You know how certain colors of crayons tend to get used the most, while others just get broken? Well, it seems that yellow, orange, red, and brown are not the most popular crayons in the box. Most had just been broken and peeled - hardly used. So, as he colored, I took an old paring knife and shaved the crayons into different cups. I've found that a knife or vegetable peeler work so much better (and are easier to clean) than a cheese grater for this. Once we had our crayon shaving, I just needed to get a few more things:
- Waxed paper
- Hair dryer
- Construction paper
- A stick
- Needle & Thread
Then, it was time for some fun for Little Guy. I had originally planned to use an iron set on low to do this, but realized that it would still be too hot for him to help. The hair dryer, set to high, and a very close Mama's eye were the perfect alternative. We sprinkled some of the crayon shavings onto a piece of waxed paper, folded it over, then turned on the dryer. It took a while to melt the crayons, but we helped a little with a spoon. One of us was the "Dryer Foreman" and the other was the "Spooner". The dryer foreman, of course, held the dryer rather close to the folded waxed paper and melted it and the crayons. The spooner's job was to use the back of the spoon to spread the melted wax around inside the paper. The spooner also squished some of the larger crayon chunks that just refused to melt. We used one small piece of waxed paper for each color of crayon shavings.
We let the melted wax papers cool, then I had Little guy take one of the leaf outlines and decide where we should cut the wax paper so our leaves would be beautiful. Once he decided, I used a pencil to lightly outline both the outside and inside of the leaf. Then, I cut the waxed paper between the two lines. We applied glue to the bottom outline, set the waxed crayon paper on top, added a little more glue, then sandwiched the waxed paper with the second outline. (I hope that makes sense. It was a little sticky, so I didn't get any pictures.)
|I know this isn't completely in focus, but I love the colors. Little guy must have found a couple of stray shavings and tossed them onto the waxed paper when my back was turned. Great surprise!|
I learned a couple of things while doing this that may help you if you decide to try it out:
- If you have a little one, cut the leaves out and shave the crayons before you tell them you're doing a project. The cut-outs take time and the knife for the crayons is dangerous to a little one who wants to help. Next time, I'll do the preliminaries while he's sleeping!
- Always put something under the waxed paper/crayons before turning on the dryer! Little Guy's high chair tray now has a permanent spot of pink right in the middle from this project. No big deal for us - the high chair is almost exclusively used for crafts, anyway. But, you might actually want to keep yours looking nice!
- Make sure your dryer's body stays cool. Mine does, but some get pretty darn hot! If you don't have a safe dryer, you might want to try a marble cutting board. Just set a pan of very hot water on it to heat it up. Even a heating pad would work - it would just take a little while - might make a nice surprise. "Let's put the waxed paper with these shavings on this piece of newspaper, then we'll put another paper on top. Next we'll put the heating pad on top of it. I wonder what will happen to the crayons while we have our snack?" Could even be educational!