Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Valentines

Over the last couple of weeks I've been searching for something fun and easy to make for student Valentine's Day treats.  Pinterest is both a huge help and hinderance.  I found some cute ideas that I very nearly made, but just couldn't bring myself to spend $50+ on Valentines.  I spend that kind of money on my classroom all the time, but not on things of so little importance.  This year's treat cost a whopping $3.00, and it can be used again for many years to come.
When I initially stumbled upon the crayon hearts, I was put off by having to purchase a heart-shaped muffin pan.  It was such an easy project, and I have crayons coming out of my ears, but when I looked for pans at Michaels and on Amazon, I again couldn't justify the cost for a silly Valentine.  But when I walked into Walmart on a fluke and found a silicone heart "pan" for $3.00, I made my decision to make them!
My students always start the new school year with a box of 24 crayons.  About halfway through the year, they get a new box.  Students are given a choice to take the old box home or to "donate" them to our classroom community crayon bucket.  Luckily, I had just given out the new boxes a week or so ago and most of my students wanted to leave their old ones with me.  Little did they know they were contributing to their own Valentine's Day treat.
I came home with bags and boxes of used crayons.  Many of the directions I saw online mentioned buying new boxes and using those.  With all the used crayons I have in my classroom, that would have been a waste.
My biggest concern about the project was getting all the paper off without breaking all my fingernails.  A work colleague of mine recommended using an X-acto knife, but even that sounded tedious.  I found soaking them in a bowl of warm soapy water for just a few minutes loosened the paper enough that the crayons fell right out.
 The purples, greens, and oranges were the easiest.  The reds and blues were more difficult - the glue holding the paper was less resistant to the soapy water.  They would begin to pull off, but then tear when it got to the glue.  A quick run under warm water in the exact place it was sticking released it easily and the papers came right off after that.
The crayons were then sorted into like colors.  Of course, the pinks and reds would have been the most ideal colors to use for Valentine's Day, but Crayola only includes one red and one pink in the box.  They include about a million oranges and purples and greens and yellows in the box however, so those colors made up most of my hearts.
 After they were dry, the crayons were broken into smaller pieces to fit better in the pan.
 And then placed into the $3.00 silicone pan with coordinating colors.
 They were baked in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
After they cooled completely (2-3 hours), they peeled right out of the pan - which is a plus using silicone.  I was very pleased with the way the lighter/brighter colors turned out - the pink, orange, and green crayons are gorgeous.  I was a but disappointed the way the blues and purples turned out as far as the look of the heart.  Both hues are quite bright and pretty on paper, but the color of the crayons are dark and they didn't show the colors when melted like I thought they would.
I made up a card which says, "Color Your (heart) Out!  It's Valentine's Day!"  And secured the hearts to the card using a large dot from the hot glue gun.
I love the way they turned out.  Valentine's Day is on Sunday this year (and over a 4-day Presidents' weekend to boot), so our exchange will be this coming Thursday.  I hope they are a hit!


  1. That is a most EXCELLENT and BODACIOUS idea. Well done girl. Bloody well done indeedy.
    How the heck did you get the idea. Yeah yeah yeah pintrest, whatever. But what caught the idea and made it happen. Was it seeing the pie thingy. Thanks NASA btw. :-)

    1. They've been around a few years and another teacher at my site made them a couple of years ago. At that time I was dealing with the most apathetic class I'd ever had, so I poo pooed it, thinking the amount of time it would take negated the crayons' cuteness. Exhaustion from standing on my head each day kept me from pursuing it. With this year's class, who loves everything, spending the weekend making them didn't seem so taxing.
      Thank you! They're fun!

  2. What a great idea!! If I had a reason, I'd make some of my own. Almost makes me wish I still had a Girl Scout troop or taught Sunday School. Almost. ;)

    Those really did turn out awfully cute. I hope they love them!

    1. That would be a fun Girl Scout project. They'd love to pick their own color combos.
      Thank you, I hope they do too.

  3. they are super cute.. i keep a little baggie of all the broken throw away crayon pieces.. maybe i'll find the time to make them one day too

    1. Your boys would enjoy them, just for home even. They are fun to write with as the colors come out variegated.