Recycling Crayons

I had been wanting to do this broken crayon melting thing for some time and I finally took the plunge! I searched online and found about a hundred and one different ways (oven temperatures, baking times, broken crayon sizes, etc.) to do it. I like living on the razor's edge, so I made up my way as we went along. 

We dumped out our bucket of crayons and then sorted through them to find all the broken ones. Then we got to the peeling. Some of the crayon wrappers were a little tough to remove, so I was in charge of cutting each wrapper down the side with a small paring knife. Peyton and Ella were then able to take the rest of the wrapper off easily. 

I lined an old muffin tin with paper liners and then we tossed in the crayon pieces. Some we color coordinated and some we just mixed. I've seen this done in the fancy shaped muffin tins - like hearts and flowers and such - and it looks super cute.  I don't have the fancy kind, but I think the paper liners made our new crayons pretty fancy anyway. Take that, Martha Stewart.

We melted them in a 250 degree oven for about 20 minutes. It probably takes a shorter amount of time for most ovens, but we kept opening the oven door because Peyton and Ella wanted to watch the melting process. 

As soon as the pieces were all melted I took out the pan and stuck it in the freezer to speed up the hardening process because I'm impatient. Look how cool! 

Although, I do have to admit that the kids were a little disappointed that our experiment didn't turn the crayons into dessert. As soon as I took the them out of the oven, Ella said, "I want eat one!" They're used to delicious treats coming out of muffin tins, not writing utensils. But once they got over their disappointment, they thought their new crayons were pretty neat. It's a brand new experience, since they have to use the side of the crayon shape to draw, and they can't be as precise as with regular crayons. But it's a fun experiment and much more efficient than throwing away all your broken crayons. Ella's favorite: Pink, of course!