Saturday, April 4, 2015

Melting Old Crayons

How often have we seen all those broken crayons laying around the house or classroom? We may have even seen people melt the crayons to make "crayon cakes or muffins." Well, this is the same but different. I took one of my Christmas cookie pans to use to melt broken crayons and ended up with shaped crayons that look cute enough to eat. In fact, I made labels that said, "crayons, do not eat" so there wouldn't be a problem. Even if someone eats them, crayons are non-toxic and I don't think they will take more than one disgusting bite.

Ok, this is easy to do. First, you have to remove all the paper wrappers from the crayons. If you let them soak in warm or hot water for about 20 minutes, it is easier to peel the wrappers off. Some will even come out of the wrappers on their own. Depending on the size of the crayons, break them into pieces 1 inch or smaller and fill the shape in your pan. In fact, it doesn't hurt to overfill it as when the crayons melt they spread out as liquids do. You can mix the colors together or do all of one color or shade for a certain shape. I've done both. Preheat the oven to 235 degrees. Place the pan in the oven and leave for 20 minutes. Check to make sure they are melted and then set on top of the stove for a few minutes. Some crayons do not melt well, like pastel crayons, so do not use them. Place the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes. Next, take them out and they will just fall out when you flip the pan. 

These are cute to add to your shoeboxes. For packing, I place a 1/4 sheet of card stock in a zip lock style  bag. Then I put 4 different shaped crayons in each bag. I put my label on the outside of the bag.

It's not necessary to put a label on but my husband convinced me to be a little concerned that the children may not know what they are. My label says in 3 languages, "crayons, do not eat." The most common languages are Chinese and Arabic but I don't know how to do those characters so I choose the next 3 most common languages, English, Spanish and French. I think these will cover a lot. If you choose to do this, here it is in
Spanish--"Lapices, No comer"
French--"Le crayons, Ne pas manger"

It's been fun doing this. I got a bunch of old crayons from the day care center at my church. Another good place to get crayons would be at your child's school at the end of the school year. Many teachers throw them away at the end of the year so in mid-May let the teachers know that you want them. Kindergarten classes will be your best place to try as many kindergarten classes pool the crayons or have supply fees that are used to purchase them. I've filled 50 zip locks with these shaped crayons. Any that I don't use for my shoe boxes, I'll give to my collection center or church for their shoebox packing party. 

*****WARNING: If you use a cookie or shaped pan like I did, be prepared for LOTS of scraping on it when you are finished. Also, DO NOT wash it in your dishwasher! Crayon will melt and stay on your dishwasher walls. I've already scrubbed the dishwasher & plan to buy a dishwasher cleaner to hope that will do the job. Also, don't wash any other dishes at the same time as the pans you melted crayon in. Crayon residue will get all over those dishes and you will have to hand wash them. I've scrapped crayon off my pans with a plastic scrapper and done lots of scrubbing. I put the pan back in the oven to try to melt the crayon off and it still needs work. My next effort will be to put them in the freezer to see if the crayon will come off any easier.

In short, it's best to use an old pan that you don't plan on using for food again! Take my word for it, I learned the hard way! lol

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