Monday, December 20, 2010

Melted Crayon Christmas Trees (or any other shape you’d like)

Finished crayon tree I know this is not an original idea; I think many moms have tried this at one time or another.  But I thought I’d write about it because it was just so much fun for M.  I first saw the idea several years ago in MaryAnn Kohl’s book, Scribble Art

M has been asking to melt crayons into shapes since we made heart crayons for Valentine’s Day.  This kid grabs onto an idea and does not let it go. 

10 months later I finally gave in.  :)

Actually, the real reason we haven’t done it is that I’ve only had heart shaped muffin tins (the silicone kind).  So when I saw some cute tree-shaped ones at Target I grabbed them and one day last week I gave M the good news (you could use cookie cutters, but I felt too lazy to go to all that work, lol).  Boy, was he ever excited.  He spent a good 10 minutes at the kitchen counter going through his bucket of crayons and picking out the ones he wanted to use. 

Like this:hanging around, sorting crayons

Yep, just hanging there like a monkey, sorting crayons.  Did I mention he was excited?  (No, he wasn’t drinking the Coke in the background, that’s just for Mama, hee hee.)

After finding a variety of colors, with a good assortment of green shades, and peeling off all the papers, it was time to break the crayons up.  M came up with the hammer idea on his own.  Putting them in a plastic baggie first was my idea. ;)

He’s hammering them into tiny pieces in the photo below.  Hammering so hard his mouth is hanging open and you can’t really see the hammer because it’s moving so fast.  This may have been his favorite part:hammering crayons into tiny bits

We pulverized the greens first, and placed a layer of them in each mold:filling the molds with shades of green

Then the pretty colored ones were sprinkled on top:Adding other colors
You want these to be sort of thick, otherwise they may break when you pry them out of the molds.  We filled our molds up just a little less than halfway.

We put them in a 150 degree oven for 15 minutes, pulled them out, and as they started to harden, I poked a straw into them to create the hole for the ribbon.  Then we put them in the fridge to finish hardening and to loosen up a bit, for another 15 minutes. 

We popped them out of the molds (all the trunks broke off, darn it), tied on ribbons, and picked out one for each grandmother:Finished ornaments

We colored with the rest for a while, and then hung them on our Christmas tree.They color really well!  Aren’t they pretty?

Honestly, this was such an easy project for me – M did almost all the work, and loved every second of it, from finding the “right” crayons, peeling the papers off, and just about everything else.  All I did was put them in the oven and take them out.  Well, I tied the ribbons too.  But really, as easy as this was, I was surprised at the amount of pure happiness it gave him.  I definitely have to find more (cheap) shaped silicone muffin pans!

Have a beautiful day! :)



  1. Your trees look great! I just blogged this morning about making (less pretty) crayons using chocolate molds, and was thinking of trying silicone molds instead! Did the molds clean up, or do they have a lot of crayon residue on them?

  2. I love all of your art projects! So much fun and so much learned by M. I just got Kohl's book First Art for Christmas and it is really good. She has great ideas for developmentally appropriate art experiences. I think it will help me shift more towards process, kid-made work. When I was teaching we always said "the person doing the work is the one who is learning" -- so true. It's great that M did so much of the work on this project.

  3. very fun! I totally love how he was hanging around! Looks just like something Sammy would do.

  4. =) the pic of him hanging there on the counter is SO cute!

  5. Get out!! We also made these same crayon trees! Haha! I made a whole bunch to give to my friends with kids and got some dollar store coloring books to go with them. I cant post about it until after i give them away though, lol. But they look so cool dont they?

  6. They look great! We've made star crayons in the silicone molds...but the smell of the melting crayons gives me a headache--any tips?

    Also, I noticed you smashed them--maybe if I do that, they'll melt quicker and the smell won't be as strong?

  7. Candace April - The smashing did make them melt faster (plus it was just fun to hammer them), but I'm not sure that it made them less smelly. If you don't care whether you can really color with them, and just want to make ornaments, I think you could use colored candles. I'm guessing they wouldn't smell so bad, as long as they aren't scented candles (unless it's a scent you like of course).

    The only other thing I can think of is use a higher temp in your oven to melt them quickly, then turn it off and let them cool before taking them out. Maybe just being away from them while they are melted will help - ? Sorry I don't have any better advice!

    Thanks for the kind comments, every one! :)


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