Domestic Bliss Report

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How to melt crayons?

We have a ton--okay, maybe not quite that much, but it's close--of crayons here at Price Manor. I'm thinking about getting them new boxes to start the school year, just as a treat. So what to do with the old ones? I don't want to just throw them out and I'm sick of big vats of random crayons. But... I remember once upon a time having these rainbow blocks of crayon, with lots of little pieces melted together.
I was thinking it would be cool to make those with the kids but I'm not sure how. They could smash the crayons, sure. Then what? Put them on wax paper on a cookie sheet in the oven? How hot should it be? Should I just leave them in the car on a hot day?

Does anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? Am I nuts? And no, you don't get to say "Yes, but that's unrelated to the crayons."

UPDATE: Melanie, here it is. Thank you!

UPDATE 7/16/08: 10 minutes at 350 with grated crayon is too much. They turn into little puddles of monochrome goo. When cooled they work, but it's not the same as having multicolored flecks throughout.

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At 9:20 AM, Blogger Zach said...

"Yes, but..." :)

I know exactly what you mean. Nancy's done this project. If I remember right, she used a mini-muffin tray, and the kids ended up with rainbow circles of recycled crayon.

There may have been a trick about some coating to keep the wax from welding to the tray -- I don't remember. I suggest consulting her for details.


At 10:57 AM, Blogger Melanie B said...

Completely useless comment....

I just saw this project written up on some crafty homeschooling mom's blog. But I can't for the life of me remember where I saw it. And since we do not have very many crayons and thus I figured such a project was a long time away, I didn't bookmark it. I don't think it can be all that hard, though cause I sort of remember doing it at my daycare when I was a kid.

I think the someone I saw did it muffin tins using the paper liners to help them get the wax out.

google may be your friend here?

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Melanie B said...

Good. Glad I was able to help.

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anna said...

As a chemist currently working with waxes, let me make some suggestions.

First, the smaller the pieces, please use either less time or less heat, or both

Second, you might want to try either a double boiler or something similar. They will probably soften near boiling water temperatures.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Anna--Expert in da house! Yay!

I kind of figured that's what would happen with the grated versus chunk ones. Any suggestions for how low the temp can go?

And the double boiler idea would be great, if I could find something with sections for each crayon. Hmmm....

At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anna said...

While I'm not sure about crayons, I would start on the low side, probably about 150-170 deg F. Many of the waxes that I use are liquid at that temperature.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Kasia said...

What about egg cups in the double boiler?

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

peI have found that the best way is to put a muffin tray with a single layer of small pieces, not grated, in each hole on a warming tray so we can watch them melt and swirl. If you don't want or can't use a warming tray you can put the muffin tray in the oven at the lowest temp possible and keep an eye on it. -J


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