I don’t know what it’s like at your place, but I always have so many crayon remnants kicking around. All the broken pieces, the bits and bobs too short to really use anymore. In the past we have created new crayons from these pieces but we wanted to try something new. Something a bit more big kid for my tweens and teens. In our search for something new we discovered crayon candles. Perfect!
CRAYON CANDLES STEAM ACTIVITY
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With this activity we created gorgeous crayon candles, but we didn’t just make candles. We turned it into a fascinating science investigation and STEAM activity exploring different wax types and layering our colours to create a stunning rainbow crayon candle.
We’ve talked in the past about how any project can become a fascinating STEAM or STEM project. It is simply about thinking outside the box about how the pillars work together. In this project we are using all 5 STEAM pillars – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.
Science – we are doing an investigation into how different variables (our waxes) affect our final product, the candles.
Technology – we are using a microwave to melt the crayons, plus the internet to research.
Engineering – this project required some careful planning and innovation to build and create the layers of our candles and form gorgeous rainbows.
Arts – the colours and designs that could be created here are endless.
Math – there is actually some simple math calculations required as part of this project.
It’s a fantastic STEAM activity for your tweens and teens, or younger kids with lots of responsible adult supervision. I recommend older kids, simply because we are working with molten wax which is very hot and could cause burns if mishandled. Always ensure all safety measures are followed and your children are responsible enough to be trusted with this activity.
Our STEAM Crayon Candles Project
For our project we decided to test how different waxes would affect the quality of our candles. With this project you add some extra wax to the crayons, so we thought it would be interesting to see the differences between soy wax and beeswax.
Our hypothesis was that the wax type wouldn’t make much of a difference since we see soy and beeswax candles all the time.
Once our project plan was in place, it was time to make some crayon candles!
Check out our video of the Crayon Candle making process
How To Make Candles With Crayons
Crayon Candles Supplies:
1 bag of soy wax flakes
1 bag of beeswax pellets
2- 12 count boxes of Crayola crayons – You need 2 or 3 each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
Essential oil of your choice. We used orange.
2 long wicks
2 glass containers (any medium height container will be perfect, mason jars are great too!)
1-6 plastic measuring cups
4 wooden clothes pins
2 long socks
Ruler or tape measure
Step by Step How To Make Crayon Candles
Measure the height of the glass container and divide by 6. Place marks on your container at those intervals with a Sharpie.
Super glue the metal base of the wick to the middle of the container. Allow to dry.
Roll the wick onto the pencil to take out the slack of the wick.
Cut the crayons into small pieces. You can also grate them, but it takes forever,
Measure one cup of soy way into your measuring cup. Add the crayon pieces.
Melt the wax/crayons in microwave in 45 second intervals until completely melted. Mix thoroughly. Add essential oil.
If your climate is cold or you have the air conditioner on in your home, heat the glass container with the hair dryer. This will help lessen the chances for the wax not to adhere to the sides of the container.
Pour the first layer, carefully avoiding splashing the sides of the container. You can use a clothes pin on each side of the pencil to keep the wick out of the way.
Wrap the sock around the container and clip together with 1 clothes pin.
As you pour each layer, be sure to heat the container, careful to avoid the layer below and making it soft enough to have the new wax drip into it. This occurred where you see the orange dripping into the yellow layer below in one candle. Be sure to allow each layer to harden completely before pouring the next layer.
Candle Crayons STEAM Investigation Results
So was our hypothesis right? Nope.
Take a peek at the two candles side by side. What do you notice?
With the soy wax, you can see patches of white “frost.” From our research we discovered this is common when using 100% natural soy wax. Some companies will add preservatives to their soy wax to prevent this. You can try pouring the wax at a lower temperature, as this seems to help lessen the frosting. The colours in the crayons definitely made the frosting more noticeable. Another thing you can do to help with the frosting (this is from our research) is to add a bit of coconut oil to the wax before you begin the melting process.
Where you see the darker blue layer dripping into the darker purple layer below, this is where we did not heat the container before pouring the wax. Remember to warm the container!
In the future we would only use beeswax as it created a nicer finished crayon candle, plus the smell is amazing naturally even without adding essential oils.
Crayon Candles make a fantastic STEAM lesson plus the candles make wonderful kid made gifts.
More Candle Making Projects for Kids
MORE STEAM ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS