Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crafting Custom Christmas Crayons

(Again, with the alliteration!  I can't help myself!)

This weekend, I'm participating in an online "craft-a-long" with Trish over at Genuine Mudpie!  She thought it would be fun to get together and "craft-a-long", however many of us are separated by some serious geography!  Did I mention she's in Canada and I'm in the Midwest U.S.  See?!  Serious geography.

So ... everyone, let's "craft-a-long"!

Awhile back I found this blog post about (re)making crayons!  I "pinned it" over on Pinterest thinking it would be a great Christmas project to make for any kiddos I know.  The original steps can be found on the above link, but I will give you a few additional tips.

First off, grab a craft knife -- it's the fastest way to get all those paper labels off of 96 crayons.  Seriously.  Beats peeling them off with your fingernail.  Just slice gently down the length of the wrapper, and they peel right off!  I used Coke cans instead of tin cans because someone here (not me*) drinks a lot of Coke.  We seldom use canned goods as we buy fresh produce and such.  HOWEVER, the aluminium cans present a few ... erm ... issues.  We'll discuss momentarily.

I sorted my crayons into like colors for mixing.  Then broke them up and melted them in batches, from lights to dark.  That way I could re-use cans!  Sneaky, eh?  So here are the light purples melting together.

Why do I have so many cans in the pot?  Aluminium cans float in water.  Like a lot.  And then they tip over.  In the water.  Like a lot.  The other cans are filler to keep them from tipping.  And I could melt multiple batches at one time.  Here's me pouring some melted crayons into a mold.

The beautiful thing about the aluminium cans?  You can squeeze them to make a bit of a spout!  Helpful!  And yes, this is actually me pouring.  Aluminium cools to the touch fairly quickly.  I did have Chris' assistance plucking them from the hot water.  I'm a bit delicate (i.e. whiny) and he has asbestos hands from working in the kitchen all day.  He helped with this a lot more than I intended.  He's nice like that.  (I love it when he gets all crafty with me!)

Anyway, a bit of an aside ... did you know candy molds are CHEAP?!  Like less than $2 each!!!  I got a little crazy with the shapes.  I have 3 - 4 more molds that you won't see today.  BUT you will see soon.  I need to make more crayons before Christmas.  Didn't really get as many as I wanted from the box of 96 crayons.

There are leaves.



And toy soldiers!

I will also warn you that the crayons are much lighter when they're in liquid form than when they dry.  Like quite a bit.  So I'll be making more crayons.  I need more anyway, but I want to shoot for some lighter colors to mix in with these.  Some of them were darker than I intended.

Here are some additional shots of the crayons ... just for fun!

I really wish you could see the dark blues and purples.  There were some metallic crayons mixed in the original box and they turned out really cool in the darker colors.  They just didn't photograph real well.

But this was not a difficult project.  Would make a great way to re-make all those broken crayons kids seem to accumulate.  You know, the ones they don't want to use anymore because they're not "new" and don't look pretty anymore?  Oh wait.  Maybe that was just me ...

Anyway, thanks to Trish for bringing all of us together to share a craft ... even from miles and miles (and miles!) away.

* Oops!  Forgot about my footnote ... I don't drink Coke.  I'm a Dr. Pepper girl, just FYI.

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