If you have kids or ever were a kid (hi, yes, that’s all of you) and are at all craft-inclined, there’s a good chance you have a secret stash of crayons in various states of disrepair hidden somewhere in your house. Maybe they’ve been stepped on or melted, or maybe coloring just isn’t something you or your kids do very often. It can be tempting to just toss them out, but we have a better idea: Reincarnate them with this craft.
It’s easy (and, you know, good for the planet) to repurpose your crayons into super-fun shapes; all it takes is a $1 ice cube mold from Ikea. This DIY is a huge hit with kids, and it’s a great opportunity to breathe new life into all those misfit crayons. Plus, it’s super-inexpensive to do.
Here’s how to get started.
- Flexible molds/ice cube trays
- X-Acto knife
- Cookie sheet
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Next, peel the paper wrappers from each crayon. Running the blade of an X-Acto knife down the length of the wrapper will help this step go quickly.
Break the crayons into pieces. Smaller bits will melt more quickly in the oven and will therefore have less time to run and bleed into neighboring colors. Use a kitchen knife to cut pieces down to about 1/2 inch.
Fill molds with crayon pieces. I wanted my crayons to have an ombré look, so I grouped similar colors together, graduating from dark to light, but rainbow crayons would be fun too.
Make sure to just slightly overfill each mold, as the crayons will melt down and take up less space.
Place the molds on a cookie sheet and bake them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the crayons are completely melted.
Very carefully, so as to not spill any melted crayon, remove the cookie sheet from the oven.
As the crayons cool, they will harden. To speed up the process, transfer the molds into the freezer after the crayons firm up.
After about 30 minutes, remove the molds from the freezer. If the bottoms of the mold are cool, you can release the crayons from the mold by first gently pulling and stretching the molds to loosen up the crayons and then pushing each crayon up and out from the bottom. If the molds are still warm to the touch, return them to the freezer and check again in 10 minutes.
A version of this article was originally published in December 2012.