Crayons have long been a tough sell in our house.
While art is way up on the daily to-do list, crayons often linger at the bottom of the barrel in terms of preferred mediums.
Emerging motor skills and the quite possibly a bit of peer pressure from the crayon-loving crowd have made crayons at least usable for the tiny person. But, what really got her interested in them was making our own.
Making things that we would otherwise have bought in the store has really been an amazing way for us to spark interest in all kinds of things that our daughter found boring, tedious or just plain uninteresting. I feel silly saying it, but the whole joy-of-making-it-yourself thing is something totally unexpected for me.
I just never really got into making anything other than dinner before the tiny person was born, well I guess writing for a living counts as making something. But, who knew? I’m sure I read somewhere once that kiddos who put their imaginations to use by making their own toys or tools tend to be more connected to and excited about using their creations.
Guess I had to see it to believe it.
Anyway, this is a super easy craft that gives you something to do with a box of broken crayon nubs or turn a pile of plain old crayons into a cool treat for parties or just an afternoon colouring in the backyard.
Here’s what you need:
- Old crayons
- a muffin tin that you only use for crafts (thrift)
- An oven
1. Pre-heat the oven to 280 degrees.
2. Peel all of the paper off of the crayons. (This surprisingly held the interest of our daughter the longest. She loved the peeling process)
3. Divide them up into the muffin tins. We did it by similar colour and by colour combinations that looked fun together.
4. Pour some sparkles over the top to give your crayons some shimmer.
5. Put them in the oven and keep an eye on the melting process. Ours took about 30 minutes. But, different brands of crayons melt at different rates. I don’t recommend turning the oven temp up because you take the risk of the wax overheating, smoking and stinking the house up.
6. Take them out and let them cool for a couple of hours. We put them outside overnight. But, crayons harden relatively fast.
There you have it. Homemade crayons of the recycled kind.
I put them in a bin on a shelf our daughter can reach and she regularly goes for them in the morning when in need of something to keep her hands busy. They definitely give colouring a different look (can’t really get a single colour out of them unless you make single-colour crayons) more like watercolors, which may be why they win around here.
I think they’d be super cool in birthday party goodie bags or bundled up for a present to an artsy tiny person – a fun personal twist on an old standard.