Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lump of Coal Crayons


Have someone naughty (or just artistic) on your stocking stuffer list? Maybe they could use a lump of coal - crayon.

I made a couple this morning to go along with a breakfast reading of Lemony Snicket's The Lump of Coal. It's the story of finding Christmas "miracles" in strange places, like home and hearth, or in a dumped over bag of barbecue briquette in the backyard.

To make the crayons, I peeled the wrappers from black crayons, and placed them in an old, disposable pie pan...


...and then into a 250 degree Fahrenheit over for 5-10 minutes, until they were completely melted.


As they started to cool (just a few seconds out of the oven), I used plastic spoons to scrape up the amount of soft wax I wanted...


...and then formed them into a rough ball by hand. The entire process took about 15 minutes, and they were ready to use within minutes after that.


Two and a half crayons will make a one inch lump of coal, just right for little hands to put to creative use.


For more story stretching arts and crafts, check out this week's stART (story + ART) link-up, at A Mommy's Adventures.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

24 comments:

Phyllis said...

You come up with one brilliant idea after another!

Raising a Happy Child said...

Where did you find so many black crayons? Fun idea, but I think daughter will not appreciate getting coals instead of expected sweets :)

Wonder Mom said...

Oh, this is SO gonna be the present I give my father for Christmas! LOVE IT!

Christy said...

You are incredibly clever. Every day you amaze me with the things you come up with. I love this.

Kimberly said...

how fun....and once again- I miss homeschooling little ones...LOL

Monica said...

So creative! What a great idea.

Katie said...

Wow! I came across your blog today and I am SO glad I did! Cannot wait to try out these crayons, as well as the streamer wrapping paper! I am very much looking forward to reading further and bookmarking your blog for more great ideas. :)

BTW, I LOVE the title of your blog. I am currently transitioning by 2 boys from a "school-at-home" homeschooling environment to a more unschooling environment, so I am most definitely "almost" unschooling, lol.

Thanks for sharing so many great ideas!

Brimful Curiosities said...

I hope we don't find any of those in our stockings! On the positive side, at least kids can have fun coloring with their coal! Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad gift after all.

We've never read that Lemony Snicket book. For what ages is it appropriate?

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Brimful Curiousities - On Amazon it says 3rd-6th grade. I read it aloud to the whole family, ages 4-13, and they all enjoyed it, and listened well.

Lady Chadwick said...

so if we were to use multi colored crayons... and shape them differently...could we make any old designs for gifts?

something I have in great supply would be broken crayons....I think I still have crayons from when my oldest was a kid and we keep getting more every year.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Lady Chadwick - To make shaped crayons, either melt them as I showed, only in a smaller pan, so it won't be too thin, and then cut them with a cookie cutter, before they harden. Or, melt them right in an oven safe mold (like a mini-muffin pan). Or, melt them, and then pour them into a mold (like a chocolate mold). We've done some before a couple of those ways - if you do a search for crayons you'll find them - or Google it for lots of great ideas :)

maggy, red ted art said...

Oh what a fun and perfect idea! Great take on the "crayon melting" trend going around - orginal, funny AND seasonal! Love it!

Maggy
Kids Get Crafty

Lady Chadwick said...

thanks!

Ticia said...

That would be so much fun to do

Lady Chadwick said...

So I went with red and green lumps and we are calling it 'Christmas Coal'

thanks :)

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

I agree with Phyllis... stop being so amazing - you make the rest of us look bad. ;)

Candace @Naturally Educational said...

@Lady Chadwick : silicone baking trays work very well as crayon molds. You can bake them right in the trays without melting first. Stinks up the house, though.

Debbie said...

I chuckled all the way through this post. I loved it and it reminded me of the time my mom decided for a gag to melt tootsie rolls and make clumps out of them. She gave them to my dad in a box with a watch in it.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Christianne - Since I'm often in awe of the activities on your blog, and Phyllis', I won't take your comment too seriously - but thanks :)

Jenny said...

So you liked the book? I've never seen it before. This is one of my favorite ideas I've read about in awhile.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Jenny - Yes, I did. It's a little tongue in cheek, and I did point out to the children, that the term miracle was being used very loosely, but it ends really well.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am so glad the lump of coal is for coloring and not in place of a great gift.

Christy said...

I just had to let you know that I put this book on hold at the library and I have every intention of making lumps of coal for the kiddos. Thanks again for your brilliance.

Kayte said...

I can't wait to make some of these for my husband :) I'm going to be looking up this book too. Thanks for sharing!