Crayons are a necessary craft supply in many children's lives, but crayons tend to break easily. The broken pieces are quickly tossed aside by the children in favor of attractive new crayons that aren't "defective." Rather than letting ignored, unloved crayons wind up ground into the carpeting, keeping company with the dust bunnies in your home, use shavings from these bits and broken pieces of colored wax to make candles.
Items you will need
- Double boiler
- Canning jar rim
- Paraffin wax
- Clean, empty, metal coffee can
- Metal grater
- Medium-sized bowl
- Heavy oven mitts
- Stick or paint stirrer
- Candlewicks with metal bases, cut to 1/2 inch shorter than the jar heights
- Clean empty baby food or other small glass jars
- Metal tongs
- Twist ties
Take off all paper from around the broken crayons and separate the colors into piles.
Add 4 to 5 inches of water to a double boiler. Drop a canning jar rim into the bottom of the double boiler. Turn the stove burner on medium-high heat.
Cut the paraffin into chunks with a sharp knife. Drop the chunks into the coffee can until it is almost full.
Set the metal coffee can on top of the canning jar rim so it doesn't touch the bottom of the double boiler.
Watch the paraffin wax and add additional chunks once it melts so that the container is approximately two-thirds full.
Grate the crayons that you are using into a medium-sized bowl until you have about 1 cup of the crayon shavings. The more shavings you use, the deeper the color of the candles.
Slip on heavy oven mitts to protect your hands from the hot wax. Drop about half the crayon shavings into the hot paraffin. Stir the mixture with a stick or a paint stirrer. Add more of the crayon shavings until the wax reaches the color you desire.
Turn off the stove burner once the color is incorporated well in the melted wax. Allow the colored wax to cool for about 10 minutes.
Turn the hot water faucet on, and when the water is very warm, allow the water to heat the outsides -- not the insides -- of each glass jar. This prevents your jars from cracking or breaking once you pour in the hot paraffin.
Grip a wick with a pair of metal tongs and dip the metal base into the hot paraffin. Immediately stick the metal base in the bottom center of the jar and hold it in place about 10 to 30 seconds while the wax hardens. Repeat this with all your jars.
Bend two twist ties over the top of each of the candle jar so they form an "X" shape. Position the wick in the middle of the "X" so that the twist ties hold the wick in the center of the jar.
Pour the hot wax into one side of the jar so that it does not bend the wick. Stop pouring once there is about 1/2 inch of the wick standing. Allow the candle to cool thoroughly before handling.
Tips & Warnings
- Mix colors if you so desire. For instance, pastel colors work well together to make an Easter-themed candle or red and green are a wise choice for a Christmas candle.
- Add a different colored, thin layer to the top of the candle by sprinkling it with another color of crayon shavings. The hot wax causes the crayons to melt. You can also sprinkle a variety of colors on top to add a multi-colored layer.
- To build your candles in layers, heat a smaller amount of paraffin and crayons and pour one layer into the jar. Allow the candle to cool completely. Heat up more paraffin for subsequent colors of crayon shavings.
- Candle wax gets very hot. Only an adult should handle the hot wax. Do not allow children near the boiling water or hot wax.
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