By Donna Erickson
Signal Contributing Writer
If broken and worn-down crayons are showing up in drawers, backpacks, art-supply tubs and even the car, don’t throw them out! Instead, collect them all in a box and recycle them into fun Valentine art for the heart.
You and your school-age kids can mold some clever designs when you melt down the old and create new, attractive and useful heart-shaped crayons — perfect for tucking into classroom valentine envelopes for something extra, or for eye-catching toppers on wrapped-up valentine gifts.
Remove the paper wrapper from crayons in your favorite Valentine’s Day colors such as shades of red and pink. Let the kids break the crayons into pieces and put them into piles according to the colors.
Put the pieces, according to color, in small, heat resistant glass jars, such as empty baby-food jars.
With adult help, fit a small rack inside a saucepan, and place the jars on the rack. Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover 1/2 inch of the jars. Heat the water until the crayons melt. Keep an eye on them at all times.
An adult should carefully pour the melted wax into a plastic candy mold tray (available at craft and kitchen-supply stores in a variety of heart shapes. You might even find X’s and O’s). Or, use ice-cube trays that come in heart shapes.
The wax will harden quickly and pop out of the mold easily. You could put the tray in the freezer, or outdoors if you live in a cold climate, for a few minutes to speed up the process.
For added effect, pour a contrasting color into the mold after the first layer of wax has hardened. This will produce a two-tone crayon.
Now, try out a new crayon heart on a piece of paper and discover that it really works. Make multiples and share them with family and friends for Valentine’s Day.
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 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.