My kids have two containers packed full of crayons of varying sizes. Over half of them were broken nubs that were no longer deemed good enough to use anymore, so the kids will paw through the boxes trying to find the few remaining long crayons. I’ve heard of people melting down their crayon bits into fat, usable crayons. It sounds great and I really had nothing to lose; the kids won’t use them anyways.
I didn’t tell the kids what I was up to, but I did enlist their help in sifting out all the broken crayons into a bucket. That was the easy job. Then Rana and I peeled the paper off all of them. I remember this being easier to do as a child. I think they must be using some kind of glue nowadays. Once peeled, we sorted the crayons by hot or cool colors. I figured that would make them easier to deal with once we got to the melting stage.
Try #1: Cookie Cutters.
It seemed fun to have different shaped crayons. I chose cookie cutters that had bold shapes, but without too many fiddly bits that might break off easily. I laid the cookie cutters in the biggest pie tin I have and made sure they were all level before filling them with crayons. Then I stuck them in my little NuWave oven and set it for 4 minutes on high.
They melted. Oh yes, they melted. All together. I stopped the oven and pulled out the pie plate to press the cookie cutters down into the seeping wax, hoping that would prevent a complete and total dam break. It seemed to help a little. Once all the crayons had finished melting, I set the pie plate out on the front porch to cool and came back about thirty minutes later to assess the damage.
Well, I ended up with shaped crayons, although a bit thinner than I had intended. Maybe my cookie cutters are warped, or the pie tin is. Either way, I needed to try an alternate method.
Try #2: Muffin pan.
I loaded up my little muffin pan with more crayons and stuck it in the oven, set it out to cool, etc. This definitely produced thicker crayons and obviously, no seepage. Plus marks for that.
The negative side is, they are extremely brittle. The same can be said for the first batch, too, but I didn’t expect the full on crumbling from normal handling. Also, no one ever tells you about the sickening melted crayon smell. So now I’ve told you and you’ll know what to expect.
At least right now, the kids enjoy the novelty of them, so maybe I have extended the life of those crayons by a little bit.