One of the most recent use-it-or-lose-it assessments I have been doing around here is in our crafting supplies. For us, this ranges from anything like paints, brushes, sewing supplies, yarn, and knitting needles to random miscellany like stencils, poly-fill, stickers, and scrapbooking supplies. Some of it was definitely just junk that needed to be thrown away, but a lot of it is still really useful stuff that just needed some organizing so that we will actually know what we have and can then use it. Now that it's about 87.4% organized, I'm pretty excited about really using the stuff soon.
The overwhelming craft supply winner of Thing We Have Way Too Many Of is crayons and markers. I mean, a bazillion. And yes, you can have too many. Somehow with the amount we had there was a strange can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees phenomenon that would occur when the us-es sat down to draw. They would become completely paralyzed in their search for the color they wanted. So we (read: I) scribbled through every marker, getting rid of the ones that had dried out. Then I got together maybe two complete color sets of crayons to keep and planned on discarding the rest. But it felt kinda (majorly) wrong to throw away so many decent crayons. Then, old-school inspiration struck.
I remember somewhere in my 33 years melting crayon shavings between two pieces of wax paper and making stained glass. I also remember the whole idea of melting broken crayons down and putting them in molds to form new crayons. Since the idea of endlessly shaving crayons and operating an iron with Pretty Baby and Little Big Man at my feet (and me evidently at their beck and call) sounded less appealing than a day spent listening to Ace of Base on repeat, I opted to melt them down. I used a mini muffin pan, mixed the broken pieces, put them in a preheated oven, and then let them cool. And just like that, magic crayons.
This was extremely easy, extremely quick, and extremely clean. I'm so pleased with these I think we will make them as Christmas gifts for all the kids in our lives. Old idea. Old crayons. New fun.
Here's a bunch of pictures (that may even receive their own re-purposing in the not-too-distant future).
Fresh from the oven . . .