3.02.2009

fresh from the Makery: tie dye crayons


This week's project was inspired by the crafty subsection of the Zeitgeist where everyone has started to make fabulous little creations (like these little frogs) by remelting and reconfiguring crayon bits. I first saw this idea in a parenting magazine and remembered that I bought a box of crayons just for the purple one in order to go along with my son's first Halloween costume as the main character from the story, Harold and the Purple Crayon. The idea, of course, is to get some extended life out of the little bits and nubs that are too difficult to manage after awhile, but I figured I could break up the fresh box I had and buy new ones when we get a little closer to coloring age.

That was the most tedious part of this project, actually. I think it probably works best with lots of little nubs of lots of different colors. What I had on hand were eight big chunky crayons and four standard sized basic colors (red, green, blue, yellow). I just happened to keep the darker bits separate and I'm glad I did since those are the colors where the wax seemed to separate a bit from the pigment, like grease coagulating in a pan recently used to cook bacon. I think I may have over-cooked them a bit. I read various instructions on three or four different sites, and in the end, popped them in an oven preheated to 200 degrees for about as long as it took me to do the dishes. I was surprised they were already completely melted after only fifteen minutes since I'd read on one site that it takes up to an hour to do the trick. I think (obviously) the amount of crayon bits you're using and the depth of the mold have a lot to do with the temperature you need to set your oven to and the overall cooking duration. Also, I didn't have anything on hand other than a mini muffin pan to use as my mold, so my remelted crayons look a little like Reese's peanut butter cups. I nearly cheated on the rules of this project, almost buying some candy molds I spotted at A.C. Moore, but I resisted (I may have to go back, though, and buy the molds in order to experiment with remelting and reconfiguring chocolate).


All that said, I'm pretty happy with the way these came out. I've picked out the best half-dozen and packaged them in one of the clear, plastic boxes I keep on hand for various stationery projects.


Also, inspired by the way they reminded me of colorful tie-dye patterns, I've paired the set with a miniature (3 1/2 by 5 inches) tie dye coloring book.


Initially I looked for line drawings of tie dyed t-shirts and what have you. But then I thought offering a blank slate of all the kinds of things one tie dyes made more sense (t-shirts, tote bags, pillow cases, etc.).


The eight-page coloring book has a card stock cover and a hand-sewn binding.

I used one of the darker crayons that is not part of the set offered here to give you an idea of how they perform.


Are you in the market for some new, hippie-vibe crayons? As usual, leave me a comment and I'll do a random drawing at the end of the week to determine the lucky winner...Or, in a more likely scenario, "archive" this week's project on my Etsy shop, along with the magnets and bookmarks from the first two weeks of this project.

New to the project? Take a look at my intro and rules here.

2 comments:

Jolina said...

The girls would love tie dye crayons! Did it smell up your house to bake them?

RBG said...

Nope, not at all! Not anywhere near as bad as the polymer clay a couple of weeks ago! They melt so quickly - maybe if you were doing bigger, deeper molds and needed to keep them in the oven for an hour.

I think chances are very good these crayons will be on their way to Jenna and Nikki in a matter of days (along with the leftover beads from week 1! I haven't forgotten! :)).