Friday, April 22, 2011
Melting Experiment: Molded Crayons
It has been a rainy week here in the Midwest which means lots of energy has been flowing through our house. We decided to make some molded crayons in spring shapes. My mom did this project with me as a kid. As a kid we did the project as an art project, but I decided to use this opportunity to teach Little BBQ about melting. Melting is simply changing a solid to a liquid by using heat. This leads to a discussion about what is solid and what is liquid? We ran around the house and found examples of both solids and liquids.
To get the pretty spring molded shapes we use a candy mold. The crayons were all broken already peeled crayons, so this was a frugal rainy day activity. We heated the broken crayons in the microwave. We sorted the crayons into different containers for each color. It took about 4 minutes to melt the crayons in the microwave. Using oven mitts Little BBQ poured the liquid crayons into the molds. The first time we melted the wax in the microwave we made the wax too hot and melted part of the mold, so you want to take crayons out of the microwave as soon as they become liquid so you can preserve your candy mold for later use. Once the crayons were dry we flipped the mold over and the crayons fell out. Little BBQ went a little nuts pouring the wax on top of the mold and over filled some of the molds, so we broke off the excess crayon after we took the crayons out of the mold. You can remelt the excess crayon again. To clean out the dishes that you melt the crayon inside, microwave the dish for about 30 seconds and wipe away the warm wax with a paper towel (I did this part).
This was a fun project that we all enjoyed. Miss Bubbles enjoys coloring with the large butterflies because they fit into her hand easily. Little BBQ thought that they were pretty. I think we will do this project again when we accumulate more broken crayons.
broken crayons with papers removed
microwave safe bowls
1. Sort the broken crayons by color. Place the different colors in a different bowl.
2. Microwave the crayons until just melted, about 4 minutes on high.
3. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the melted wax from the microwave.
4. Pour the wax over the mold. You can add several different colors to the mold.
5. Allow the wax to cool.
6. Turn over the mold and pop out the new crayons. Any excess wax can be trimmed and remelted.