Making homemade crayons gives you a great non-toxic option - plus a fun lesson in art history!

How to Make Crayons

This post may contain affiliate links, including those from, which means we earn a small commission off your purchases. And here's the thing: We only mention services and products that we think are truly worth your attention, whether they're free, paid, or otherwise. This site relies on YOUR trust, so if we don't stand behind a product 110%, it's not mentioned. Period.

I thought making crayons was going to be a simple project.

But after the 15th batch in an effort to get the recipe just right, I was fully willing to admit that it was neither as easy nor as frugal as I had hoped.

On the upside, however, it IS a fantastically fun project and you end up with a high-quality, non-toxic final product that you can be proud of (and that any small child chew on without worry!). You can even add in essential oils without worry to help sensory children focus or for therapeutic value (see our notes at the end).

Making Crayons: Wax + Colorant + Mold = Fun

Part of the reason I really wanted to make our own crayons – beyond the satisfaction of knowing how to do it, of course – was to provide a crayon for my children that I knew exactly what was in it.

Crayons in our house tend to get chewed on by the babies, so I wanted to make sure any coloring implement in our house was not only non-toxic, but not even paraffin, which is a refined by-product of the sludge after petroleum is made into gasoline and motor oil.

So, in making crayons, I got picky. The final product had to meet several criteria:

*completely non-toxic
*would write and draw smoothly on paper
*wouldn't dye my children's hands
*wouldn't soften when held
*would wash easily off tables/walls/any surface where crayon is verboten but still seems to appear

Problem #1: Figuring Out That Beeswax Crayons Pick Up Lint When Dropped

When I set out on this project venture, I found lots of internet references to great success making crayons with a recipe of half beeswax and half grated soap.

But when I tried the beeswax-and-soap recipe (and several subsequent variations), I was consistently unhappy with the results.

The crayons stayed tacky, they melted and softened during use due to body heat, they picked up lint and hair on the floor when dropped, and when my one-year-old decided to draw one defiant line on the wall, it was nigh-unto-impossible to scrub off. (Although, as usual, baking soda did the job.)

But by this point, I was bound and determined to figure this out – so I went into research mode.

I combed chemist websites, read up on the history of Crayola, and made charts outlining the properties of various waxes. And most interestingly, I discovered that part of why our beloved Melissa & Doug crayons feel so different than traditional crayons is because they're made of a sophisticated plastic rather than wax!

That got my wheels turning.

Was there a natural material I could easily source that would act like plastic? It took me only a few minutes to realize that carnauba wax (aka palm wax) was the perfect foil.

Carnauba's texture wasn't the only benefit either, I soon discovered. It's completely edible (in fact, it's often used on candy coatings and dental flosss), it's easy to harvest sustainably, requires very minimal processing, it was easy to find, and was relatively inexpensive. And best of all, when I tested its washability on an inconspicuous corner of the wall, it wouldn't even write on the wall!

(Now, to be honest, the downside to using such a hard wax is that thin crayons will break easily and the crayons can only be used for coloring – no iron-melt art projects or other fun stuff, but these weren't deterrents for me.)

A lesson in art history…

Once I had satisfactorily settled on a wax, then it was time to figure out our dyes.

Heh. Figuring out how to tint the crayons the crazy colors we wanted turned out to be a lesson in art history….

My first instinct was to color the crayons like I do anything else – with dyes derived from food.

But the beet juice that turns play dough and buttercream a gorgeous pink turned the wax into a murky, brown sludge…. blah. And the parsley juice that usually produces a brilliant green turned into a military green/brown that was far from vivid. Somehow the hot waxes created some serious oxidation. Also, it required a lot of liquid to provide sufficient color, which didn't blend well with the wax. (And that's putting it mildly.)

So natural colors were out.

So then I went out and invested in a set of the standard gel food colors that all the crayon recipes I saw called for. That worked well enough with beeswax, but the carnauba wax hardened immediately upon touching the gel, so it wouldn't mix in.

I fixed this easily enough by adding the food gel to the wax while it was melting. Using that method, it mixed in beautifully, but then the process took F-O-R-E-V-E-R because you can only mix one color at a time before you have to clean the pan so you can melt and mix another color. (UPDATE: One of the commenters below has a FANTASTIC tip for how to make this process much simpler!)

Also, I didn't have pans small enough to melt only enough wax for 1 or 2 crayons, so we ended up with dozens of crayons of each color.

As you can imagine, I abandoned that technique REAL darn quick.

