It’s been a couple of months now since I have done one of my thrift store remakes. This one goes way back to a day I bought a giant bag of crayons for $1. It was close to October so I figured they would go great tied to a piece of candy to give out to the trick or treaters. We ended up giving out over a hundred pieces of candy and I was still left with a lot of crayons. I even had some old crayons from a class I taught.
I watched a tutorial on candles on YouTube university (what I call it) months earlier and thought why not try my hand at crayon candle making. I feel a craft failure coming up, so this might end up being a “nailed it” moment. Finally time to share some real world stuff. Sometime photos and post can be very misleading. Very beautiful on the outside but what a mess it took to get to that side…so here it goes, my first attempt at making crayon candles.
First get a bunch of crayons and unwrap them. Removing labels can be done with an x-acto knife or just soak them. If you are soaking to remove them have your children help you with this part. I am sure it isn’t necessary to tell you that children should not have access to an x-acto knife, but just in case…please don’t have your kids remove labels with sharp instruments. Also, this is a craft that involves very hot wax, so for this craft the kids can help with some stuff but other things they will have to watch for entertainment.
Next, use baking paper cups for all the colors you will be melting.
Then start breaking up your crayon pieces (another kid project).
If you really want to keep your little ones busy, then have them sharpen crayon shavings into the cups before you melt them. It will keep them busy during those stuck inside days.
I have a toaster over I bought used, also for a dollar and use it for all my craft projects that require baking. I usually bake outside because some of the clays I use might give off toxins. I only bake tiny objects and not very often. If you do work in medias that require baking please try to do it outside and don’t use dishes or even your oven you cook in. Try to keep the edible area away from your art area, just in case something is toxic. I like to be extra careful. With wax though I ended up going back and forth with my oven and the outside oven.
I baked my crayons at 250F and once melted I removed from oven.
We had some problems at first when I was using my little oven outside and it shut itself off. I thought the poor little oven had finally died because I have had it for years. Who knows how old it was when I bought it used. I just figured it was through. Then my husband took it inside and tried it and everything worked. He told me it was the extension cord that was defective. He had the oven on a really high temp. I didn’t realize he was finishing my baking project until I started to smell smoke. It was the wick that started burning. The oven was on 400F but I got to it in time to shut it down. This crayon project was starting to get dangerous.
So I decided to switch to the microwave, which was a much slower process. First I started with 20 seconds, then 30 seconds, to finally cranking it up to 3 whole minutes before I started seeing something melt. Between each melt I stirred the crayons with a skewer.
Although the microwave took much longer, it poured a lot easier into the glass containers. Make sure to have your wick ready to hang over your container before you pour. I didn’t have the wicks that you sit in the bottom that are already attached to a base. I did not want to head out to the store to buy another craft item and my husband had a giant roll of wicks, so I used his.
After you have finished pouring all your colors in you can trim the wick from the wire.
Things to know before you start pouring and melting.
- Make sure you use baking cups. The temps get pretty hot. I used baking cups that said you can use for temps up to 400F and they still ended up burning a little at the bottom. Also use tongs when removing cups and be careful not to over heat your microwave.
- Measure out your wick and have it ready before you start melting.
2. Have several mixing sticks ready to stir with.
- You can add a few drops of scented oils to your candles when crayons have melted. Add drops throughout the different layers and colors.
I thought this was a great project to work on because I needed large candles for our little red house up north. There are more storms up north so the electricity goes out now and then. I am short on the larger candles but have several boxes of half empty birthday candles that I have never gotten around to condensing to one box. One day my daughter was going through our junk drawer and discovered them “Mom why do we have so many birthday candles?” she asked and I just shrugged and said “ In case the electricity goes out…you never know”. She thought that was so funny. I just didn’t know how to tell her that all those boxes represent all my kids birthdays over the years and I am super sentimental so I never got rid of them. I have to go through that junk drawer one of these days and touch every single object (remember that craft expert suggested doing this). Which means every candle, screw, staple, thumbtack, twisty tie, old battery, empty matchbooks, pennies and oodles of paper clips and safety pins. Got of love those junk drawers.
Now for the real world dirt on this dollar day project, which is not like my normal upcycling projects. This crayon idea is already out there. Well, later that night I lit those beautiful and colorful candles up. I was very proud of my creations. Then something horrible happened…those candles didn’t work. They only burned for a few seconds.
I already had a crazy day of over heating the microwave. The toaster oven didn’t work at first and I forgot to mention I spilled green crayon wax all over my husbands super large professional microwave/toaster oven. Plus the toaster oven melted the wax too hot one time and that is why some of my candle layers are blended. It got a little messy towards the end. But you wouldn’t know that from the beautiful photos at the start of this post. It used to be fashion magazines they used to warn us all to stay away from, too much pressure to live up to that kind of perfect beauty. Now we have social media to live up to and all the perfection that comes with it. So here are a couple of shots of the mess I created, but hey, it was still tons of fun.
Remember this was my first and apparently going to be my last attempt at making crayon candles. After going through all those mishaps the candles ended up not working. Oh well, I came up with the perfect solution. I went junking through that junk drawer and got what I needed and here it is my “Nailed it moment”
You know, I actually did use a nail to get that birthday candle in. So skip these crayon candles, the color pigments clog up the wicks and make it impossible to burn. Yep, I Googled “What the heck happened, my crayon candles won’t burn” and a bunch of articles came up explaining what went wrong. Instead of making these beautiful candles get one of those Michaels half off coupons and buy a bunch of wax and wicks and do it the normal way. Or better yet let someone else make a beautiful candle for you. Restless roots makes some beautiful candles, I remember this post a couple months back. For me, I am sticking with my normal dollar day projects like this little lamp, can’t wait to “Cheri it up” as my family likes to say.