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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Valentine Crayons

We have another Throwback Post for you featuring one of our earliest posts. In 2012, melted crayon everything was all over Pinterest. It's still there, just not as popular as it was at that point in time. We had crayon art submissions of every shape and color and GCT level. I thought for today I'd pull up one that has to do with Valentines Day, as that's just right around the corner. 

The Throwback
The submitter tried to make this: 
and ended up with this instead:
Now, on to today's submission from Alicia. 

The Original Pin
Cute little heart crayons to send to school for Valentines Day. 

Alicia says: "I decided to try the heart-shaped crayons for my daughter's preschool Valentine's class gift. Great idea, right? Cute, useful, and doesn't come with a corresponding blood sugar surge and win."

"I found the Gail Made pin. It looked like a breeze. I ordered the heart-shaped Wilton mold off of Amazon prime, bought a Crayola 64 pack, and sat down to start peeling. I remembered the paper wrappers on crayons being a whole lot easier to remove. We always had a ton of naked crayons floating around. Didn't everyone? Well, they must have improved the glue recipe since 1990. Those buggers didn't want to come off. We finally resorted to cutting the paper longways, then peeling the paper off in pieces."

"I placed all my pieces of crayon in the mold, heated up my oven to 200, and covered the crayons with a layer of water as stated in the directions. I watched closely. After 10 minutes, nothing. My crayons were happily enjoying their lukewarm bath. So, I bumped up the temp. 10 minutes at 225 and we had the beginning of meltage. 250 would be even better then, right? After about 5 minutes, the crayons were melted, but then disaster struck."

The Pinstrosity

"I assumed that the water would evaporate. Instead, the melted wax did what it always does when mixed with water...float. I had colors floating out of their molds and visiting their neighbors. Colors flowing out over the sides and onto the cookie sheet. Floating wax all over the place."

"I tried to soak up the water with paper towels. That just made it worse. I tried pouring off the water. That made it WAY worse. Sigh...I think we'll just stick with message candy hearts."

I'm not exactly sure what the point of the water is as water and wax do not mix well, and the wax will float. Perhaps eventually all the wax is supposed to float so that the water is on the bottom making it easier to pop these out of their little homes? In the original pin it looks like there is just a thin layer of water on the wax. Perhaps just a nice mist of water from a spray bottle? As Alicia found out, you don't want to drown the crayons, or even just let the go wading. A fine mist should do the trick if you even use any water at all. Perhaps next time just spray Pam on the molds before hand? Would that work? Hmmmm....


  1. Bummer!!!!! I agree about the paper being really hard to remove, as I made some of these melted crayons a couple of years ago. Except I used a muffin tin and paper liners with my crayons, and I didn't use water. I couldn't find heart shaped molds. They came out OK....not exactly something I would use and I couldn't find anyone to give them to, not even a preschool. So I kept the best one and tossed out the others.

  2. Yes, Pam works. :) Also, I heat my crayon mold double boiler style on the stove top where it's easier to keep a close eye on it.

  3. I've actually done something similar to this a number of years ago. LOOOOONG before Pinterest. I had read (in a magazine, of all places!) about making "new" crayon colors by combining old, used crayons. Nothing about water, or covering it with anything, or even spraying Pam into the mold. I just used an old fashioned tin muffin pan (much bigger than you might want). Of course, being tin (and non-bendable) it didn't just pop out, I had to work at it. Still, with today's mold/pans, it might be fine just letting them melt, cool, and pop out (but be ready for it to not work... try and learn, eh?) Oh, and, instead of upping the temp, just make sure you have plenty of time to let them slowly melt at the recommended oven temp.

  4. I make these all the time, I teach kindergarten, and it is what I do with all the broken crayons we end up having. I only use a silicone mold, and I have never needed water! They pop right out! I wouldn't fill them TOO full or you will get spillage, too. I have molds and cookie sheets to set them on specifically set aside for crayon making, because once you get crayon gunk on them, it's not good for cooking, really. I usually put mine at 300 degrees, and just keep an eye on them. When they are melted, I pull them out to cool. I peel all my crayons, but you can cut them with an exacto knife, or let them soak in hot water, too. Hope that helps!

