Recycle your bits of old crayons by turning them into a pretty piece of stained glass for Earth Day.
Use this as a decoration you can hang in your window. There is an option at the bottom for younger kids, instead of melting crayons.
- waxed paper
- wax crayons (Crayola don't work as well as the cheap kind for this project, though they do still work).
- manual pencil sharpener (with a fairly large hole).
- iron, ironing board and scrap paper (white computer paper or brown paper bag).
- construction paper
- Glue stick or white glue
- ADULT: Plug in the iron and cover the ironing board with scrap paper. Set the iron to medium (no steam).
- tear a piece of waxed paper that's square (or a bit longer than it is wide) and fold it in half. Then unfold.
- Optional: Print the template at the bottom of this page and slide it under the waxed paper as a rough guide for filling the earth shape.
- take the paper off some crayons and 'sharpen' them in the pencil sharpener. Let the shavings drop onto 1/2 the waxed paper.
- when you have a few nice piles of green and blue shavings refold the waxed paper.
- Fold about 1/2 inch around all the edges so none of the wax leaks out when you iron.
- place the waxed paper containing the shavings down on the ironing board and cover with more scrap paper.
- Iron for about 10 seconds. Peek and iron a bit more if necessary. All the wax should melt. The longer you iron, the more your colors will mix.
- You'll find that nothing happens, nothing happens, nothing happens and then BAM it's totally melted, so just keep waiting 10 seconds and peeking so you don't burn anything
- Let sit about 30 seconds to cool.
- Stack two pieces of construction paper. Fold in half.
- don't crease very much (the less you crease it the better, but young children may need it creased quite well)
- Cut out a half circle shape. You can do this freehand, use the template as a guide or draw it on for small children to cut out.
- Unfold the construction paper and you'll have two pieces of paper with matching circles in the middle of them.
- Put glue around one of the pieces of construction paper. Put your waxed paper ("stained glass") onto the middle of the page.
- Put glue on the second piece of construction paper and lay it over top of the first so the 'stained glass' is sandwiched between the construction paper and the circle shapes are lined up.
Optional - Alternate Method 1:
Thanks Geri for sending this in!
"Have the kids color a picture with crayons. They can color dark or light - it doesn't matter but the darker sometimes looks better. They really do look like stained glass pictures, especially if the picture had heavy black lines."
- Use crayons, NOT markers or colored pencils.
- Have a few bowls with a VERY small amount of cooking oil and a couple of cotton balls in them.
- Have the kids flip the pages over and slowly and thoroughly rub the cotton balls on the paper. (You'll see the paper turn transparent and the colors come through).
- Put them aside to dry (usually doesn't take long)!
- Cut them out and either hang them as is with a hole punched in them or frame them with construction paper.
Optional - Alternate Method 2:
Thanks Terri for sending this in!
"I have done for this to make it more suitable for younger kids. Instead of using wax paper and melting crayons..."
- Use clear contact paper and tissue paper pieces. You can use purchased contact paper or you can 'make your own' by spreading a thin layer of glue onto waxed paper.
- Put Contact Paper piece sticky side up on the table (may need to tape it down).
- Let kids stick tissue paper pieces to the sticky paper.
- Cover with another piece of Contact Paper sandwiching the tissue in between.
- Frame with dark construction paper as directed for the melted crayon version.
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).