I found a fun way to use our broken crayons in the book Family Fun Crafts! This is a great craft that a preschooler or kindergartener can help you make. Right now we tend to break our crayons more than we color with them (apparently they make great pretend macaroni to feed to dollies). So the Crayola crayons are kept in a safe place and brought down under supervision. However, thanks to Cracker Barrel, Publix, Ruby Tuesday and several other restaurants and stores, we have a collection of free crayons! I was able to use things I already had around the house, so we didn’t have to spend any extra money to make these rainbow-colored crayon shapes.
This is my version of the Rainbow Crayons craft found in Disney’s Family Fun Crafts.
What You Need
- Metal cookie cutters (that you don’t use for food)
- Mini muffin tin
- Cookie sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Broken crayons
What To Do
Children can help with most of these steps with supervision.
Remove the paper wrappers from the crayons. (Family Fun Crafts suggests soaking the crayons in water overnight to facilitate the removal of the paper wrappers. I didn’t think this helped much, though.)
Cookie Cutter Shapes
LINE THE COOKIE SHEET WITH FOIL. I didn’t do this, and clean up was difficult.
Cover the bottoms of the metal cookie cutters with A FEW LAYERS OF FOIL, wrapping them up around the sides. Make sure there are no holes in the foil. I only used one layer of foil, and much of the melted material leaked out. It pays to read the directions more than once.
Place the cookie cutters on the foil-lined cookie sheet and fill up 1/2 to 2/3 with broken crayons, using various colors in each of the shapes. (Or, use one color for a solid color crayon shape.)
Be sure to line your cookie sheet with foil, and your cookie cutters with a few layers of foil.
Mini Muffin Shapes
I used a mini-muffin tin rather than the full-sized one suggested in the book. They also recommended using empty tuna cans, but I thought these would be too large. For the mini-muffin tin I found that the residue cleaned up nicely from the non-stick surface, so I’m not afraid to use it for food. However, you may want to line the individual cups with foil.
Fill the muffin cups 1/2 – 2/3 with broken crayons.
Melt & Cool
Bake the crayons in a 300 degree oven for 5 – 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, because they melt quickly. Don’t melt them too long or they will liquefy and the colors won’t be discernible. (I found that some of the crayons didn’t melt evenly with the others, perhaps because they were different brands. It didn’t seem to make much difference though.)
Remove from oven and let the shapes cool completely, for about 30 minutes.
Be sure to line your cookie sheet with foil, and your cookie cutters with a few layers of foil – this mess was difficult to clean up!
I was rather dismayed when I took the melted crayons out of the oven – I thought I had totally messed them up. When I took off the foil, though, the colors were nice and bright on the foil side!
Remove the shapes from the cookie cutters by peeling off the foil first, then pushing them out of the cutters. The shapes in the muffin tin should pop out simply by pushing on the bottom of each cup.
Hope you enjoy this project! Please comment below and let me know if you tried this, or if you have other ways to use broken crayons!
Copyright 2012 Kathryn Depew