  5. Shouldn't the water bath only cover the bottom of the pan? It shouldn't mix with the actual thing you cook.

  6. I made these in the years before Pinterest existed (I found the idea in a kids' crafting magazine that I still have somewhere). There was no water involved, regular tins were used (because there were no directions about the tins), and when they were done, they went into the freezer so I could pop them out. They worked pretty well, actually. A couple of them broke when I tried to remove them from the tins but, overall, it was fine. I wanted to do something with all the teeny crayon bits we had in our crayon bucket at work (daycare). The kids loved them and that's all that's important :)

  7. This is a simple problem with the instructions:

    "Next I put the molds on an old baking tray, poured a layer of water on it..."

    "It" here is the baking tray, not the molds with the crayons in them! Definitely an issue that the blogger would do well to clear up.

  8. I think the problem here was that the water in the blog wasn't put over the crayons, but rather, in the baking tray, like you would do a water bath with a custard. I'm pretty sure that's where Alicia's error was at.

    But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I know I've got this same thing pinned, just waiting for my kids to use up enough crayons to have some bits to melt together.

  9. I am pretty sure she just misinterpreted the directions on the original blog, which are "Next I put the molds on an old baking tray, poured a layer of water on it" - the water was supposed to be on the baking tray, not in the molds with the wax. It's sort of made clear in the comments for the original blog when she states that she wasn't sure her molds were silicone, which is why she used the water bath.

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  11. If only the original directions were a little clearer! From the Gail Made blog: "Next I put the molds on an old baking tray, poured a layer of water on IT and stuck them in a low oven" (emphasis mine). Here IT refers to the baking sheet and not the crayons in the mold! They use a water bath to gently heat their cheap molds.

  12. Oops! If you read the original pin, the water is to go on the baking tray under the molds, probably to assure a more even melt.

  13. Oh my! Did anyone else ever have one of those Crayon Makers Crayola made maybe... 10 years ago? I got one for Christmas, and it never worked right!

  14. I've made these several times, too. I used the heart-shaped $1.00 ice molds from Target. Cooking low on 200 - it takes a while but once they start to melt, they finish quick. The only water is outside the mold, inside the pan - just in case. Even Gail's website says "Next I put the molds on an old baking tray, poured a layer of water on it" - IT, the baking tray, not the molds! The water bath protects the molds from melting in the oven since they are ice molds, not baking molds.

  15. And no spray needed. Don't overfill the molds and they pop out easily from the silicone.

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  17. I did these and they turned out great! No water, at 200 degrees. It took awhile, but it was worth it.

  18. I haven't done this exact version of repurposed crayons, but baking spray shouldn't be necessary.

    The ones I did involved using a thrift store mug (so I wouldn't get crayon all over one of our good drinking mugs) to microwave crayon bits, then pour them into plastic chocolate molds from the craft store. Set them up in the freezer and they pop right out, no hassle and no breaking involved.

    If the baked rainbow crayons don't come out of the silicone mold right away, a 10-minute (or possibly even less) stint in the freezer ought to do the trick.

  19. I made these for all of my pre-k and kinder students. I had a lot of leftover crayon peices from last school year. Removing the paper was by far the worst part do I got an exacto knife and resigned to just having sliced up fingers.
    My silicone pan fell apart halfway through and I replaced it with a 12 slot teflon pan whoch was much better. I also made the mistake of setting the pan in the freezer before ot had completely cooled, which led to a lot of cracked crayons. Now that i have ot mastered I okan to do it again mext year

  20. I have done this outside before. You need a stretch of super hot days in mid summer, where it gets to 90/100 for a day or two. I took a bunch of broken crayons, put them in mini cupcake pans, and let them sit outside. Best to do when it's about 11:30/12, and let them bake a couple of hours. It worked well. It doesn't help in February, I know, but for anyone who would like to attempt it outside, it truly does work.


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