Friday, March 23, 2012

Gummed Up Roll Up Crayons

I am constantly amazed at people's creativity and ingeniousness. The thing I hated most about 1st grade was that we had to dump our crayons into a communal bowl. I knew my beautiful sticks of colored magic were going to get mutilated...and they did. It was not long before the communal bowl of crayons because a bowl of teeny broken bits of dead crayons. There were some kids that broke them on purpose, just to be stinkers, but then we all broke crayons every now and then...I mean come on, we were 6. But I hated using broken crayons. Hated hated hated it. Wow...I was a crayon snob, bahahaha. Anyway...Holly found a pin that had a solution to these broken crayons and how to prevent the breaking and the non-use of the broken crayons. Roll up crayons in an old glue stick tube!!
The Original Pin 

Melt crayons, pour in the empty glue stick tube. Genius, no? Holly said "I haven't done too many Pinterest crafts, but I did attempt one, and it took 2 tries to get it right!"

The Pinstrosity
Holly didn't have pictures of her Pinstrosity, but she said that "it looks easy enough, and it was, but the thing that seemed to matter was the type of glue stick I used! The purple Elmer's disappearing glue stick wouldn't scroll the crayon up! But the cheap Roseart ones, which were 3 for a dollar at the dollar store, worked like a charm!"

I'm a picture-oholic, so I decided to pull out my bag of test subjects and give this a try to see what I could come up with. I decided to test two different types of Crayons in this too, so I used Crayola and I have no idea what the other brand didn't have a name other than Crayons on the box. And all I had at home was the Elmer's Purple Disappearing Glue Sticks, so I decided to see if I could figure out how to make them work. I feel like a MythBuster for Pinterest, hahaha.

The green tube is the off brand crayon, and the pink is the Crayola crayon.  
Here's what I found:
  • The only difference I found between the brands of crayons is that the off brand crayons took 3 minutes to melt in the microwave. The Crayola crayons took 45 seconds. I don't know why that is, but there you go. 
  • As Holly found, the rollers didn't really want to roll up very well. Mine did, but I really had to crank hard on it, and that's just annoying. 
    • I made the green stick first, and when it didn't want to roll up I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes then tried again; it rolled up and down beautifully after that. 
    • I made the pink stick second and didn't wait until it was completely set up to roll it up and that seemed to do the trick too. 
  • I think that the problem is that the crayon wax gets into the "gears" of the glue stick and freezing the wax, or turning it before it has a chance to set up completely helps to keep everything moving. 

So this one just takes some fiddling with to get it to work just right, but it's a keeper I'd say. Between Holly's discovery and our tests, hopefully this will work for you now. Thanks so much Holly!



  1. Crayola crayons have much more pigment in them than other brands which use more wax. That's why Crayola's color is more consistent and they melt at a lower temperature.

  2. Hi! I know I'm a few months late with this, but for future reference - the probably with the wax gumming up the turning mechanism on the plastic tubes, as well as the depression you got in the center of each tube, are both because the wax was too hot/too liquid when you poured it. I've had the same problem with homemade candles, and solid-state perfumes made in these old lip gloss tubes. If you let the wax cool a bit more before you pour it (so that it's no longer hot enough to be glass-clear, it'll start to go slightly cloudy/opaque again) that won't happen. :)

  3. I'd use chapstick tubes for this-still large enough for little hands, but not so bulky to store. And you can purchase then in bulk pretty cheap online.

  4. So what amazing creation did you make with the excess glue stick? You DID make something amazing and not just throw it out, right?? LOL

    1. I pulled them out not too long later to do a paper craft with them and even though I had put them in a freezer baggy and made sure the top was snapped shut the glue sticks dried out and weren't usable...had to chuck 'em. :(


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