Ok, as promised, here’s this week’s craft project to save the world. In honor of MLK Jr Day, we decided to tackle Racism and Social Justice. You can read all about why this is important (and the weird origins of racism) here, but if you’re already convinced – let’s dive in.
This project is to make some seriously powerful upcycled crayons for kiddos that need educational supplies. As we said in our blog on racism, education is the key to changing bigotry – so let’s get some powerful words and crayons in the hands of the next generation!
Here they are! Aren’t they awesome? I’m so happy with how they turned out. Let’s dive in and see what you’re going to need (note: Supply lists include affiliate links, which don’t cost you a dime but help our website keep running! If you like what we’re doing and want to support us, buy through our links!).
- Heart Cookie Cutters: Large or Multi-Size
- White Tissue Paper
- Printer Paper
- White Acrylic Paint
- Painting Sponge
- Exacto Knife
- At-Home Materials Needed: Used Crayons, Printer, Scissors, & Hairdryer
Step 1: Peel the paper off all of your crayons. The easiest way to do so is with an exacto knife – see One Little Project for the full run-down (and thanks for the project inspo, Debbie!). If you’ve got a wee buddy to help you with the peeling, all the better 😉
Step 2: Put all of the peeled crayons – grouped by color – in a baking sheet. You want them to be about two-crayon deep, otherwise it will be too hard to cut. Bake in a 350 oven for 10-15 minutes, or until melted – keep a good eye on them!Step 3: Once they’re melted, take them out and let them rest. I had a few that just wouldn’t melt, so I fished them out with disposable chopsticks (yes, we lived in Japan for a while – they’re my go-to!). Let the crayons cool for about 20 minutes, or until they’re roughly play-do consistency. They will still be quite warm. Now it’s time to cut them out! Stick your chosen cookie cutters in and cut them out, just like cookies. Leave them in the pan after you’ve cut them all, and stick the whole pan in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Step 5: Time to get to writing some inspiration on those crayons. If you’re using the large cookie cutters that I recommended from Amazon, the below template will work. However, if you’re using your own cookie cutters, you’ll need to play around a bit until they fit your crayons. I used fonts from Befonts – they’re free to download!
Step 6: Once you’ve chosen/created your fonts, it’s time to get them on the crayons. We need two methods – one for the darker crayons, one for the lighter.
Lighter Crayons: Tissue Paper Transfer
Step 1: Cut out your tissue paper to the size of a piece of printer paper and tape it on. Print off the scripts to go on your crayons. We have black script and turquise script. Hint: Print first on a plain piece of paper and make sure it fits on your crayons. If they are too big or too small, just print them at 80% or 110% onto the tissue paper.
Step 2: Now cut out each script, right around the edges – keep it tight and get as little extra tissue paper as you can. Cut out a square of wax paper and layer 1st the tissue paper, then the wax paper, on top of the crayon.
Step 3: Now comes the fun part ;). Melting! Put the crayon and all on a piece of white paper (trust me on this one – it makes a mess otherwise) and, using your hairdryer, melt the saying onto your crayon. Keep going until the white of the tissue paper completely melts into the crayon. YOU WILL HAVE CRAYON MELT. That is, you’ll get crazy crayon wax streaming off of your heart crayon. Hence the white piece of paper under (it makes a rad piece of art, too). Hint: Your fingers might get really hot holding that wax paper on. If you want, tape it onto the back of the crayon instead of holding it.
Voila! Slowly peel the wax paper off and you have your beautiful crayons!
Darker Crayons: White Paint
Step 1: Print off the scripts on a regular piece of printer paper. Cut out the words with your exacto knife. It will take a while! But it’s very soothing, honestly 😉
Step 2: Using Acrylic white paint and a sponge, sponge those words onto your darker crayons. Voila, your darker crayons!
Once you’re done, pop them all into a box and send them to the Kids In Need Foundation. As an extra bonus, I included Maryam Yousef’s new book, Mr. Blue in Rainbow Planet, for the teacher. You can even get a label to ship it for FREE from Zappos. Win. Win. Get your label here.
These are SO FUN to make once you get the hang of it! So many colors, so many options. They are also great as Valentine’s Gifts! Share your creations with us on Instagram by tagging us @ainagiving!
Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a socially responsible company that develops craft projects and tutorials for highly screened, trusted nonprofit charities. If you’d like to be a part of the Year of Giving Resolution, join the Aina Crew and get 52 free projects – one per week – to help others from home.