Crafting in the kitchen: Melting crayons

As a girl, one of my most prized possessions was a rainbow crayon I got out of a cereal box. One swipe of the inch-long rectangular crayon produced perfect rainbow-hued lines. It was an early hint at my fascination with stained glass and mosaic tiles.

Yesterday, Eve and I did a little project that reminded me of that childhood memory as we melted down broken color crayons into circular riots of colored wax. I’d been inspired by a friend on Facebook who’d tried this recently and posted really cute results. I searched online for instructions, and found some basic guidelines:

Get out your muffin tin. Fill foil cupcake liners halfway with broken crayon pieces (to be found aplenty in any kid-occupied home).

Crayola muffins, anyone?

Melt in a 200-degree oven for 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool for an hour or two.

Fresh from the oven

Ours took closer to 18 minutes to melt (I upped the heat to 225 after 10 minutes), but turned out pretty neat. Once cooled, they actually look a lot like multicolored Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

The project made use of lots of otherwise unusable crayon bits, and was a good educational opportunity for Eve. We were able to count, identify colors, and follow step-by-step instructions.

Eve was really excited about our crayon project

A few things I’d do differently:

1) I waited until we were at the kitchen table, ready to do the project, before I started peeling the wrappers off the crayon pieces. Eve, not quite 3, had no patience for this and wasn’t really able to help. I’ll do that in advance next time.

2) In spite of the foil liners, wax dripped/seeped/overflowed beneath the cups (I’m still not sure how it got there), hardening on the muffin tin. I stuck the pan in the freezer for a few minutes and was able to chip the wax off. Next time, I’ll spray the pan with nonstick spray, like one website advised. OR, I’ll do like my Facebook friend and invest in a cheap silicone muffin pan. Hers was heart-shaped.

3) I might consider doing all one color in each cup, just to do something different. But I do have a weak spot for these rainbow-y results.

Colored cups make pretty pictures.

4 thoughts on “Crafting in the kitchen: Melting crayons

  1. Ahhhh color crayons, more specifically Crayola. Way back in the late 40′s, when I was in a one room country school, a new box of Crayolas was a treasure. The first grade we recieved a box of 12. A year later we recieved a box of 24. That was luxury. About the fourth grade one of the kids came with a box of 48, after Christmas. Unheard of!! That size even had metalic colors. Holy Cow ! “They must have had a better crop”, I was told. Whatever, I remember the delightfull smell they exuded when the box was opened. Even better than my mother’s Evening in Paris, or the smell of warm rumagrout. Some of us had to walk to school, but contrary to popular opinion, it wasn’t up hill both ways. Seems almost to be a sacrilege to melt those little treasures of joy. Just scratch them, and remember that wonderfull smell that came from them. I met my wife when we went to “town school”, but that’s another story.

    • I STILL think there’s something thrilling about opening a new box of Crayolas … the smell, the uniform points, the possibilities. Nowadays, every restaurant we go to gives us a little three-pack of generic crayons that break as soon as the point is pressed to the paper.

  2. PS on the Crayolas; I did however get my future wife a “gift box” of Evening in Paris in the 9th grade. We’ve been married for 49 years now, and our childredn and grand children ,(now too old) used to play with some of the ends of those same Crayolas.

  3. PPS; That one room school house has been completely restored to it’s original integrity, and is well along in the process to make it a historical landmark. District 44, built in 1891. In the fall, some “town schools” bring their classes out there to experience a day in the life of country school. Our 3-6th grade teacher is involved . It is located one and a half mile south of the Wilkin/Traverse county line on Highway 75 in MN. I think there may be a box of crayolas on a shelf there yet.

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