R’s 4th birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I’m in full party planning mode. Right now, I’m putting together ideas for the favors. I’ve been seeing those cute DIY molded crayons all over Pinterest for so long and I decided to make some as a practise run for the party. There are a few different ways to create them, so I made two batches using a different method each time. My goal was to discover which was the simplest method while producing the best results.
My first batch was made using the oven method shared at Our Big Earth. I then made a second batch using the stove top method I saw at Homemade by Jill.
HOW TO MAKE MOLDED CRAYONS USING THE OVEN METHOD
SUPPLIES: 1. Crayons 2. Molded baking tray
Both methods begin the same way. Either gather up all those broken bits of crayon lying around the kids’ art corner, or use new crayons. Remove the wrappers.
Some great fine motor skills practise happening here! R really enjoyed helping out with this step. I think he found it rather relaxing which suited me just fine as unwrapping crayons makes me a little crazy! Next, break the crayons into smaller pieces. I used a knife to cut the crayons into pieces about the size of a large pea.
In hindsight, it really wasn’t necessary to make the pieces so small and uniform in size. Just use common sense and break the crayon pieces to an appropriate size to fit the mold you are using. If you’re using a large shaped mold then the crayon peices can be larger. If your mold shapes are small, then make the crayon pieces smaller. Another tip, if you don’t make your pieces all the same size, then larger pieces will take longer to melt. Just make sure you keep your crayons in the oven long enough so that they have melted completely.
Transfer the crayon pieces into your baking tray. You want to be fairly generous here so that when the crayons melt, they fill the mold to almost full capacity. I wanted to create a marbled effect for these crayons so I mixed different colored pieces together in the molds.
Bake in the oven at 120 degrees celsius (250 F) for about 15 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the liquid to cool and set completely before removing them from the mold. This is how ours turned out. Pretty aren’t they?
HOW TO MAKE MOLDED CRAYONS USING THE STOVE TOP METHOD
SUPPLIES: 1. Crayons 2. Molded baking tray, chocolate mold or ice cube tray 3.An empty tin can 4. Saucepan 5. Water 6. A tool for stirring such as a bamboo skewer or popsicle stick. (You can use cooking utensils but be prepared for a heavy clean up job afterwards)
This time I used ice cube molds that I picked up recently from IKEA for a sweet 99 cents each!
Gather your crayons and break into smaller pieces as outlined in the oven method. Bring some water to the boil on the stove and then reduce it to a simmer. Put your crayon pieces inside the empty tin can and then carefully put the can into the simmering water as shown below.
Gently stir the crayons until they have melted completely, then remove the can and pour the mixture into your molds. The tin can will be HOT so use an oven mit!!
Leave the crayons to cool and set. Remove them from the mold and you’re done!
Both of these methods were pretty fast and easy. The oven method produced glossier looking crayons but this actually made them less vibrant on paper. When he tried these out, R had to press really hard to create any color on paper from them. The stove top crayons however were as vibrant as ever on paper.
Another advantage of the stove top method is that there are more options for molds. Oven trays tend to be large shapes for cupcakes and muffins which means you’ll be producing huge crayons. Additionally, if you want to buy a spefic shaped mold for a themed party for example, baking trays can be expensive. On the other hand, for the stove top method, you can use ice cube trays or chocolate molds which have smaller shapes (better for little hands to use) and these types of molds tend to be much less expensive than baking trays.
These were so much fun to create and they’ll make great favors for R’s 4th birthday party. Now, to find some jungle themed molds…..
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