That's when I remembered that I had seen a very cool article on Pinterest about how to grind your own paint, based on the technique of a 13th century Italian artist who created his paints by mixing natural mineral pigments with egg yolk. (And of course, we had to try it too – there's a concise little tutorial here.)

Interestingly enough, this technique is also seen in 17th century Dutch paintings, so the technique definitely lasted for quite some time.

The thing is, Crayola thought of this too. They originally named their “Indian Red” color after the brown pigment found near India commonly used in fine artist oil paint.

In the “how to grind your own paint” article – which included fabulous photos – the students ground up colored chalk instead of mineral deposits, and so for crayons, I thought – why not use chalk?

Despite how excited I was about this technique, the final result was merely passable. The crayons colored wonderfully, but I couldn't get the color strong enough. The original pieces of chalk were the colors I wanted – not the muted tones that ended up when “diluted” with wax.

So then – providentially – I stumbled upon Botanical Paint at my local health food store! I had never seen these dry paint powders before, so I was excited to try them out at crayon colorants. Sadly, while they colored beautifully and performed better than the chalk, they still produced somewhat muted tones. (UPDATE: I've since discovered on their website that they have more concentrated colors available as well.)

How is a six-year-old girl supposed to color the scenes from her vivid imagination with very un-vivid crayons?

So, my last ditch attempt was to try the technique of the 17th century masters and use earth pigments.

These are minerals and iron oxides sourced directly from the earth. I wasn't adventurous enough (or willing to spend any more $$$ for my myriad experiments), so I used pigments I already had on my ingredient shelf, namely the ones I use in homemade calamine lotion.

These worked BEAUTIFULLY! They gave deep color, they didn't interrupt the smooth writing action of the crayon on paper, and they were (relatively) inexpensive to purchase.

UPDATE: Since doing all these experiments, it occurred to me that these micas and ultramarines are used commonly these days as cosmetic colorants. (Duh.) So, perhaps making crayons would be a great use for that outdated palette of eye-shadow lurking in the back of your closet…

(Want to find natural pigments? Check out these two sites:

Find earth pigments for painters here.  – This site is fascinating and their product line is extensive.

Find cosmetic mineral pigments here.)

UPDATE January 2014: I just found these videos on YouTube, which weren't available when I wrote the article originally. Enjoy!


So, with all of that – let's make crayons!

Making homemade crayons turned into an unexpected lesson in art history....


How to Make Crayons


  • carnauba wax (you can buy it in bulk here or in very small amounts here) – I used 8-10 g per crayon
  • beeswax (optional) (buy it here)
  • colorant of choice (earth pigments, cosmetic colorants, chalk, gel food dye) – 2-3 g for dry pigments / 1/4 tsp for liquid colorants

For very hard, smooth crayons, use carnauba wax exclusively.

For a slightly more traditional, waxy crayon, use 90% carnauba and 10% beeswax.


Choose a mold that will make a crayon at least 1/2″ in diameter – any less and the crayon may break easily. I tried pouring the wax into standard size drinking straws and they worked fairly well to shape the wax, but the resulting crayons snapped whenever I applied pressure to draw. Making a crayon out of the 90% carnauba + 10% beeswax blend helps.


Have everything prepped entirely: place all pigments in the cups, have stir sticks easily at hand, and have molds laid out. Grate your beeswax if necessary.

Place wax in the saucepan and melt over low heat. If you are using beeswax, melt the carnauba wax completely before adding the beeswax.

When the wax is completely melted, reduce the heat to as low as your burner will allow. Pour a few tablespoons of wax into ONE of the cups, place the pan back on the heat, then stir the pigment into the wax. WORK VERY QUICKLY.

Pour the colored wax into the mold creating as many crayons as the wax allows. Be forewarned that carnauba wax hardens in a flash – you'll be pouring and all of a sudden the wax will be solid, so do work efficiently.

When one color is finished, pour a bit of hot wax into the next cup, stir in the color, and pour.

Continue until all the wax or all the colors have been finished.

Also, a note – even though carnauba hardens very quickly, it can also be flaked off the cups very easily once dry and it remelts beautifully. Since the wax will already be colored, you may not want to remelt, but remelting various colors together sometimes creates fun new colors.

Let the crayons harden at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

Unmold and ENJOY!

Remember: These will create a much harder crayon than the traditional Crayola. They do work fabulously for coloring and drawing, though! If you really want a waxier feeling crayon, add in a bit of beeswax, as suggested above.

