Fun Art Projects from Melting Crayons
You may never have thought of melting crayons as possibility for creating fun art projects but perhaps you should. If you have a lot of young kids however, melting crayons may be just the solution to the “broken crayon syndrome,” that wasteful notion that many kids have that you can’t use a crayon once it is broken or once you have to peel it. Many parents end up throwing away those old bits and pieces of crayon just so that they don’t have to deal with them anymore. Before you reach for the garbage bin, however, consider all of the fun you can have by just applying some heat to those little nubs.
Melting Crayons into Molds
The most obvious way of using crayons is to melt them into molds. This, like most of these projects, is really easy. You gather your crayons—you can separate them into colors if you are the kind of person that likes everything ordered, but you don’t need to do so. You should, however, be sure to peel the paper wrapping and discard it.
Next, you will need to melt the crayons. There are three main ways of doing this. You can melt them in paper cups in the microwave, you can bake them at 400 degrees for ten minutes in a cup cake sheet in the oven, or you can boil them in water. The latter two tend to work best with boiling being the preferred method by most. To boil them, you will need a wax-boiling bag that you can purchase at any reputable arts and crafts store. (Without the bag, you are better off baking.)
Once you have boiled them, you carefully pour the bag into the molds in order to shape them. You can buy molds at a similar crafts store, or you can pour the crayons onto a cookie sheet and then cut them with trimming knife once they have dried.
This is a great project for Halloween—just be sure no one mistakes the crayons for cookies.
Melting Crayons into Crayon Candles
Another fun use for old crayons is making crayon candles. The process is simple. The only extra items you will need are wicks from the crafts store and plain glass jars that you have finished using. (Pickle and jelly jars work well—just be sure to thoroughly clean them and remove the labels.)
Once you have your materials, you just heat up the crayons, as you did for the molds. While the crayons are melting, you tie the wick to a pencil or pen and place the wick onto the jar, using the pen/pencil to suspend the wick. Once the heat has done its job, you pour the crayons into the jar making sure not to completely submerge the wick. Once the jar cools, you untie the wick from the pencil and voila! Candles.
For a cool, layered effect, you pour the different strata of colors one at a time (you will need to boil the colors separately as well—so it is a bit of extra work, though well worth it). Then you pour a layer of one color—let it cool. Then the next. Then the next. Makes for a really nice effect at the end.
Stained Crayon Window
One last use for melted crayons is stained glass windows. The project is simple. You draw a basic design or picture with clear areas to color on wax paper. You grate crayon colors that you want to use and place them in the areas of the design. Then you sandwich the shavings with another piece of wax paper. A quick ironing and you are ready to frame it with construction paper.
Hang it in front of a window and you will get the full crayon stained effect. Quite nice!