Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Recycled Crayons

In order to avoid BPA-leaching, we only use baby food that is packaged in glass jars (or we make our own, but we don't have a lot of fresh mangoes lying around presently). Sadly, our area does not have glass recycling capabilities, so I have been saving the jars in a huge sack in our laundry room, hoping for a special project to come along. My mom and my husband both are bugging me to get rid of them, but I can't just THROW THEM AWAY!
We also have a lot of old crayons (dating as far back as my own childhood). Crayons can't really "go bad", I know, but when they are in a huge box of broken pieces and most of the labels are torn or missing, and the yellow crayons have this dingy outer darkness about them, they just aren't appealing to the kids anymore. I found these instructions for making candles out of crayons and thought I could re-pupose the crayons AND the baby food jars in one project! I LOVE to do crafty things, but in the past 3 years or so, I have NOT had an abundance of free time. This project was exciting to me on more than one level, as I was going to RE-USE something that to the naked eye appeared to be junk, and I was going to MAKE STUFF!
I even took pictures.
Step before you can do any steps: purchase some wicks. I paid $2.99 for several yards. Maybe 18 yards? That is a lot of wicks, my friends.
Step One:

Tie the wick on to something so that it can hang down into the form. The form can be a jar, wide mouth glass, official candle mold...the list goes on and on. The advantage of a wide mouth glass would be that you can take the candle out of the mold after it cools.
I used a toothpick to hang my wick, but the website I referenced suggested a pencil.

Step Two:

Melt the crayon pieces in a double boiler, or some kind of heat safe container set into a pot of boiling water. It is okay if the container "bobs" a little. I added a little essential oil and a bit of vegetable oil because I thought it would help the candle to 1) smell nice and 2) burn better.

Step Three:
Pour the hot wax into the form. The website advised to tilt the form as you are pouring, but I couldn't figure out a way to do it without potentially burning my fingers.

Step the Forth:
Admire cute candle. Let it cool for a few hours before you try to light it. Trust me. I jumped the gun on this one and the middle collapsed because it was still very soft. But then I made a batch of green ones that are untainted.


pension said...

Brilliant - thanks for this post. Recycled crayon candles, awesome!

Reese.Mom07 said...

As a (retired, now SAHM) Preschool Teacher we used these for everything . . .

~ put liquid glue in them & w/ use brushes
~ watercolor paint w/ brushes or Q-tips
~ decorate w/ tissue paper & liquid starch
~ cover w/ glitter glue and put a tea candle in it

I could go on . . .

As for CD, they are all ordered - 24 plus 4 from eBay! I can't wait!!!


Green & Clean Mom said...

Taught preschool for years, recycle the crayons by melting them and making new ones. We call them rainbow crayons and used muffin tins for the molds. PERFECT for little hands to hold.

Gray Matters said...

What a great idea - thanks for sharing.

Tara @ Go Green Street said...

I love doing crafts with my daughters, so this was a great post to come across. Thanks so much for sharing, we now have a weekend project!