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