Are you a crafty diva? Do you make weekly trips to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby? Is your glue gun one of your most prized possessions? No? Well, thank goodness I am not alone! If you are like me, you cringe at the term “DIY”. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to reupholster my own furniture, but honestly, I would rather leave it to the professional than beat myself up over my complete lack of skills. I used to be able to get away with not being “crafty” and then Pinterest came along.
Oh, Pinterest, how I love to hate you. With your endless array of incredibly adorable toddler friendly crafts; executed by perfectly polished moms and their beaming offspring. Pinterest, you have made me forget how deft I am at all things do-it-yourself and attempt projects I otherwise would have given my right arm to avoid.
Case in point: The Homemade Classroom Valentine Experiment of 2014.
My darling daughter attends a wonderful preschool with fantastic teachers and sweet children who have become her first friends. At Christmas, darling daughter was sent home with a bag of homemade gifts that must have taken weeks to make. Her teachers truly outdid themselves and I was left bawling like a baby at the thoughtfulness. And let’s face it, anyone who puts forth the effort to entice ten children under two to complete a craft is worthy of all the awards.
If these preschool teachers can get a gaggle of twisty toddlers to make thumbprint ornaments, surely I could make some homemade Valentines for my daughter’s class. With my newly found confidence and a few too many cups of coffee, I turned to trusty old Pinterest and searched for “kids valentines without candy”. Simple enough right? Once again, I was sucked into the black hole that is Pinterest and spent a few hours flipping through every pin imaginable convincing myself that I too could create my own non-toxic play-doh and OMG they would look so darn cute in mason jars! Oh look, I can create my own label and I definitely need that red bakers twine to tie it all together!
While I was knee-deep in play-doh dreaming, Catherine told me a mutual friend was giving away a silicone heart mold she used to make homemade crayons for her son’s classroom. Was it kismet? A Valentine miracle perhaps? Surely homemade recycled crayons would be just as easy as play-doh and it wouldn’t even require me to run by the craft store for twine or mason jars. A day later I had the mold in hand and got to work turning my daughter’s broken crayons into beautiful multi-colored works of art.
And y’all, it could not have been easier. I am obsessed with making crayons now. I have ordered more molds (from Amazon) and plan on making them as party favors for darling daughter’s birthday next month. Here are the instructions I followed with a few tweaks:
- Broken crayons in a variety of colors
- Mold of some sort (muffin tin, silicone mold, candy mold)
First you take the broken crayons and peel off the paper. This part can be time consuming. It is a great job for your kids to participate in. Tiny tots may have trouble, so I suggest you have a parent slice through the paper with a knife to get things started. Then break or cut your crayons into 1/2 inch pieces.
Put a pile of the broken crayons into a mold. I used a silicone heart shaped mold and filled it a little more than half way up.
Stick the filled mold into a 250 degree preheated oven until the crayons melt, about 10-12 minutes. Once melted, take the mold out of the oven and let it cool on the counter. If there are any large air bubbles you want to pop them before the crayons set. You can also stick the molds in the freezer to cool faster. Once they are completely cool turn the mold over and they will pop right out.
Voila! You have just made homemade recycled crayons. Impressive, right? I packaged them in cute Valentine themed baggies and attached a free printable card my pal Sherri found on that site I previously mentioned loathing 😉
Pinterest, I guess I’ll keep you.