Friday, September 23, 2011

Crayons {Renewed}

I've seen several posts about recycling old crayons & melting them down into large rainbow crayons; I've also been mesmerized by such crayons while visiting the SCARCE recycling center.  Perhaps it's because I've been crazy busy lately and looking for a delightfully mind-numbing task.  Perhaps it's because I'll always love school supplies.  Or perhaps even still, it's because I love to get crafty. 

Whatever the reason, I picked up a bucket of discarded crayons from one of my sites today with a mission to recycle them.  I patiently peeled off all the wrappers (this was fantastic and soothing, much like bubble wrap).  The only part that sucked was when a wrapper would occasionally get stuck under my nail.  It hurt a bit.

The anal retentive side of me insisted on sorting the crayons by color after the removal of the wrapper.

I then began breaking the crayons into pieces using my hands and then a knife to make the pieces small enough to fit into the silicon muffin tin.

I decided I wanted to make solid colors as well as the rainbow chunks I had planned on.

I put in the oven at 230 degrees for about 20 minutes....

I won't lie --- they didn't look very good when they came out & I was a little bit nervous.  Did I just waste all that time for nothing?

I left them to harden on the counter top for a while & when I came back to see them?

Mission accomplished.  I can look forward to making more in the future when classrooms decide to recycle their used crayons!  I'm thinking of sharing a set of these with my littlest cousin, E who is likely just about ready to do some exploration with color.

What do you think?  I might explore other options for size/shape.  I saw a link online where they used a butterfly-shaped muffin tin.  Could be cute, but I wasn't crazy about the shape being the focus rather than the medium.

There's another batch in the oven right now & I'm more than a little excited about this project!!!

Update on the project:
I'm conisdering a used crayon drive at school/home (I live in a condo building with lots of kids so it can't be that hard, right?) to continue this project.  I also found an adorable way to package these for gift-giving.

I had three strawberry containers sitting on the counter from my score at Target (end of the season, only $1.75 for the pack & they were at the peak of perfection).  I ran them through the dishwasher (heater off) and put the crayon pucks (pretty accurate, don't you think?) in a horizontal line.  Love.  Thinking about wrapping a ribbon or twine around the outside and attaching a simple tag for gift giving.