Converting Broken Crayons into Big Crayons for Little Hands

Ready to put that drawer full of broken crayons to good use?  Little artists love the smooth shapes of large crayons.  Large, smooth crayons can be fun for rubbing over textures and patterns as well as creating rainbows of original art.  Here’s how we upcycled our old crayons into something new:

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First came the tedious part that the kids could help with.  We spent hours upon hours peeling off the wrappers and sorting the various colors into containers.  We tried to get the pieces 1/2 to 1 inch in length or smaller.

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Next, I used old pans that I did not intend to use again for baking.  I had a slightly rusty muffin pan and some old gelatin molds.  I added the crayon pieces until they were a little less than full.

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I checked the Crayola company’s website, where they talk about a beginning melting point of 128 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, my oven’s lowest setting was 175 degrees, and it seemed to take about 30 minutes at that temperature for the crayons to all melt. I had the children away from the kitchen during the heating, and I kept windows open for ventilation.
Upon removing the melted crayons from the oven, I set them out on the porch to cool in moderately cool weather.  This seemed to take at least 30 minutes, and the new crayons came out of the molds the easiest when I waited an hour or more.  The shapes popped out the easiest from the muffin pan.  It was more difficult to get them out of the small molds.  I had to either let those individual molds cool for several hours or run them under water to help them loosen up.
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Once completely cooled and set up, the crayons were easy to package in boxes or bags for later use.  Because they are so much more enticing than the old, broken crayons, the kids are excited to use them.  You seem to need a bit more pressure to get these to start marking, but they have been fun!