My kids love to color with crayons. And when I mean love, I mean LOVE. We have a bucket full of any imaginable color and type, and they use them when they feel like drawing and coloring their own creations.
The problem with crayons is that as they get used up, they get stubby, and sometimes dirty, and the tips are not so usable any more and they get neglected because they do not color as they used to.
You can buy a new box, but then you end up accumulating more crayons and there’s the environmental cost of not recycling and reusing what we have.
So we decided to recycle our crayons and learn a few lessons about color mixing, doing things by yourself and being good to our planet. All in one afternoon!
First, let’s see what you need. It’s not a lot and probably you will find everything you need right at home.
List of materials.
- Used crayons (Crayola are the best!). Lots of them, the more colors the better.
- A plastic container.
- 1 Quart of hot water. (Let’s have an adult handle this please)
- 1 silicone mold for treats.
- A coloring book to try out your results.
Okay, you have everything you need? Let’s get started!
Pour the hot water into your plastic container. The water should be hot enough to peel off the paper from the crayons, but not too hot. Hot enough to take a warm bath should do the trick.
The paper will start coming off the crayons and they will be cleaner now. The idea is to get all the grime off of them so they are clean and ready for the next step.
Let the crayons dry up, and you can throw away the paper wrappings on the recycle bin.
Start breaking up the crayons into small chunks so they fit in your silicone mold. Let your kids experiment with the colors that will mix on each try and get as many combinations as you can.
You can try different colors that will mix, or maybe different hues of the same color and encourage your kids to guess what will the final colors be.
Fill the trays and try to leave as little space as possible between the colors, but don’t overfill the tray. The idea here is that when the colors melt they will mix and they should not overfill the tray.
Take your silicone mold full of crayon chunks and put it in your oven. It’s time to see the magic start as you create your rainbow crayons!
The melting process took about about 30 minutes with the oven at 250F. , but keep an eye on the oven, the colors will start to melt and as soon as you see that they are melted and filling the molds, it’s time to get them out. They have a tendency to burn if you use a very high temperature so don’t leave your oven unattended.
Let the mold cool down undisturbed so the different colors mix and harden as they get cooler. It should take an hour or so for the crayons to be ready to be taken out of the mold.
Carefully try to get one out. If it’s soft, leave it alone for a bit. Once they come out clean easily, it’s time to have fun!
The crayon chunks mix and create very interesting patterns depending on the color combinations you chose. If you use lots of small chunks, you get a rainbow effect.
If you use larger chunks, the crayons will have larger areas of color, and if you used the same hue, it will be a very nice solid color.
Time to enjoy your creations! My kids had a great time testing each one of the chunk crayons that turned up from this DIY recycled rainbow crayons!
They are perfect for kids. Their little hands have no trouble grabbing the colors, using and testing how they start changing colors as you use them. And adults love them too…. I had a blast making and using them too!!!!
And they can be stacked and used for building too!
I had lots of fun while me and my kids worked on this DIY project, it’s perfect as a summer activity, or an after school project. give it a try at your home!