Art : DIY Upcycled Crayons

Art Projects
Preschoolers33 Comments

Long ago, when there wasn’t any reason to Beat the Heat.

My mom had a bucket full of old crayons with lots of bits and pieces.

So, Henry, Grandma and I made some upcycled crayons.

I read, somewhere at the time, about a tip for removing the paper on the crayons by soaking them in water.

It didn’t seem to help, and some reason, I had the brilliant idea of adding hot water to the tub, thinking that would help the paper come off better. Instead it only melts the crayon. Not the best idea I’ve had. Looking back, I think its a brand thing with the crayons. Some brands the paper came off much easier, while others were really stuck on good.

This was a great fine motor activity for Henry. He tried his best to remove the papers. He didn’t stick at it long, he was in and out, helping on and off.

Once the tedious job of removing the paper was finished, Henry and Grandma broke the crayons into pieces and put them in a mini muffin tin.

Not really sorting them, but keeping them with like colors, or only one or two colors per cup. (This way we didn’t end up with all different shades of browns.)

Henry waited patiently as the crayons were melting in the oven. Checking in on them every so often.

It didn’t take long, about 20 minutes or so set at a low temperature (I can’t remember exactly what we set it at, I believe around 200-250 degrees).

Henry observed what happened to the crayons when they came out of the oven, being very careful not to touch.

We set the muffin tin of melted crayons in the freezer to help them set up faster.

Once they were hardened, we had beautiful results!

Grandma’s bucket of crayons made two and half of these muffin tins of upcycled crayons!

They ended up as Valentine’s Day gifts for the big boy grandsons.

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  1. Joyce says

    We did the same thing, and used the silicone tree tin as well. We also made some snowflake ones from a silicone snowflake tin. I try to keep a look out for various shaped tins for just this reason. I loved how yours turned out. I do have a question though. When we did ours, we often had a bit of clear wax on top, that of course was a barrier, preventing coloring on that side. We used Crayola crayons. I just shaved it off, but it was tedious. It doesn't look like yours have that problem. Do you have any ideas on why that could be?

  2. Rebecca (faithflower, @choosingtolive) says

    Beautiful post with all the great pics to help the reader enjoy the process! Funny how everyone has enjoyed this idea for Christmas shapes, I've only ever done it at Valentine's Day with my heart shaped tins. Great turn out with your muffin tin shaped ones. They would look exciting to any child! Love the idea of putting with a coloring book @Lindsay! We have set them on top of a white paper doily inside a clear treat bag for Valentines gift. Thanks for sharing! I'll have to get creative now it seems so my 4yr old can enjoy them in a different way. Love it!

  3. Page says

    I think I am going to do this craft & give them away with a coloring book (great idea) for Easter. Should I use pan spray on the muffin pan or muffin cups & how many crayons should I put per muffin mold?

    • Jamie says

      Paige – I wouldn’t spray the pan. Just heat it up in the oven until they’re melted completely. Then we popped it into the freezer to quickly set it up. The crayons just popped out for us – but if they didn’t you could run it under hot water (or set it in a pan of hot water) to loosen them.

  4. Leah says

    I did this with my 2nd grade art classes. We discussed recycling and repurposing and how crayons are made. The kids peeled and sorted good crayons from “shorties”. I took them home, put them in silicone molds, 12 minutes at 350 and came out with great crayons. BTW, unless you stir the crayons they won’t blend to make brown. I did multicolored when I just got tired of separating for warm and cool, etc.

  5. Ann S. says

    Hot water actually works fantastic for taking the paper off of crayons. If you work fast, just slide the paper down the crayon. It’s awesome. Once the water cools, removing paper becomes more difficult. I just use HOT water from faucet. Microwaved water will surely melt your crayons. : )

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