Recycled Crayons Tutorial

Grab your bucket full of broken crayons and bring new life to an old favorite.  This tutorial is the easiest way I have found to make recycled crayons.  Some directions have you melt the wax first and then carefully pour it into molds.  Well, that just sounded like a lot of trouble to me.  So I picked out a silicone mold in the perfect shape to make triangular recycled crayons.  You can use any other mold or pan that is made to go in the oven.  I chose a triangular mold because I have a toddler who has a hard time keeping his crayons from rolling off the table.  Perfect!

First, cover a cookie sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Place the mold on top of the foil in the center of the sheet.  This will catch any spilled wax.

Second, divide the broken crayons into bowls by color.  I do this before removing the wrappers because sometimes the darker colors are very similar and the wrappers help me decipher between the blues and purples.  Since there won’t be enough of one specific color to make a solid crayon I sort the crayons into color families.  Remove the paper wrapper before placing the crayon in the bowl.

Next, chop each color group and place the pieces into the mold.

Then,  place the mold into the oven (on the cookie sheet) for 15 minutes or until completely melted.

Finally, allow the recycled crayons to cool completely before carefully removing from the silicone mold.

Some notes from my experience:

  • I have my kids help me with the first few steps until the recycled crayons go into the oven.  Then they can rejoin the project at the end when the crayons are completely cooled.
  • Some brands of crayons just don’t melt well.  I don’t know if they need a higher temperature or more time but a few of the cheaper crayons we had in our bucket didn’t make great recycled crayons.  The name brand crayons melt smoothly and quickly.
  • I had to do two layers of crayons in the mold.  I melted the first portion for the first 15 minutes and then added a few more pieces to fill up the remainder of the mold.  I melted this second batch for 10 more minutes.  The main reason I needed to do this was to fill my very skinny and shallow molds to a usable size.  Larger molds would not have this issue because the deep well would allow you to add enough crayon pieces the first time with no fear of overflow.
  • Use a dedicated craft mold or pan for melting the recycled crayons.  Though these crayons are non-toxic and, of course, you can wash the mold, I just wouldn’t recommend reusing these containers for food.

Yea!  I love reusing broken items in super simple recycling projects!

If you enjoyed this project, then be sure to check out these tutorials to make your own Easter Egg Crayons and Glitter Crayon Sticks.

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7 Comments:
  1. This is awesome! I buy so many crayons at back to school time when they are cheap that we usually just throw away the pieces, but we might just have to break some crayolas to make these!

  2. Im an art teacher, and I used heart shaped molds, and sold these at work. Crayola works best due to more pigment/less wax. I found I could skip the chopping up, and just break them into small pieces. If u are handy with a drill you can make a crayon peeler by drilling a hole in a block of wood just larger than a crayon. Hammer a nail thru the top so it just goes thru the hole. Push crayons thru, and it tears the paper for an easy peel. You can cool them quickly by putting the molds into the freezer from the oven. Also, u can make glitter crayons by sprinkling glitter into the mold. Finally, be ready for your house to smell like melted crayons for awhile!!!

  3. What a great idea! I am a teacher and always have tons of broken crayons. I think my students would love these! :)

  4. Love these! Thanks for the tutorial. This looks like a good idea for gifts for my son to give to his friends. Can’t wait to try it.

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