Well, it's my last week of summer break before we head back to work for professional development week. So, of course, my brain is in back-to-school mode. Now, if you teach younger grades like I do, you know how many broken crayons you end up with throughout the year. DO NOT THROW THEM OUT! Thankfully, I had a large, clear, plastic container that I had my kiddos toss their broken crayons in throughout the year so I could save them. Wow, did they add up by the time summer rolled around! What did I do with them? I recycled them of course! These will be a part of my back-to-school gifts for my Pre-K kiddos! Also, once you're done checking out this tutorial, make your way over to 4th Grade Frolics for more Make-It Monday fun!
Now, if you've ever tried to recycle crayons, you know how big of a pain it can be to peel the paper off each and every crayon. I found a super easy way (on Pinterest of course) to get the paper off. All you do is put a handful of crayons in a bowl of water and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. They should look like this...
The paper just rolls right off! (Tip: Crayola crayons peel MUCH better than the off-brand crayons!) So easy my girls even wanted to help!
Next, find the mold you would like to use. A lot of times you can find cheap, shaped molds at Target in the Dollar Spot. I actually just got a set of bacon shaped ones, but I'm saving those ;) I chose to use these awesome heart shaped ones (because I've used them before and I know they work well). They're made of silicone so it's super easy to just pop the crayons out when they're finished.
Break the peeled crayons up into as small of pieces as possible (mine were about half an inch). The smaller they are, the better they'll melt. You can either mix colors or put similar shades together. I chose to mix so that all the kiddos had similar crayons rather than some getting blue, some green, etc.
If you use a floppy silicone mold like I did, make sure to put it on a cookie sheet so it will be easier to handle when putting it in the oven and taking it out. Set your oven to 350 degrees. I set my timer for 10 minutes but, depending on how big your crayon pieces are, they could take anywhere from 6 to 15 minutes. They should look like one solid, waxy puddle when they're done.
Pull them out and let them cool. I waited about an hour just to make sure they were fully cooled but, if you're using a smaller mold, it obviously will take less time for them to harden.
Once again, I love silicone molds. You can just flip it over and push on the bottom to pop them out!
And voila! Finished rainbow recycled crayons! Just one part of my back-to-school gift for my kiddos.
Make sure to check out more Make-It Monday posts like this over at 4th Grade Frolics!