Sunday, January 23, 2011

Recycled Crayons

So I was alone with my girls last weekend. The Heela had to work both Saturday and Sunday so it made for a lot of "girl time" for SweetPea, Boogey and me. On Saturday, after taking them to the eye doctor to pick up my new glasses, letting them play in the mall playground for 20 minutes, buying them each 3 rides on the Bob the Builder riding thingy, sugaring them up with a bright blue ICEE and trudging them through  ToysRUs to find a present for an upcoming birthday party... I brought them home and immediately sent them upstairs for some quiet time. Frankly, I'm not sure who needed it more - them or me! ;)

Boogey slept right through lunch and didn't come down for over 2 hours! That girl was wiped out! (despite being 3, she still loves her naptime). But SweetPea (who recently turned 4 and is pretty much "over" naps) showed up in the TV room after about 30 minutes. *sigh*. I convinced her to occupy herself for another 15 minutes or so by reading books. Then we went 2 rounds at HiHoCherry-O! and once on the Ladybug Game. Then... she was bored.

"Mommy.... I'm booooooorrrrrrrreeeeeedddddd".

I'm sure more than a few of you are familiar with that lovely whine.

I know she loves to do crafts so I was about to take her downstairs to dig something out of the "Craft Box". Then I spotted this on the floor... our BIG box 'o' crayons.

This box is 13" x 7" - it is an understatement to say these girls have a ridiculous amount of crayons!

I've seen many blog posts out there about "recycling" old crayons so I thought... why not?... let's go for it!

So I dumped out all the crayons onto the floor and SweetPea and I picked out all of the broken pieces, then set about to peel off all the wrappers. 

Thankfully, I wasn't ruining a good manicure with all this peeling. (haha!)

Big pile 'o' wrappers!

We worked, for the most part, in quietude and I was impressed with how diligently SweetPea was working on this project.

We then separated our unwrapped crayons into similar color piles.


Next we broke the crayons into small(er) pieces and placed them into some silicone cupcake liners that I bought about a year ago in the dollar bins at Target.

Initially I put them in the oven at 170 degrees for about 15 minutes since that is what the first website I googled indicated (it actually said to heat the oven to 150 but our oven won't go any lower than 170). But after an additional 5 minutes, the crayons had barely softened, let alone melted. So I googled a few more articles and they all indicate you should use a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes. So I cranked up the heat and waited a bit more.

Meanwhile, Boogey had come downstairs to join us so while we waited for the crayons to melt, I painted the girls' nails. If *I* couldn't have a nice manicure, at least the 3 and 4-year old could! :)

Boogey waits (im)patiently for her nails to dry

Man... if only I could wear rainbow fingernails to the office!!

Finally, the crayons were melted so I took them out of the oven, placed them onto a fresh cookie sheet and placed them out on the back deck (where it was damn cold!). 

Ready to go outside to cool.

They set up pretty quickly outside and we peeled back the silicone easily to reveal some super-cool NEW crayons!

They kind of look like the jello jigglers that I usually make in these molds! LOL

The colors weren't as swirly as I had hoped (I probably just "stirred" them too much mid-way) but they still came out pretty cool, I think. :)

I have to keep my eye on Boogey with this one... she still isn't convinced it isn't chocolate!

Yummy looking brown crayon

The silicone molds worked great since the flexibility of the form made it so easy to pop/peel out the crayons. But most directions you'll find on the web discuss making them in muffin tins so you don't need anything fancy. Just do a quick google search on making your own crayons/recycling old crayons and you'll find plenty of good tips.

Good luck!!

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  1. Very cool, love the girls nails, and the crayons!!

  2. LOVE THIS - I am SO doing it this weekend - off to find me some cool molds - target one spot here i come

    Also, is it sad or funny that I 1) recognize the shirts on your girls and 2) have both of them in my girls closets? :)

  3. Those look like so much fun! I love how her nails match the crayons! I need to find some cool silicone molds now. Thanks for linking up!

  4. those are so fun!!! i need to do that for sure!

  5. Fun project! I love the big box of crayons - in my opinion you can never have too many. I guess I get that from my Grandma who still loves coloring books. :) Making them yourself is even more fun! I love that your little girl thinks the brown one is chocolate! Adorable. Thanks for linking up to my party!

  6. I love this! My son made some of these for his sister for Christmas. It was a fun project for all. We used an old muffin tin but would have loved the silicone liners. I'll have to keep an eye out for them, in the dollar bin of course!

  7. These are awesome! I love the shapes! :D

    Thanks for linking to Crazy Cute at Between U & Me! :D

  8. That is so fun and colorful! I love it!

  9. I most def have to try this with my 4 y/o.


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