recycle broken crayons, kids diy valentines

 

Heart shaped crayons are easy to make and great homemade Valentines for kids to give. Use old broken crayons that you weed out of the crayon boxes around your house, or buy a box to make these heart shaped crayons. Heart shaped crayons are a Valentines project kids of all ages can help make. Little kids in particular have mad skills snapping crayons into small pieces, so put their skills to good use making these heart shaped crayons.

To make heart shaped crayons you only need crayons, a heart shaped silicone mold and a working oven. I happen to already have a heart-shaped silicone mold (not surprising, I know!), but if you need to buy one for this project I’m a fan of the one I have and it’s the Wilton Petite Silicone 12 Cavity Heart Pan.

broken crayons
Unwrapped, broken crayons that we weeded out from our bin of crayons (thankfully some did not have paper wrappers, which made the prep easier)

As far as crayons, they sell all sorts of wrapper-less crayons these days because peeling crayon paper off into tiny pieces that flake into an annoying mess on the floor is one of the joys of toddlerhood. (Seriously, thanks to whoever first came up with the paperless crayon concept!) Those paperless crayons are the easiest to use to make homemade heart shaped crayons, but they are more expensive if you are buying them instead of recycling your broken crayons. If you have a bunch of crayons covered in paper put your little ones to work peeling.

broken crayons with silicone mold
Love this silicone heart mold from Amazon. It makes 12 crayons at a time so we had to make 2 batches to make 24 for Scarlett’s class Valentines

We made 12 heart shaped crayons in 45 minutes (including 25 minutes of baking time; they take additional time to cool and harden). I put Lyla to sleep and this was a great big sister project for Scarlett and I to do. I made the remaining 12 after Scarlett went to bed. I only have a 12 cavity mold so I needed to make a second batch to make 24 total.

We did have a lot of old broken crayons that we wanted to recycle that had paper wrappers. Scarlett and I both started out peeling the paper. I took sharp scissors and cut a line down the side of some of the longer paper-wrapped crayons to make peeling easier. (Note to self for future: Do not assist with the peeling if you have a mani you’re trying to preserve!). I have heard that soaking the crayons in warm water for about 15 minutes makes them easier to peel but I have not tried that technique. Peeling the crayons was by far the most tedious step in making heart shaped crayons but it really didn’t take that long (maybe 15 minutes total).

Filling the molds with the broken crayon pieces is something the kids can do themselves.
Filling the molds with the broken crayon pieces is something the kids can do themselves.

Scarlett loved snapping the crayons into small pieces and scattering them among the heart molds. We tried to add a combo of light and dark colors to each heart, and to make sure there were a few pieces of white in each mold. In addition to the plethora of broken crayons we already had, we snagged a few intact white crayons from our crayon box to use for the heart shaped crayons (who uses white crayons that often anyway? My girls usually color on white paper so I figured it wouldn’t be a big loss to be without the white crayons in our stash). If you use too many dark colors they can blend together and you lose a lot of the swirled variation that make these homemade heart shaped crayons so cute so I definitely recommend having a good amount of white, peach or light yellow crayons to add into this mix.

Scarlett loved filling the molds. We tried to put a few pieces of white crayon in each mold for contrast.
Scarlett loved filling the molds. We tried to put a few pieces of white crayon in each mold for contrast.

The baking time to fully melt the crayons in the oven will vary depending on your oven and how full you fill the molds. I set my oven to 250 degrees F and it took about 25 minutes for the crayons to fully melt. The heart shaped crayons then needed some time to cool and harden before I could pop them out of the mold, which was long after Scarlett was already asleep. She was super excited to see them finished in the morning.

Ready to go into the oven.
Ready to go into the oven (preheated to 250) for 20-25 minutes

 

melted crayons in silicone mold close up
Fully melted after 25 minutes in my oven. Let the crayons cool and harden, then I popped them out and made the second batch.

 

Finished heart shaped crayons!
Finished heart shaped crayons!

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