Monday, October 18, 2010

Accidents happen

I was trying to make some crayons in cool shapes. You know how your kids coloring box ends up with bits of broken and too small crayons? Well you can melt them down and reuse them. Brilliant way to recycle and make cool shapes with them.

Well, I've done this before. Melted them down into cute little rainbow colored heart shaped crayons. So I wanted to try it again this time not in the rainbow theme...the kids didn't seem to like the muddy looking crayon and rarely colored with them. plus they didn't really color in rainbow more like blah. Just so you know. Keeping the colors separate is a better way to go.

So I had my sister pick up some "ice cube trays" from Ikea, $2 each. And the kids and I went to work. We peeled all the crayons. Put them in little piles according to color. Kept Samuel from turning them into trains and then guns and getting them all mixed up. Then having to color with them again because those purples and blues are hard to tell the difference when their paper is off!! So we organized them again and I asked Jocelyn, the one more interested in this activity, to divide them into the little trays with me.

Next, pre-heated the oven to my lowest setting, which is 170 and waited and watched. Then I wanted to make sure I was making these right (the last time they worked, popped out of the mold okay...the only complaint was that they stained the mold so I wouldn't be able to use it again for ice or for other colors bcse I figure they would ware off onto the next set). I checked out one of my favorite blogs called "One Charming Party" Here is a link to part of her eco-friendly kids artist party where she made the coolest party favors. So I should turn the oven heat up to 350, bcse according to the molds she used that is what you do. After about 5 minutes of turning up the heat I could see smoke coming out of the vent and it smelling worse.

And guess what? I opened up the oven to a mini-FIRE! I freaked out. The trays were misshapen and melted crayon was dripping everywhere! My little molds were dieing and all that work was just melting away before my eyes! I quickly grabbed the baking soda and tried to salvage the trays before they were completely ruined while throwing the baking soda on the flame.

I got the fire out but I could not save the trays......or the oven's mess. I grabbed the empty pizza box from the night before to catch the spill of the crayons as I took them out, but that only helped a little bit. Melted crayon still drizzled and dropped all over the oven bottom and door.

The reusable crayons are no more. Just a "carpet" on the bottom of my oven. Drat.

But what's another mess to clean up in the scheme of things? Luckily Crayola is smart and has a link on their website as to how to get rid of messes like this. Go Crayola! I love you! WD-40 was the answer along with some elbow grease and then a long (and terribly fumistic) oven cleaning was the trick!

I still had some peeled crayons left over that I am determined to use again. Next time I will
a). not use ICE cube trays in the oven
b) use a drip pan and
c) try to find a cheap cool shaped silicone pan to make more crayons! Because they are eco-friendly and just too darn cute!

Have you ever tried making reusable crayons? Were you successful?

But this is sort of artistic in itself. I love how the colors came together on this little corner. I wish that would have been a crayon! Print Friendly and PDF


  1. I found some little silicone trays at the dollar store. I haven't tried the crayon part but they don't melt in the oven!

  2. Try buying an old saucepan at the DI and using it in double boiler fashion to melt your crayons. It is more work, but that way you can still use ice cube trays.