Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eggcellent Crayons

Wondering what to do with all of those crayon orphans in your home? We had a whole box of crayon misfits that we needed to get rid of. I was inspired by an online activity idea on Martha Stewart.com to melt all of these down and make them into something more artistically inspiring. In MS she makes large hearts out of the crayons. I did not have heart shaped pans, so I decided that a few plastic eggs from last year could serve as a good "mold" to pour the liquid crayon into, to make a festive drawing utensil for the easter season.

Here is what you need:

  • Plastic Easter Eggs that separate in half (cover any air holes they may have with tape applied to the outside of the egg)
  • Misfit crayons- separated out into color groups
  • Empty food cans (one for every egg color you wish to make) which have been cleaned out. You could really use any size can.

Heat your oven to 170 degrees. This should be your "warm" setting on your oven. Peel off all of the paper wrappers- enlist your children to help you with this. Next, separate your crayons into piles of similar colors. As you can see from the first picture (that was our pile to make orange eggs with) you can really have a wide variety of colors. Anything yellow, peach, orange or red went into the "orange" pile. My kids really enjoyed sorting out all of the colors.

Once you have your piles created, place your crayons into the tin cans and set them all on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Okay, now for the part where you will hear your children give you 101 reasons as to why they are old enough to handle molten crayon. Do not give into their pleas, the remainder of this activity should be completed by a competent adult.

Take the cans out of the oven after 30 minutes and stir up the crayon mixture with a disposable plastic spoon. If the crayons have not completely melted, put them back into the oven for a little more time, and try again in about 10 minutes.

When the crayons have officially liquefied, it is time to pour them into the "molds." Now, you can either choose to make "half eggs," by using plastic eggs that split lengthwise (like a deviled egg), or you can make whole eggs, by using the traditional plastic eggs. I will say the "half eggs" are definitely easier to make, but that particular type of plastic egg is also more difficult to find in the stores.

If you use the "half egg" molds, just pour the melted crayon in and allow it to set up slightly on the counter top, then when you can see it firming up, place it on a tray in the freezer to continue the solidification process.

If you would like to make a "whole egg" the process is a little trickier. Place the egg halves into an egg carton for steadying. Pour the wax into both halves of the egg, filling it almost to the edge of the mold. Wait for it to slightly solidify, and then quickly press the halves together- holding firmly until they are attached. A little melted crayon will ooze out the sides, but you can shave that off later. These go in the freezer as well.

Freeze the eggs for about 15 minutes. By that time, you can just apply a little pressure to the sides of the shells, and the "egg crayon" will just pop out. If you are making "whole eggs" you can just twist the sides apart and the egg will slide out.

My kids loved helping me with this. I will say though, you could also do this after the kids have gone to bed, and these resuscitated crayons would make a great easter baskets "surprise" at your house.


Taylor and Justina Selim said...

That is a way cute idea and better than just throwing away the crayons or something.

Ransoms said...

Thanks, we're going to try this!

Solomon Family said...

I love this idea. I have lots of crayon bits... thanks

Kids Learn @ Kiboom Daily said...

We love this Easter egg crayon cookies craft, so we shared it on our site!

all the best,
Sherry + Wendy @ Kiboomu