Day 2 – Melted crayons into hearts and created a necklace.

A few years ago, my daughter and I sorted through all of her crayons and put aside all of the broken ones to remelt into new blended crayons. This is an easy and fun craft to do with young kids. The crayons melt in a few minutes in a 250 degree oven.  This time around, I sorted the crayons by color instead of mixing them into blends. I had the idea of making them all into necklaces, so I placed a cut straw into the still moist wax after taking it out of the oven. Once the wax was completely set, the hole was easy to pop out.  A braided cord finished the necklace.  I’m partial to the black crayon because it is minimal and less obviously a crayon. 

In celebration of Earth Day and Easter, my daughter and I made a basket of (yes, again) fused plastic.  1/2" strips are woven in and out of a slitted, 5-sided box base.  Extra strips are used to fill the basket like grass. One more strip becomes the handle.  I folded a few leftover squares into a hopping frog, a crane, and a butterfly.  Did I ever mention how much I love origami?

I’m still fascinated by all the creative possibilities for fused plastic.  I have collected more plastic bags than I could ever use.  And I have found that not all bags fuse well.  Simple grocery bags are best.  But thicker, more graphic, plastic bags from retail stores provide more color and design possibilities.  Don’t mix plastics, or the fusing will be very wrinkled or bubbled as various thicknesses of plastic melt differently.  And some inks for graphics can hinder the fusing process as well.  In case you missed this link in a previous post, here is a “how to” for fusing plastic yourself.

This project is a simple folded box based upon a design from Fozzils.  I’ve also tried making the spoon, but my fused plastic is too flimsy, no matter how many layers of bags fuse together.  Obviously the high quality, food grade, polypropylene used to make Fozzils is superior in stiffness to high density polyethylene (HDPE) from which most shopping bags are made.  My box is still useful as an drawer organizer or even a tabletop decoration. 


In an effort to add more art curriculum to our daughter’s school, my husband found this not-for-profit called Trash For Teaching. “Trash for Teaching collects clean and safe cast-off materials from manufacturing processes (that would otherwise become trash) and repurposes them as educational resources.  With those materials we provide a comprehensive arts education program in local school districts, which includes teacher workshops and classroom instruction.” (excerpted from their website)

For a nominal fee per pound, my daughter and I scoured the numerous bins of materials and filled two bags with stuff like giant spools, tape reels, yarns, fabric scraps, etc. When we got home, we dumped everything out, excited to make something.  My daughter had the idea of making a doll.  A few weeks later, we made her a friend, and she named them Romeo + Juliet.  Once they were a couple, it wasn’t long before, yes, a baby girl was born.  With baby swaddled and tied to Juliet, the family is happy and complete.

I used to have a milk crate filled with scraps of wood and other various bits – pieces saved from a woodworking class I took in college.  I’d build little sculptures using this really potent super glue called Zap-a-Gap.  Sometimes I’d bring the box into my office and my colleagues and I would make a sculpture over the course of a week.  One piece per person per day.  We’d treat it like a game of design strategy – trying to see if we could create something balanced, even beautiful.

Eventually I purged that box of wood scraps during a move.  I miss it.  You got any wood scraps?  I’m now accepting donations…