Ice Cube Tray Crayons

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These ice cube tray crayons turned out so well and were a great bang-for-your-buck activity. Just for something to do, we made new crayons out of our old crayon bits. It didn’t actually cost anything, but even in terms of time and effort on my part in exchange for the value, it was so worth it.

ice cube tray crayonsYou know how sometimes as a mom, you spend hours preparing for an activity (running from store to store tracking down the necessary supplies, doing any prep. that is too advanced for your kids, laying everything out, helping the kids with it, not to mention the clean-up) and it occupies the kids for all of about five minutes?! Well, those kinds of crafts or activities are not what I would consider good bang for my buck!

To make these ice cube tray crayons, I pulled out the drawer where we keep markers, pencils, and crayons and the kids and I rifled through it to find all the crayon bits. Then we peeled off the paper. This took quite a bit of time, but somehow, it held their attention. It was very quiet in the room as they tried to get even the most stubborn labels off.

Next, we broke some of the larger ones into smaller bits and I placed them into an ice cube tray.  For some, I kept it all one shade of one colour, for others, I did a mixture of bright colours.  I also made a camouflage one, one with whites, greys, and black, and one of blues and greens.

I put the tray in the microwave and set it for a few minutes. I put it in many, many times and checked it every few minutes. I found that some brands of crayons melted much more quickly than others. Here and there, I stirred them with toothpicks. When they were more or less melted, I put them in the freezer.

When I took them out of the freezer, I popped the ice cube tray crayons out on the counter. The great thing about this activity is that it continued on after we made the new crayons because of course the kids wanted to colour with the new crayons. The blue/green one worked really well to make a water effect. Super fun and easy!Note: I used an extra ice cube tray knowing that I probably wouldn’t be able to use it for ice again. I reasoned that since they are only $1 at the dollar store, it was worth the sacrifice. I kept the tray in case we decide to do this again as it was a great way to clean out the crayon drawer and have a little fun.


I’ve had two readers contact me to let me know that their ice cube tray melted in the microwave when they tried this. One of them also had a fire start in the microwave after using sparkly crayons. Please use caution. Do not use crayons with glitter or shimmer in them. Set your microwave at a lower temperature and check it often. I’m assuming that some ice cube trays are made of thinner plastic than others and that is why this is happening.

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  1. They turned out great. we did this in the oven with cup cake tins. I like the size of yours better. I love the bang for the buck on time management too.

    • I had seen the muffin tin ones but didn’t like how big they were and didn’t want to use my mini muffin tin tray because I didn’t want to wreck it. Were you able to clean your tray after?

      • I used my art and craft muffin tin so I did not try real hard to get it clean. I imagine it would be VERY difficult.

      • I have never tried this, but it seems to me that you could probably use paper tin liners (muffin cups) just like you do for cupcakes when making muffin tin crayons in the oven. It would help keep the tins cleaner. I would still have a pan dedicated specifically to non-food uses, though!

  2. This is brilliant! I too have done the oven version, but I like that the ice cube ones are smaller. I never thought of doing it in the microwave. Great idea! Thank you for sharing your project!


  3. pinned and shared – thanks for linking with Frugal Family 🙂 love this project!

  4. This was a complete craft fail. I checked it every few minutes, but some were still not melted and then two of the cubes plastic melted on the bottom all the way through, and I had to clean melted crayon out of my microwave. Next time I’ll definitely go the oven route.

    • That sounds like a huge mess to clean up…ugh…I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. I wonder if it depends on the thickness of the plastic in the ice cube tray or on the strength of your microwave. Thank you for the feedback. Maybe others can try setting their microwave at a lower level (or of course there’s always the oven option).

    • Margaret says:

      Mine caught on fire and melted the ice cube tray. My girls had used some shimmery crayons in the mix, which in hindsight was probably not the best idea.

      • Thank you so much for letting me know. I have added an update right into the post to warn others. Sorry that you had such a bad experience with this 🙁

  5. sincerelysarahandcrafted says:

    This worked well. I made sure I had a thick ice cube tray, put the microwave on a low setting, checked them every minute or less. I found that my thicker crayons (crayola) melted best, there were some thinner ones that never melted so I just stuck them in slots that had melted crayons. So they still became a part of our new melted creations, but didn’t actually melt on their own. Only took a little while to harden in the freezer and we got some cool color combinations. Very pleased with it. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Mine did awesome dollar tree (ice-cube tray) lighter colors don’t melt as good i just smushed them into melted crayon until covered couldn’t tell. i ran mine 3x with 2 min run time then 2 min to help the crayons settle on their own. you rush it then, yes you will b cleaning up a mess and i used metallic but i put them at the bottom of the other colors.

  7. We did this in the summer when my kids were little. We just sat the tray in the sun on a hot day.

  8. Thank you for linking up at “A Little Bird Told Me” Wednesday link party! You have been featured on Mama’s Happy Hive. 🙂


  1. […] can use fancy shaped molds or simply use an ice cube tray.  The Chaos and the Clutter has step-by-step directions.  Check it […]

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