Our summer of projects and experiments got off to a fine start. This one really turned out good.
We made some new crayons in fun shapes. Those two grand fairies had an unmanageable amount of art supplies, and way too many open boxes of "color crins" (what I always called them as a kid, and still think of them as. I really thought that was the name of them and Crayon was the name brand. Like the whole tissue/Kleenex thing- it was crins/Crayons)
We decided to melt them down into a new look and share them with friends.
It was also a good excuse to clean out the craft drawers, and along the way we tested each marker to see if they still worked, threw away the duds, and got all the supplies sorted.
Here are a couple of things I learned in the process:
1- The papers come off easier if you soak the crins in hot water for a bit.
2- Name brands matter! Crayola's are the BEST. The cheap knock off crayons were not as easy to work with, they got all mooshy in the water, the papers stick and don't want to come off. On the Crayolas, the papers just fall away, and the crayon itself still is perfect. I know that with my own art supplies, especially paints, cheapos aren't worth buying. I'll remember that for the kids too.
3- Unwrapping crayons is a hideously monotonous job and you should either find a partner with an extended attention span to help, or plan on doing it alone while she entertains herself.
4- One of the most fun parts of the job is shaking the glitter out of the table cloth when you are done.
My partner isn't one of those people with an extended attention span. She decided to entertain herself choreographing the project and taking my photos while I worked away on the monotonous part of the job.
She has some directorial skills and coached me into being a better actress for the camera. (I wish she had directed me to the make up trailer before my closeups...)
Once we got to the part where she could break and sort the colors, then add glitter, she became involved again. I'll spare you the photos of her toothbrush, closeups of the trash can, and the other items she took pics of while I unwrapped and unwrapped and unwrapped til I gave up and decided we had PLENTY of crayons to work with.
The directions I'd seen for making these, said to use a silicone baking pan. We started to use this one, then decided other shapes would be more interesting. So, we went for flowers and hearts. But, I discovered when we were done, that the wax doesn't all come out. I'm glad I didn't follow Sugarwings' advice and make a few of each shape. I'm wishing now that I'd stuck with just one pan, not two. Because both are ruined. But I guess that means that they are now craft pans.
We will use them for home made side walk chalk and salt sculptures. Those are some of projects we have lined up. I filled a shopping cart at Walmart with summertime supplies, here is what we are keeping on hand for various activities:
- 2 boxes of rock salt
- 1 gallon of vinegar
- 4 boxes of baking soda
- food coloring
- 6 boxes of corn starch
- 2 squirt guns
- 6 cans of shaving cream
- Pink, purple, and white tempura paint
- 1 large box of plaster of paris
- Tons of pink and silver and purple GLITTER!
- 100 pounds of play sand
The crayon shapes turned out cute. I don't know that the glitter will actually transpose onto paper when you draw with them.
But we enjoy dumping it into everything we do.
Here is how you make the shaped colors:
- Soak and peel off crayon wrappers
- Break crayons into silicone baking pans
- Sprinkle on glitter (just for the fun of it, I doubt if it stays on the paper when you color)
- Bake at 350 for 5 minutes, check every minute after that till all are melted.
- Leave pans alone for an hour or so. If you try to get the wax out too soon, the crayons break.
- Bake some bread or cookies right after so the house smells better. Hot crayons stink.