If you have children in your home, chances are you have an abundance of worn down crayons that don’t get used much anymore. Before throwing them out, consider saving them as emergency supplies for your candle making. This can be a great way to turn them into something new and bright again or even to save your project when you’re in a pinch.
Before you get started, if you’re doing this project with children, make sure to teach them the proper safety procedures. Since the crayons have to be melted at very high temperatures, they won’t be able to participate in that portion of the candle making process. To start, gather your supplies. In addition to the crayons, you will need a wax carton. If you don’t have one handy, you can easily use a recycled milk, orange juice, or fabric softener container. You will also need paraffin wax, two full ice cube trays, a double boiler, and white packing string. If you don’t want to use your double boiler for this, an old coffee can and a saucepan will work just as well.
Trim the top off of the wax carton, leaving it approximately six inches high. You will want to cut the string at least eight inches long. You will later cut the wick to fit the holder. To ensure a wick that burns easier, take three pieces and braid them together. Use smaller pieces of string to tie the ends together. The holders for your candles can be anything as long as they are non-flammable. Pretty vases, glasses, and jars work nicely.
Melt about three pounds of paraffin wax in your double boiler or coffee can. (Pro tip: cut the wax into small chunks to help it melt faster.) The melting process with take about fifteen to twenty minutes. While the wax is melting, peel the papers off of the old crayons. You can seperate the crayons by color if you like (similar colors meld well together while bolder shades make for a more unique color combination), but if the candles are simply for utilitarian purposes, just skip this step and throw them all together.
For best results, only add the crayons to the wax after it has completely melted. After the crayons and wax have both melted together, immediately remove the mixture from the stove and pour into your candle holders. If you would like to make scented candles try adding a splash of cinnamon or vanilla to your hot wax mixture.
It is important that the candles by left alone to harden completely. Make sure you have an area where the candles can be left undisturbed. It is also important to make sure small children can’t reach them; the wax will stay hot for several hours and can scold the skin.
So whether you’re planning a fun afternoon with the kids or you need an emergency light source and you’re short on supplies, give the crayon method a try; you won’t be disappointing.