Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Can you believe it? I still have my Christmas tree up because I can’t bring myself to say goodbye to the aroma of the handmade cinnamon ornaments we made this year. That’s the way it goes though, isn’t it? It seems like every year we are preparing for holidays earlier and earlier.
Sure, you can buy the box of paper Valentines and call it a day. Don’t get me wrong there are many years we’ve done that. We were just too busy to get anything else done! This year I decided to plan ahead for Valentine’s Day and make a cute, simple, and low-cost Valentine to give out.
These DIY crayon Valentines are so simple to make that kids of any age can help out. It would be a great option for a classroom Valentine’s craft too if you have a microwave or other heat source available. Of course, an adult will have to do some parts such as chopping the crayons and melting them. But kids can help put the crayons in the mold to create their own color blends. Of course, they can help with the best part by testing out a few too!
How do you Prepare Crayons to Melt Them
To create your own crayons you will need to melt down old crayons you have at home, or those you have purchased.
You need to remove the wrappers from all crayons you are using before you melt them, regardless of the melting method that you choose. You can do this by manually peeling the wrappers off or using a craft knife to cut along the edge of the wrapper to loosen it. If you find the wrappers difficult to get off you can soak your crayons in warm water several hours to help unstick them.
Once you have all of the wrappers removed from your crayons you want to turn them into smaller pieces. The best way to do this is to chop them with a knife. You don’t want your pieces to be too big, but on the other hand, you don’t want them to be too small.
Breaking the crayons up too much can cause your colors to just blend into one muddled color rather than creating a multi-colored crayon. I found anywhere from 1/2 inch to 1-inch pieces worked best, depending on the silicone mold size I was using.
How do You Melt Old Crayons
There are three methods you can use to melt old crayons. The one that you choose will depend on the resources you have available and the end result you are looking for.
How to Melt Crayons in the Microwave
This method is a great option if you are making a small batch of crayons. It is also a wonderful alternative if you don’t have an oven available.
Prepare the crayons as listed above. Be sure to judge the size of your pieces based on the mold you are using. Silicone molds work great in the microwave and make excellent crayons. You can find just about any shape you want in a silicone mold these days. I buy tons of them at Michaels, but you can find great ones on Amazon as well.
Fill the molds with your crayon pieces and microwave in 30-second intervals for around 2-3 minutes, or until your crayons are melted. Be sure to check your molds every 30 seconds because microwave times can vary greatly. Don’t just power through for the whole 2-3 minutes without checking. Overdoing it can cause discolored crayons. You can place the mold in the freezer to help them harden up quickly after they have melted. Wait until they have completely hardened again before removing from the mold. I would give them at 30 minutes or so at least.
How to Melt Crayons in the Oven
This is my preferred method for making your own multi-color crayons. It is super easy, and you can make multiple batches at once if you need to. I also find that it is the best way to evenly heat the whole batch for smooth crayons in the finished product.
Prepare your molds exactly the same as you would in the microwave method. You can do multiple molds in the oven if you want. You can also use metal tins such as shaped cupcake tins or even little tart pans if you want.
Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F. Place your mold(s) on a foil-lined baking sheet and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Be sure to check on your crayons frequently because oven times can vary as well. If your crayons aren’t melted after 15 minutes you can leave them in a few minutes longer.
Once the crayons have completely melted remove your baking sheet from the oven and let crayons harden completely. You can place them in the freezer or just set aside for about 30 minutes.
How to Melt Crayons on the Stove Top
Sometimes you don’t want to make a multi-colored crayon. In this case, using the oven or microwave may not be the best option. If I am making a batch of single color crayons I prefer to melt then in a double boiler on the stovetop.
If you don’t have a double boiler available you can easily DIY one of those too. Place 1-2 inches of water in a saucepan and top with a glass or metal mixing bowl. Be sure that your bowl isn’t touching the water. Heat your pan over medium-low heat and place your crayons in the upper bowl. Be sure to stir to help melt the crayons evenly.
Once your crayons have melted you can just pour the wax into your molds. Let them harden just as we did in the other methods for about 30 minutes.
This can be a great way to quickly and easily make your own sets of colorful crayons to share, sell, or use for yourself. There are so many great silicone molds available that you can make any crayons you want! It’s one of our favorite crafts to do because it is so easy and customizable. You can pick up a classroom pack of crayons on Amazon for a great price to have a large number of crayons available to make your own.
Things to Avoid When Making Your Own Crayons
Any crayons can be used when making DIY crayons. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing crayons to cut up for this project.
I have found that Crayola crayons tend to work best. They give more of an even color distribution and seem to work best when it comes to colors not running together while melting. (This could just be me imagining it though LOL)
You can add in things like glitter or even fragrance oils once you have melted the wax from your original crayons. However, it is best to avoid heating crayons that already have these things inside of them. Crayons themselves are generally non-toxic when used properly. However, there’s really no way to tell whether additives such as scents won’t put off dangerous fumes when heated.
If you want to create a swirl pattern, add glitter, or otherwise alter the crayons once you have melted your wax you can use a toothpick to stir slightly. However, you want to be sure not to overdo it here. If you blend too much or too briskly you will just create a dark muddy brown color rather than a multi-colored crayon.
Free Printable Valentines
Don’t forget to grab the free printable Valentines I made to go along with these fun DIY crayons. They can be printed out to add your crayons to on Valentine’s Day! Printable Valentines are a great cost-effective way to have something fun and unique on the big day! In all, with the cost of crayons and the mold this project comes out to less than $5.00! If you already have crayons around that you aren’t using you can bring the cost down even more.
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