By Donna Erickson
Signal Contributing Editor
When it comes to the annual back-to-school supply list for young students, crayons are still at the top. It’s no secret that kids love new boxes full of colorful crayons with sharp points, but what about last year’s stash? There’s no reason to throw out those worn-down stubs from school and a summer of coloring and art projects.
Instead of tossing them in the trash, collect them in a box and get going with this repurposing activity that turns old crayons into new shapes. You and your kids can make creative “designer” crayons — perfect for fall art activities or favors at your child’s next birthday party.
There are numerous techniques I’ve used over the years, including melting crayons in jars and pouring the liquid into plastic molds. But this year, I’ve landed on a simple, no-mess approach: melt crayon pieces in a silicone mold in the oven.
There are different sizes and shapes of molds available to inspire you, such as fall leaves, animals and silly characters. Or, go basic like I did with a standard silicone ice-cube tray, which formed easy-to-handle chunky crayon squares.
Here’s the stuff you need:
crayon stubs in your favorite colors
silicone muffin, candy or ice mold available at craft and discount stores and online in seasonal and geometric shapes
Here’s the fun:
Remove the paper wrapper from crayons. Let kids break them into pieces and sort into stacks according to colors.
Heat oven to 275 F. Pile the pieces according to color in the sections of the silicon mold. Toss in a piece in a contrasting color for a marbleized effect, if you wish.
Place mold on a baking pan for easy handling. An adult should set it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until crayons are completely melted. Check occasionally.
Remove and cool melted crayons until completely solid, about an hour. To hasten the process, put the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes. Pop newly shaped crayons out of the mold.
Try out a new crayon on a piece of paper and you’ll discover that it really works.
If you still have extra crayons in the sorted piles, make another batch and enjoy sharing the remade crayons with family and friends.
Note nce you melt crayons in the silicone mold, plan on using it for nonedible crafts only.
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”
© 2020 Donna Erickson
Distributed by King Features Synd.