If you could have only seen us yesterday with this shell crayon project going on in the house, it would have amused you. We had crayons melting on the stove, Johanna and I were peeling more crayons in the dining room and running them back into the kitchen, we were pouring warmed wax into our mold all while pacifying Rowan who was frustrated in the other room, standing at a chair with on one to entertain him.
In the end we love how our multi-colored shell crayons turned out. They are one little part (the homemade part) of Johanna’s mermaid party favors she’s giving to her little friends next week.
We’ve made crayons plenty of times before but always in oven-safe molds or muffin tins and such. I had to come up with a way to melt the wax crayons to pour into a candy mold and not melt the plastic mold. (In other words, not use the oven.) This is what we came up with that works great! You can use any plastic candy molds to make your own little crayons. And multi-colored crayons just means they turn your themed-crayon into something truly realistic.
multi-colored shell crayons
- shell candy mold or any other plastic themed candy mold (found at every craft store)
- stash of broken crayons, paper removed, in a variety of different colors (or stick to warms or cools or whatever you’re wanting the final product to be)
- large chef’s knife and cutting board
- double boiler or glass bowl and small pan
- large metal spoon
Cut the crayons into pea size pieces. Group the crayon pieces into the colored groups you’d like. I had a gray, white, navy, beige group, and my bright colors in another. I left a few additional white crayon pieces in a last group for the end.
Fill your pan with about 3/4 inch of water and boil. Once boiling, top the pan with your glass bowl and fill the bowl with one group of crayon pieces. The crayons will melt safely in your double boiler you just created.
This is really important:
If you’re wanting monochromatic crayons, then you can stir the crayon pieces as they melt in the bowl. You will get one color in the end. As you see below, the first batch of crayon pieces, when stirred, turned into gray.
If you’re wanting to keep the swirling of color and some individual colors, don’t stir the crayons as they melt. Once you start pouring the wax into the mold, the colors will mix a bit but still leave beautiful streaks and swirls.
We filled a few of the shell molds with the plain gray and then used our metal spoon to spread some of the warmed gray wax into some of the crevices to begin the layering effect for the multi-colored shells. (As seen below.)
Once you’ve poured one batch of warmed wax, add the next batch to the glass bowl on the stove. This batch I didn’t stir.
Do the same as you did with the first batch: pour the melted crayon into the molds or use a spoon to carefully fill each mold only partially.
To create the raised “barnacle look”, allow a shell to mostly cool in the mold, pop it out, and quickly spoon some warm, melted white (or other barnacle color) onto the base of that shell’s mold. Then quickly put the crayon shell back in the mold and press firmly. The “barnacle wax” will melt into the crayon in a 3D sort of way.
And that’s it! Remember with these plastic candy molds you can always peek under the mold to see who the crayons are coming together color-wise. But popping them out as the final step is the most exciting for everyone.These are really so much fun to make with kids.
Remember, the melted wax cools pretty fast meaning it begins to take the mold’s shape pretty fast . If you don’t like one of your shells simple pop it out and add a few colors to the base of the mold or remelt! You can remelt all day if you wanted to create the exact color combination and look.
And the crayons, once poured into the molds, are cooled enough to remove in literally a few minutes. It’s magical for children to watch their old crayons come together into something so beautiful, useful, and repurposed!
One birthday-favor project checked off our list. One of Caroline’s to go. And lots of lime and hot pink baking/decorating to do today. And the sunniest, coolest day you can imagine is right outside our door. Happy Thursday!
the sleepy time gal