Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recycled Crayons

Time: 2.5 hours
Cost: Free

The top picture shows our best crayons. The middle picture shows the nice side of all of them, and the last shows the truth on which ones were good and which are downright ugly.

It was quite a learning experience, as you can pretty easily tell from the pictures. You can see the difference between first attempts and our last. Figuring out what to do was tricky. We wanted to use candy molds, so we needed to be able to pour the hot wax. So using the ol' oven-muffin-tin-and-paper-cups wasn't really do-able... And we just took out the recycling Monday, so we only had two tin cans to work with. We decided to double boil stove using the top and tins cans. Ugh. Those crayons never wanted to melt. And, I think we used too many.

So, it was supposed to be a fun activity for Eve and Elijah... And they did enjoying peeling, snapping and sorting the crayons... But they grew impatient waiting... and waiting... and after making the first [ugly] crayon, we let them watch TV while we experimented with our own crayons. At least Jon and I had fun :) After we turned out our own some bad ones using the stove top method, we gave up on using molds and had the kids come in and put the rest of the pieces into muffin tins and stuck it in the oven. After seeing how nicely those crayons in the oven melted, I wanted to try sticking the tin cans in the oven. Those still had a hard time melting, but liquid wax did occasionally come out. So I went and got a few of my old Crayola crayons to try just a few more. I put in less crayons in the bottom of a aluminum soda can. Much, much better. They melted fast and evenly. We were able to turn out a few good ones after that.

Conclusion: Fun for the adults, not as much fun for the kids. At least we'll know what to do if we try again. I think the best arrangement would be a lot of soda cans with each one devoted to a particular color group. Just pouring two together created some cool swirls. Oh, and FYI, if you use washable crayons the color sinks the bottom and only wax is left on the top. I guess I forgot to pull out one of the orange ones and messed up two of the muffin ones. Oh well.

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