Posted by: little sprout creations
February 11, 2011
Yesterday, my daughters (22 months and 5 months) and I hosted a valentine’s day party for their playgroup pals. I asked Leah what kind of a valentine’s day party she wanted, and she remembered a book that we’ve read called “Dinosaur Valentine.” That, combined with her current incredible love of dinosaurs, led us to plan a unique and really fun dinosaur valentine’s day party.
We decided to make dinosaur crayons for her friends to take home as valentines, a nice alternative to sugary candy and sweets. We hit a few speedbumps in the crayon-making process, so hopefully we can help avoid any kitchen calamities for you!
Candy molds (we got ours on amazon, but many craft stores carry these as well.)
Crayons. Lots of them. Broken, used ones are great. We had to buy new, as we don’t have a good supply of broken ones quite yet. (We made 14 big dinosaur crayons with 96 Crayola crayons.)
Oven, preheated to 350 degrees.
Cupcake liners, two for each color.
– An assistant, preferably one who is little and cute. This project has lots of kid-friendly steps.
1. Have your assistant check out the molds while you get the oven preheated (to 350) and your crayons ready for peeling.
2. Peel the wrappers off of the crayons. Every last bit. I used a paring knife to slice down the side of the wrapper, and then let my assistant pull the wrapper off.
3. Sort out the crayons into color groups. All the red-shades together, blue-shades, etc. My assistant is just starting to learn about colors, so this was a perfect and fun teaching opportunity.
4. Have your assistant load cupcake liners into a muffin tin, two in each cup. (This will keep your muffin tin in good shape for valentine’s day cupcakes!) You’ll only want to melt as many crayons as you’ll need for your mold. For example, we had 4 dinosaurs in our mold, so we melted 4 sets of crayons per batch. If you have multiple molds, you can do more per batch.
5. Give your assistant a coloring book, as you’ll need to be close to the oven for the next step. Put your muffin tin in the preheated oven. It took about 20 minutes for ours to melt, but you’ll want to check periodically. Once they start to melt, use a toothpick to stir.
6. Fill your molds with the melted wax. You should be able to pick up the inner cupcake liner and pour into your molds. Stick into the fridge and wait about 10-15 minutes for them to harden. I started the next batch of crayons melting while the first set was cooling. Once the crayons are cool, pop them out and fill the molds with the next set of wax.
7. Bag your crayons in small plastic bags, tie with ribbon or twist-tie, and tie on a sweet tag. Feel free to print a set (from the link below) for your own valentines! dinofavortags.pdf
Now some hints:
– You can put two different melted colors into one mold, even use a toothpick to swirl two different colors together for a fun pattern.
– If you get brown melted wax on your finger, do not eat it, even if it looks like chocolate. I made this mistake.
– In our first melting attempt, I used a glass measuring cup and our microwave. I ended up with a stained measuring cup and temporarily burned out our microwave. I’ve heard from many people that this works well, but I found the oven method to work much better.
– Don’t feel limited to dinosaurs! There are so many cute candy molds to choose from. JoAnn had tons in their Wilton section.
– To make this even simpler, try using an oven-safe silicone candy mold, melt your crayon pieces in the mold, and chill. I haven’t tried this, but I’ve heard this works well. Keep in mind that your finished crayons might be a bit shallower than the mold.