I was searching online for something crafty to do with the kids for Valentine's Day. I came across this crayon heart project at Disney's Family Fun website.
First step was to find something heart shaped we could melt our old crayons in. I found a mini heart shaped muffin tin on ebay for about $10 including S&H. It showed up on Monday, which was perfect because DD1 had the day off from school for Lincoln's Birthday.
We gathered up old crayons and the grrls started peeling the papers off the crayons, while I cut some off with a box cutter. I later read in the project comments that you could soak the crayons to get the paper off easier.
While peeling the crayons, we preheated our oven to 250 degrees farenheit.
We broke the bigger pieces of the crayons up and put them into the heart shaped compartments. We used all kinds of crayons and any colors. DD1 decided she would color scheme some and created special masterpieces for her personal collection.
When we filled up our first batch we put them in the oven for about 10 minutes. When it was time to pull the tray out I realized that this may be a task. Hot melted wax and goofy big oven mitts, not really a precise grab. If I was one for reading directions I would have noticed that the original site suggested putting the tray on top of a cookie sheet. Even so, we escaped any catastrophes that could have happened with the first batch.
I noticed the colors were not chunky like the example pictures on the site. They were more like tie dye swirls. It could have been the cheap wax from some of the restaraunt and off brand crayons or that we heated them too long, but the end result was beautiful.
We made three batches, totally 36 crayons for DD1s class. Since, they are not celebrating Valentine's Day in class we are leaving off the paper portion of the craft. Instead, she will be sharing heart crayons with her class and possibly inspiring others to re-use their old crayons.
The muffin tin will most likely only be used for melting wax in. Even with the cookie tray to help stabilize, we spilled some wax. Also, if you leave the wax in the oven for more than 10 minutes, clear wax may separate and create an opaque layer on what would be the bottom of the crayon. It also could have had something to do with the glitter crayons that were in this batch. Only more experimentation will tell.
I suggest trying out this project in your home. We had some great variations with glitter crayons, I could see us trying out other variables, temperature, and timing. It also offers a chance to discuss convection currents as you can see the waxy colors rising and falling once you remove them from the oven.