A few variations….

To make your crayons even more fun, consider adding essential oils. (Drop a few drops in when you stir the wax and colorant together.)

Scented crayons?!? you might ask, but yes, I assure you, it isn't as crazy as it sounds.

I originally added essential oils for the aromatherapy of it – lavender for a calming effect for hyperactive children and sweet orange and vanilla to elevate moods, for example.

But my husband pointed out it would be an excellent sensory experience to use essential oils that mirror the color. Spruce or cedar for green, for example, and orange for orange. Lavender could be used for purple, lemon for yellow, and rose absolute in either the pink or red. Sandalwood or clove for brown and wintergreen for white (that's the color it stirs up for me, at least!) For children who learn in a very sensory manner, this could be tremendously helpful in helping them focus and express their creative thoughts.

Did these crayons work for you? Do you have any other ideas for molds or colorants?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. What good thing didn’t Picture Picture teach us?!?

      Thanks for that great memory, Kendra! I had forgotten it until now. πŸ™‚

      1. Dear Kresha,
        since its hard to find carnauba here, do you think be able to subs with palm (candle) wax?
        Thankyou so much for your post anyway πŸ™‚

  1. I have been stealing your ideas for a little while now ( for personal use of course) I had always just thought of crayons as non toxic(which they are but…well nobody really seems to know what is in them) anyway I was looking for a bread recipe and found this imagine that lol I love that you shared so much hihistory, also love the sensory idea, ttruly genius. We currently have enough crayons for a small army of kindergartener, but should we run out I know where to find them (I don’t like to waste anything mone, food or otherwise, so these will have to wait wait, but iI may have to come up with ALOT of craft ideas that require crayons so we can get to this more quickly lol. Thanks again

  2. I am seriously geeking out about this post, and for the same reason as above: the Mr. Rogers episode where they visited the crayon factory! So cool to make my own crayons now πŸ™‚

  3. I LOVE the idea of using GLOB paint powders! Which kit would you recommend to use to make these crayons? How much GLOB paint powder should be used in how much wax? I absolutely want to try making these! Love the essential oils scenting idea too!

    1. I don’t know the GLOB kits well, but if I remember from their website (which is linked to in the article) I thought any of them would work well. As for the amounts, that’s personal preference according to how dark or light you want the color. πŸ™‚ I think I used about 1/2 teaspoon per crayon, if I remember correctly.

      I absolutely LOVE the GLOB paint powders for painting!!!

    1. Well, I would be surprised if they were able to get on skin or clothing at all, due to how hard they are. They don’t smear well! That said, carnauba wax becomes brittle when it becomes cold, so I would imagine that in the case that it did get onto fabrics or skin, just rub it with an ice cube and it would just flake off. I haven’t tried it on fabric, so that’s just an educated guess, but I’ve gotten it off of dishes, counters, pots and pans, and cardboard with that method.

  4. Speaking of sensory, you could mold a few batches of a color and give them as party favors to children. Like a lemon slice ice cube tray of yellow, green pine trees and a rose shape from a chocolate tray; all of which would correspond with the associated color. I know a few people, young and old, that I think I’ll whip that up for!

  5. If you wanted to use straws for a mold check an asian store for bubble tea straws. They are very large and sturdy.

  6. Oh…. Methinks you may havejust created a monster! Lol! My kids are pretty much past the crayon stages, into the teens & a couple even old enough, I’m starting to hope they’ll start supplying me with a new generation to create with! But, even without the grand babies, I may try making some of just the beeswax! I’ve seen some (very pricey) ones in catalogs, and wanted them for myself – I’m one of those artsy-but-too-frugal-to-spend types. I love working with oil pastels, but they can be finicky. The pure beeswax crayons are supposed to fall somewhere between typical crayons, and a good quality oil pastel. I’m going to make somefor myself. But, with qualities like that, I might even be able to bring the ‘tween’ & the teens back to the coloring table! πŸ˜€ Who knows – maybe even the ones I’ve already married off! LOL

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  7. Super fun summer project with the kids! However, I had trouble with the mica powders “settling” in the molds. I ended up with clear edges around all my crayons. Anyone else have this problem.

    1. I haven’t had that problem, but certainly others should chime in if they have. My waxes set up so fast there wasn’t really time for ANYTHING to settle. That’s very interesting….

