Recycling Broken Crayons

Around our house we have tons of broken, tiny crayon pieces. Between kids, school, and small groups, our DSCN2610crayon needs seem to be never-ending. As we were cleaning up the playroom one afternoon I decided to go through all the crayons (we literally have buckets-full!) and throw away all the broken bits. Then my frugal brain kicked in and we decided it was a waste to throw what amounted to a huge pile of crayons away. I put the kids to work sorting crayons by color and then we decided to melt down and reform the crayon bits into something that was once again useable.

You can sort crayons by color or just make a mix of colors in one shape but here are the basics to once again get useable crayons from broken bits.

  • Pre-heat your oven to 275°F.
  • Line muffin tin (or any small shaped pan) with liners. This step isn’t necessary but will keep any of the crayon dyes from staining your pans.
  • Fill muffin cups with crayons up to about 3/4 full. The actual size of the new crayon will be less. Try to make the tins equally filled to allow for the same cooking times.
  • Bake for 10-20 minutes until all crayons are liquified. Time will vary depending on the size and content of your crayons.
  • Let the crayons cool in the pan 1-2 hours until they are solidified.
  • The crayons should drop right out of an inverted pan thanks to the wax in them.

 

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4 thoughts on “Recycling Broken Crayons

  1. Shouldn’t it be shaped into a crayon shape while soft so that it can be used to fill in between the lines in a coloring book easier?

    • You can do that when it is at the semi-solid state, if you choose, though without a mold they will only old shape if you catch them at the right temperature and consistency. I had no desire to sit around watching crayons harden to make sure I caught them at the right time. We left ours round and they work just fine. These are mostly used when the kids are doing free drawing and doodling. After coloring for a bit, my older daughters (11 & 9) figured out all kinds of neat things to do with the round crayons, using them to make artwork base solely on circles, that was harder to do with small, long crayons. I wouldn’t suggest using these round crayons as your only crayons, but they make a great addition and use up all the little pieces.

    • But that adds cost. It would be cheaper to just pitch the old crayons and buy new crayons than getting the crayon maker. I think the next batch we will try in various shaped molds we have – like shaped ice cubes. But my kids seem to have no problem with the round discs.

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