Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Getting crafty

Some days this job is just the best thing ever. I spent most of the morning playing with crayons... I'm working on a book about craft activities, sort of an introduction to recycling with art activities. The book is written and contracted, right now I am working on revising the instructions so that they're clear and make sense. I love really technical stuff like this... breaking down a project into steps and organizing information, really appeals to the OCD in me.

Anyways, here are some pics of my crayon experiment. Most teachers out there know that you can recycle crayon bits into new crayons if you melt them down. Today I compared melting on the stove top, to the oven, to the microwave... some pics from my experiments and from the actual book (What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?):


Elaine Magliaro said...


Are you going to tell us which method is best for melting crayons?
I found I had to be OCD about writing/presenting directions to young students. The clearer the directions--the better the kids were able to understand what they were supposed to do. I think the same holds true for adults. Don't you hate some of the manuals that come with things you buy?

Anna Alter said...


YES, I completely agree. I used SO many craft books when I was teaching and it was unbelievable how unclear and confusing some of them are... I really wanted to make a book that was simple and easy for kids to use themselves.

I found putting the crayons in the oven was the best solution. The stove-top is good, but then you get wax all over your pans and its more dangerous for kids to be around the open flame. The microwave I couldn't get to work at all, and besides some microwaves are stronger than others, so there is too much variety to universal instructions. The stove was super easy, 10 minutes to melt!

Rita said...

Oh, man, this is excellent.

And inspiring!!

Anonymous said...

How funny. My little guy and I tried doing this on Sunday. We peeled all the crayons only to find out I only had plastic cups. The cups melted in the microwave, but the crayons didn't - LOL.

Anna Alter said...

I had the same problem! The easiest thing I think is to put them in muffin tins in the oven for about 10 minutes- or melt them in a dish in the oven, then pour them into molds.