One of our favorite activities around here is coloring. Nothing beats a brand new box of crayons with pointy tips. They even smell good.
But what does one do with all of the old crayons?
A few years ago, I started collecting the crayons and melting them down to make new ones. It was fun mixing different colors of crayons and making them into a variety of new shapes. Suddenly, those dull, boring crayon stubs took on a new life.
Making your own crayons is the perfect activity to use up old crayons. You can add the new crayons back into your kids’ art supplies. Or just attach a tag to gift them for a holiday.
Another great way to use them is as an easy party favor. Choose a silicone mold that matches your party theme. Then add a coloring sheet or book that coordinates. Party favor done.
Can You Melt Crayons in Silicone Molds?
The best way to make your own crayons is to melt crayon pieces in silicone molds. Silicone molds help the crayons pop out easily after they’re cooled. They also provide a flexible little compartment for easy melting.
Although crayons are non-toxic, I recommend having dedicated silicone molds for making them. The wax can sometimes dye the sides of the molds. And I don’t know if I want to bake in a silicone mold that’s also been used for melting crayons.
So, I have silicone molds dedicated to crayon making fun. For Valentine’s Day, I use this heart shaped silicone mold to make heart shaped crayons (affiliate). It’s only used for crayons since I don’t really want to mix the two.
Tips for Peeling Off the Wrappers
One of the harder parts when making your own crayons is peeling off the wrappers. They can be glued on really well and a pain to get off.
After peeling many crayons for this project, here are some tips that made it easier.
Newer crayons are harder to peel. I don’t know if they just glue the wrappers on tighter or it’s because the crayons are newer, but it can be hard to peel them off. If you are working with newer crayons, be sure to go in with the right mind set.
Start your peel at the seam. This is the place where the wrapper is weakest and comes off more easily.
Peel in a diagonal line. When I started peeling the crayons, I got into a habit of peeling them horizontally. This technique made little progress since I wasn’t moving down the crayon. When you peel the wrapper diagonally, you end up with a vertical strip. The wrapper comes off much easily and more of it at a time.
Enlist help. This is a great job for older kids to do. Mine loved peeling off the wrappers and made a game of it. Plus you get to spend some quality time together.
Leave lots of time. Peeling off wrappers takes more time than you would think. When planning to make your own crayons, be sure to leave plenty of time for this task.
Plan to get messy. Although it looks like a clean task, it turns out that peeling off wrappers is kind of messy. Crayon wax can get stuck under your nails and your fingers turn all sorts of rainbow colors. Unfortunately, since you need to use your nails to peel off the wrapper, wearing gloves doesn’t work. Just be ready to give your hands a good scrub once you’re done.
Don’t want to spend the time peeling the crayons? Check out this set of Crayola crayons. (affiliate) They’ve already been unwrapped and cut for you. So, their ready to be melted. What a great time saver!
Crayons Make a Great Party Favor
When choosing a party favor for my kids’ celebrations, I like picking something useable. Classic plastic trinkets that break before the kids get home need to go.
Making your own crayons is such a creative party favor idea. You can pair them with a customized coloring sheet or a basic free printable one that you print out at home. Roll up the coloring page, tie with some baker’s twine or ribbon and attach your own crayons.
Another idea is to add your crayons to a small coloring book. We did this for my little’s tractor party. You can find an assortment of smaller sized coloring books online. Package your make your own crayons in small cello bags and attach with baker’s twine.
If you plan to make crayons for a kids’ birthday party, choose a silicone mold that matches your child’s birthday theme. You can find silicone molds in lots of different shapes.
For example, for a Lego themed party you could make rainbow building brick crayons. Or dinosaurs for dinosaur party, insects and butterflies for a butterfly celebration or even unicorns for a magical unicorn party. This alphabet mold would make great crayons for classroom treats or an ABC themed birthday. (affiliates)
For larger birthday parties, consider purchasing more than one silicone mold to make the process faster. Each mold holds between 4 and 12 crayons depending on size. Since each mold will need to be filled and baked, this process can be shortened with using more molds at a time.
What if I don’t have Recycled Crayons?
If your kids aren’t huge coloring fanatics or aren’t willing to part with older crayons, you can always purchase new ones for this craft. This will also give you the color assortment that you might be looking for.
To make a set of a dozen crayons needs about two boxes of new crayons. One way to stock up on crayons is purchasing them at back to school sales. They are super discounted this time of year.
Or find an off-brand of crayons. Not Crayola, but other brands of crayons can be much more budget friendly.
Another idea to save even more time is to purchase crayons that have been peeled and broken. This is a great solution if you have limited time. (affiliate)
Choose a Color Theme
When I make my own crayons, I like to stick with rainbow colors. Mainly because it’s just easier. It doesn’t matter what colors of crayons I have on hand, I can mix them together in the mold to make new crayons.
But if you’re making crayons for a holiday or birthday party, it might be better to stick with a color theme. Here are some ideas to consider.
Valentine’s Day – reds, pinks, purples, whites
St. Patrick’s Day – lots of different greens
Independence Day – red, white and blue (Wouldn’t a star shape be fun for these?)
Halloween – orange and black
Thanksgiving – brown, red, orange and yellow
Christmas – red, pink, green and white
Unicorn – pink and purple
Mermaid – pink, purple and turquoise
Outer Space – a variety of blues
Construction – brown, yellow and orange
Dinosaur – green, blue and orange
How to Make your Own Crayons
You Will Need
Crayons – lots of them in the colors of your choice – I use at least 24 crayons in assorted colors to make one set of rainbow crayons
Silicone Mold(s) – see suggestions above
1. Peel the wrappers off of the crayons. You can also purchase crayons in bulk with the wrappers off and pre-cut here. (affiliate).
2. Break each crayon into three or four pieces. Place the broken pieces into each mold. Unless you’re making single colored crayons, be sure to mix up the broken pieces in each mold. Fill the molds about three quarters of the way.
3. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the silicone mold onto a baking sheet. This step is very important. If you bake the silicone mold without a baking sheet underneath, it is very hard to remove from the oven. And the liquid crayons could jostle around too much and ruin them. Or spill all over your oven (which would be a huge mess to clean up.)
Once in the oven, bake for ten minutes.
4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, place the baking sheet with the silicone mold into the freezer to continue hardening.
5. After the crayons have completely cooled, remove the silicone mold from the freezer. Pop out each of the crayons. They are ready for use.
How to Add a Touch of Glitter
Want to make your crayons sparkle? Before adding the broken crayons into the silicone molds, sprinkle in a little bit of glitter on the bottom. When the crayons melt, the glitter will mix in. Then, when you pop them out, they will have a sparkly top.
Another way to add glitter is to mix in some glitter crayons (affiliate). This will add a little sparkle throughout the new crayon.
What if I don’t have Time to Make my Own Crayons?
As much as I enjoy making my own crayons, it does take time and planning.
Don’t have enough time before your celebration day? No worries. There are lots of wonderful handmade crayons to choose from. It’s just a matter of picking the design you want. Here are some of my favorites (affiliates):
Personalized Rainbow Crayon Names – makes a great crayon gift ideas
Dinosaur Shaped – you can purchase them in bulk here for party favors
Flower Shaped (perfect for a garden party)
Love this tutorial and want to save it for later? Be sure to pin it below.
Do your kids love coloring? Be sure to check out some of our fun coloring sheet options. These Heart Crayon Valentines are a perfect way to gift your newly made heart crayons. Or we have Free Printable Easter Egg Coloring Sheets, which make a fun banner or Easter party activity. You can also find an assortment of coloring pages that you can customize for a party in our shop.