So many crayons sat in a tub and were rarely used. Markers, pencils, and pens are the utensil of choice in our house. I'm not sure why because I love colouring with crayons and the diversity they offer. If you press really hard, the colour is bold. If you hardly touch the crayon to paper, the colour is soft. I fairly recently discovered how to make a rainbow of melted crayons. I'll post about that another day. I also learned how to melt crayons to make new crayons. What a great way to get the kids to use their crayons again!
I had this idea on my Pinterest board and experimented with it last week when my little girl had a friend over. First, we peeled all the "bad" crayons. We saved the crayons that were still in pristine condition and put them back in the tub.
Once they were all peeled, we broke them up into little pieces My 2 year old boy liked this part of the process. Next, we placed similar colours into heart shaped silicone baking molds (from Poundland!). We found some good tips from this blog for the baking (melting) aspect. Ours took about 20 minutes to melt with the oven set at 110ºC (230ºF).
I did check them once or twice while they were melting because I was a little paranoid about them melting too much (is that possible?) or burning (is that possible?). It was also fun for the kids to peek into the oven from a safe distance and see the process. After they were completely melted, I let them sit on a cooling rack for a couple minutes and then stuck them in the freezer for faster cooling. They solidified pretty quickly and were super easy to peel out of the molds.
I did not expect them to be nearly as beautiful as they were. My little boy didn't try, but he did ask initially if he could eat one. I told him about five times that they were not food. They were for colouring. It was so ingrained that he went around telling the same thing to all his little friends again and again for the next hour.
My kids are now colouring with crayons again and have found other uses for the hearts as well (stacking, sorting, etc.). They were such a success that we're going to make them as Valentine gifts for my little girl's classmates!
If you make one, I'd love to see it. Feel free to share a picture on my flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/sunnystitching/