot on a hot summer day.  I have noticed that the car seems hotter on a warm day, and think it would be a great experiment to place one tray on the dashboard, and another on the hood, to see which melts faster.  (Just for reference, it was 93* F today with 94% humidity.)

After an hour it started to get overcast, so I brought the colors inside.  I know wax and water don’t mix, but I really don’t want to find out what happens when it gets washed down my driveway.  As you can see, some of the cheaper crayons had melted entirely, and all of the crayons were very soft or partially melted.  I decided to finish this batch in the oven, and after 15 minutes at 200* they were done.  I have no doubt that they would have melted entirely had they been left outside through the afternoon – it was around 11am when I brought them in so they really didn’t get the full heat of the day.

I stuck the trays in the fridge, but they probably would have cooled faster in the freezer.  Once the wax was solidified I popped the colors out and let my son have at them.

They worked wonderfully, except for the few that had layers of clear wax on the backs.  This project required minimal supervision, so I stuck the trays and a big sandwich bag full of broken crayons into a gallon sized ziplock bag for a fun ‘rainy day’ or ‘its too hot to play outside’ activity.

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