  8. I’m in S Korea, teaching kids. Crayolas are $30 a box and the other coloring “sticks” are a mess, so I’m definitely going to attempt this. Finding colorants here seems impossible, so i will try food coloring, if you can tell me you were happy enough with the crayon colors using the gels. I don’t mind investing in single-serving pots for each color!

    thanks for doing the hard work!

    1. Jay,

      Wow! Many blessings on your work! πŸ™‚

      Yes, I was happy with the colors using gel colors, but you do have to make sure the color is completely whisked in while the wax is hot, as I have a memory of at least once coming away with entirely black hands due to having a pocket of unmixed color in the middle of one crayon.

      I hope they work for you! Please let me know if they do because that will seriously make my day. πŸ˜‰

      And also, I should mention that since one of my personal goals with making my own crayons was to have a totally non-toxic product in case they were chewed on by my then very young toddler, I didn’t include paraffin wax in my tests. However, if you’re not working with very young children and don’t have that same concern, you might want to try the food coloring gels with paraffin wax – I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work and it would likely be the cheapest wax to purchase in bulk.

      Have fun!

  9. This is an awesome post – thank you. I can’t wait to have a go at making these. Just a quick question – why is it unnecessary to add soap to the carnauba wax crayon recipe? Is this due to the wax being hard enough alone?

    Many thanks again for such a comprehensive account of your crayon making experience.

    1. I never tried the soap + carnauba mix. Perhaps that would work well! However, they’ve got vastly different melting points, so I suspect they would be difficult to get to mix properly. I just found that the soap + beeswax mix created a crayon that was too soft and sticky while my children were using them.

      That said, carnauba is a VERY hard wax, almost too hard, while beeswax is too soft to use alone. The perfect balance is somewhere in between. πŸ™‚

      Enjoy your crayon-making adventure!

      1. Thanks for the reply and advice. I will play around with a mix of the carnauba and beeswax. I’m looking forward to it.

        Thank you again!

  10. What did you use for the red pigment? The earthpigments don’t seem that vibrant in the red slection. Did you add a cadmium pigment?

    1. When I was making the red, I was still using the gel food coloring, so that’s what you see in the picture of my homemade crayons. In the future, I’ll try micas from my local soapmaking shop that are meant for cosmetics, I think, and see what kind of reds come that way. Otherwise, cadmium is an interesting idea – I hadn’t thought of that one…. Do you source your cadmium pigments online? I’d love to take a look at a few, although I’m not sure cadmium would be desirable in a crayon that might be chewed on by a small child. I’ll do my research – and if you use that method, please give us review! I’d love to know how it goes! πŸ™‚

      1. Cadmium is toxic and is being phased out as a pigment and anything else that could come into contact with humans without a barrier. The main places it is used any more are batteries and solar cells where it is largely isolated from exposure and levels used are low enough that breakage shouldn’t be very hazardous.

        Just a heads up!

  11. I LOVED reading this article, with the history of crayons. And GREAT JOB at all the hard work you put into testing the different types. You ROCK! I was looking online to order the pigments because I want to make some crayons now πŸ™‚ I have started making my own make up, since I can’t seem to give it up wearing make up and I know what chemicals are in cosmetics. So i thought I could kill to bird with one stone. My son is going to be two and is starting to like crayons. So I thought it would be nice to make crayons that are non toxic and it’s a good excuse for me to get some colors to make eyeshadows with. So I looked on both of the sites you recommended. I read the fine print for the Earth Pigments and it says that you shouldn’t use it as cosmetic. So I’m leaning towards the Voyageur web site. But I just wanted to point out this part, because I don’t know if you saw this on the web site for Earth Pigments.
    It says :
    -Pigments are not suitable for food use and are not meant to be used as food coloring.
    -Pigment Powders are not suitable to be handled by children.
    But I’m guessing that the pigments are ok since they are in the wax mixture for the crayon? or should I not use Earth pigments, because it WILL most likely end up in his mouth. He already took a bite out of some chalk I let him play with :/

    However the prices for the red are much better on Earth Pigments Medium Red Crimson
    Size: 100g $7.00 than the prices for Voyageur they have Carmine – 7g for $10.50.
    You get a lot more bang for your buck with the first one πŸ™‚

    What are your thoughts? Thanks!!!

    1. Well, “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “non-toxic,” so my inclination would be to leave the Earth Pigments as paint, merely because at least the micas at Voyageur (or other similar stores) have been created with the intent that they will come in contact with skin, whereas the Earth Pigments, I believe, were created only with the intent of making paint, so may not have been evaluated for safety the same way.

