Necessity is the mother of recycling

I wanted to keep up with my pledge of being more regular with my blogging so here’s a quick post on a super easy creative project that happened this week.
I’ve been wanting to make heart or star shaped crayons for my son to play with for a while now. Recycling old crayons into a rainbow array of new crayons in fun shapes is all over the internet and books with ideas of crafts for kids, but after our big trip to New York it felt a little frivolous and outside my budget to go buy new molds just for crayons no matter how cute they may be.

I still continued to save broken crayons though, in anticipation of “someday” doing this project. And this week happened to be the week when over 95% of my sons crayons were so broken (what is the obsession toddlers have with that? Or is it just my boy who loves to break them smaller and smaller?) that they were no longer usable. This… was a problem. My kid colors pretty much every day and I was not feeling up for a trip to the store just to buy some soon to be broken new crayons. And that’s when I remembered my ice mold…

IMG_2397I had found a super nerdy pi ice mold at good will just in time for Pi Day this past spring. We hadn’t really used it since then and I was actually planning on re-donating it to good will when I realized it was the silicone material needed to make crayon molds! (In order to pop the crayons out without brewing them you need the bendy quality that silicone has…) Perfect. So I started stuffing the molds with broken crayon pieces. My son had already torn the paper lining off all the crayons so that was one less step I needed to worry about. I then preheated the oven to around 250 degrees, set the mold on a baking tray, popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes so the crayons got all melty, then pulled it out to cool and harden into new crayon form! (Warning: I got a semi unpleasant waxy smell while melting the crayons. It aired out pretty quickly but plan accordingly.)

IMG_2419I was pleasantly surprised with how well and cute they turned out. And now we had colors to use that afternoon. My son loves these and although he broke the pi shapes in half within about five minutes, so far he hasn’t broken them into smaller unusable pieces which bodes very well for this project happening again in the future. The only tough part? Now when he asks what color his crayon is it’s a little harder to explain thanks to the rainbow mixtures of using multiple colors in a single mold. Still, we both love the effect of coloring with them and it’s a great way to double the lifespan of our crayons. So happy I didn’t put off this project any longer while waiting for the perfect mold.


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