Crash-and-Burn Craft Fail


At the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself to become more crafty by completing 12 DIY projects (one per month).  In January, I gave myself an oh-so-easy win by making homemade hair detangler.  In February, I made some really-cool-but-dull-gray T-shirt bracelets.  In March, I joined the genius Web site Pinterest, and pinned so many DIY projects that I didn’t have any time to actually complete one.

Now it’s April, and I’ve set out to give all the kiddos homemade Easter gifts.  And this evening, I completely bombed the first one I attempted.  Before I give you the embarrassing details, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you what I learned:  Always, always, always F-O-L-L-O-W D-I-R-E-C-T-I-O-N-S.

The challenge:  Make multicolored crayons in fun, Easter-themed shapes.

The result:  A complete disaster.

Since no one would let me break up their used crayons, I bought two boxes of new ones.  Then I spent two hours scraping the wrappers off of them.  (It was much more difficult and time consuming than I’d assumed.)  Of course I made sure to exclude the “ugly” colors:  black, gray, and brown.  The directions said I should put the broken pieces into a mold, and heat them in the oven.

I went to five stores looking for Easter-themed molds.  Didn’t find a single one at CVS, Walgreens, Meijer, or Walmart.  Finally found a great one at JoAnn Fabrics…… for $15.99.  Um – no, thanks.  So I decided to improvise.  I purchased a package of four cute Easter cookie cutters for only $2.99.

I put wax paper in a small cake pan, inserted my cookie cutters, and added my broken crayon pieces.  The directions said to heat them at 225 degrees for 10 minutes, but they were barely melted.  So I heated them until they were the consistency I thought they should be (18 minutes total).

This is what I got:

Not good.

I inserted a toothpick to see if the wax inside the cookie cutters was deep enough to still make sturdy crayons for a toddler.  Not a chance.  So I rushed upstairs and frantically dug up the only silicone mold I own – Christmas trees.  I poured what I could of the hot wax into my mold in hopes of salvaging my wasted time and money.

This is what I got:

Brown Christmas trees.  And cookie cutters and a pan caked in hard, brown wax.  (It managed to overflow above the wax paper on one edge.)

I am so bummed that I never want to do this experiment again – ever in life.  But……  I’m obsessive about not being wrong failing.  So I’m going to waste more time and money trying to do this – correctly – again tomorrow.

It’s no longer about giving the babies a cool, homemade gift.  It’s about proving to myself (and now my readers) that I can follow directions and successfully complete a simple craft project.

So stay tuned to see what I’m sure can only be an improvement: multicolored, Christmas-tree-shaped Easter crayons.

To be continued……

explosion photo credit


6 responses »

  1. Ah, I too have suffered misshapen crayon melts, but eventually met with success. The pouring is where it goes wrong–very important to keep the melted mess still while it’s liquid to avoid browning. It can work with cookie cutters, if you use a small enough pan. They turn out like this: I filled the whole bottom of the pan with crayons, then melted in the oven, and put the pan on a flat surface. Then I had to hover for a few minutes until the wax started to solidify and quickly press in the cutters before it became too brittle.

    • I thought to do that too! But the pan was definitely too big. The wax was so thin! Tomorrow’s will be better. I hope. Any tips for peeling fresh, new crayons quickly? It took SO long to get those wrappers off!

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