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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Crafty Christmas

Now that the presents have been given, I can share a little about how we made this year a Crafty Christmas. I've long been a fan of handcrafted gifts and since the kids arrived I've tried to include them in making gifts every year.

This year, we had two big craft projects that we worked on: one for the cousins and one for the grandparents. Given how crazy things were with me doing three craft shows during the holidays, I'm amazed that everything got done. But it did!

For the cousins and some of our most special friends, we made recycled crayons.

I had lots of broken crayons on hand, between the bits we'd accumulated since having kids and the stash of used crayons I had from when I was teaching (yes, I moved a box of broken crayons from Arizona to California and then through two moves here in CA; I am my dad's daughter after all!)


It was a lot more work than I'd imagined, but it turned out pretty well. BJ was a big help, especially with sorting the crayons and peeling off the labels. He took the job Very Seriously.
BB helped some, too, but she mostly assisted by entertaining us with Crayon Making, The Interpretive Dance.
Here's how to make your own Recycled Crayons:


1. Collect broken pieces of crayon. (You’ll need quite a few.)

2. Remove wrappers.

3. Sort crayon pieces by color (or combine several colors for a rainbow effect).

4. Break into smaller pieces if needed. Crayon bits should be about ½ inch long or smaller.

5. Fill muffin tins or other shaped molds about ½ to ¾ full with broken crayon pieces. I used silicone molds which made it very easy to “pop” out the finished crayons.


6. Melt crayons completely in the oven.
If using silicone molds, be sure to support them on a cookie tray. Temperature and time will vary depending on size of crayons and manufacturer, and size of mold, so check frequently. You don’t want to have the crayons catch fire! 250 degrees for about 15 minutes seemed to work pretty well.


7. Remove from oven carefully (no spilling!) and let cool completely before removing from pan/mold. You can put them in the freezer to finish cooling and also to make it easier to remove them.

8. Color with your new recycled crayons!


For the grandparents, the kids painted wooden boxes -- and while they turned out well, I am a Bad Blogging Mommy for totally forgetting to take pictures of the kids working on the boxes. Or even to get pics of the finished products! It's a testament to how busy things were in December that this happened. (Heck, it's miraculous that I was able to document the recycled crayons project as well as I did.) Frankly, I was just happy to get everything finished.

But I did get some snaps on Christmas day when Pop-Pop and Giki were opening theirs. BJ decorated the one for Pop-Pop with pictures of the solar system.


BB decorated the one for Giki with flowers and clouds. And she wrote "I Love You" inside, too, as well as dotting the letters in pink on the side. Or at least a good approximation thereof. She's really having fun with learning how to write! (More on that in an upcoming post!)

It's really rewarding to help the kids make gifts for the folks they love. I'm already brainstorming ideas for next year's Christmas!

2 comments:

cath c said...

ooo, thanks for the reminder! somewhere i think i still have a dino mold i used to recycle crayons in.....yes, it would have made 3, no, make that 4 moves with me, too.

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

LOL -- I totally sympathize with moving random items Because They May Be Of Use Someday! (and see, now the mold is of use! ha!)