      However, since your comment appeared in my notifications, I’ve been thinking and thinking, because while the micas at Voyageur are lovely – I use myself use them for all sorts of applications from crayons to cosmetics – I’m not entirely sure they’re great for coming in contact with mucous membranes or the mouth. I know I have recommended them as the best option in the article above, but honestly, that was because after trying everything I could think of, they were the best bet.

      However, just a few days ago I published the post on natural food dyes, and as I’ve thought about your comment, it struck me that while the LIQUID version of the natural dyes I tried failed miserably, perhaps the POWDER version of the natural dyes would work well. (I haven’t tried it, so I make no promises, but I think it’s a good idea to try at least!!!) For example, the beet juice didn’t hold up, but a beet powder might make a lovely brick red or matcha a really decent green. Again, haven’t tried it, but it’s worth a shot. Also, several bloggers I know and trust use these natural powders, such as beet powder and cocoa powder, to make their homemade cosmetics, so perhaps that could be of use to you too.

      Natural Food Dyes:
      Natural Make-up at Wellness Mama:

      So, I hope that helps. I don’t know if I actually answered your question, but there are few rambly thoughts nonetheless. πŸ™‚

  12. Hi! I like your site… nice articles. I am an artist and think I might have a solution for your making smaller amounts. When I was in college and learned about encaustics (painting with pigmented wax) we used old electric skillets and recycled food tins (like tuna, pineapple, etc.) to melt the stuff. Can do several at a time. BTW I also like your posts about natural dyes. I am into making my own art supplies and have created some works with pigments made from walnut husks, oak galls, and field dirt which is actually easier to do than you might think. KmB

    1. Oh, that’s a GREAT idea! Put smaller pots in a larger heat source!!! Also, that would be a great way to keep the wax liquid while you work with other colors.

      Thank you!

  13. This is awesome! I didn’t realize the horrors contained in the supposedly non-toxic crayons. My daughter eats them all the time and I am horrified to think of how horrible they were for her. I will be making these immediately and adding the essential oils since she has sensory issues as well. Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas and recipes.

    1. Well, don’t stress too much! Every kid munches on crayons now and then – the paraffin wax certainly isn’t ideal but it’s not a don’t-put-that-in-your-mouth-or-I’ll-need-to-call-911 kind of toxin. πŸ™‚

      But regardless – this is a very fun project and I hope you and your daughter have a great time with the crayons!

  14. this is a great idea. I am a recreation therapist and we are always looking for fun things to do with our clients. thanks for the history lessson. this will be helpful with my older clients. i have found a new go to site for ideas:)

  15. Hello,
    I am doing a science fair project about recycling materials into crayons, and I used this article for the recipe. Thank you SO much for making this! You are the only website that I could find for crayons. I literally couldn’t have done it without you!

  16. So I took a little class on candle making, and one thing the instructor told us was to never use water based mix ins. I wonder if that’s some of the problems with using food colorings? You might look for something oil based, it should mix with the wax better. Or look at some of the candle making supplies out there, I haven’t done much in this craft but I would think there were some natural coloring techniques out there for candles that would transfer to crayons easily. they’re both basically just colored wax, I’ve even seen crayons mixed in as the color for candles before (though I don’t think that’s the best idea since you’ll breath it in…). Just an idea for further research.
    I totally like the idea of scented crayons, way better than the scented markers that you can’t get off of anything. Might not be able to go to the extent of making my own crayons, but I thought adding scents to crazy crayons would be fun.
    Someone else said they had problems with settling colors, I experienced that with crazy crayons before: a clear wax coating around the colored part, which if from cheaper crayons that use more wax than color, so you might try adding additional color… that might help
    And thanks for the history lesson, as a Homeschool mom, I totally love making everything into a learning experience!

  17. Iv’e been experimenting quite a bit with naturally dyeing yarn and I’m thinking about using natural coloring such as fruits veggies and other plants for these crayons. Have you experimented with this at all? Just curious about how it would tun out before i try it.

    1. I haven’t, but over on our thread about natural food dyes (which are largely fruit and vegetable based), I seem to remember some discussion about natural dyes the Navajo use (and if you’ve ever seen the gorgeous tapestries for which the Navajo are known, you’ll known they are resident experts on naturally methods of dying yarn!) I don’t remember if any answers came out of the discussion, but it might be a place to start…. πŸ™‚

      Good luck!

  18. why is the earth pigments used in paraffin wax to make crayons does not mix with the wax? kindly suggest me


  19. Hello,

    Again, this is a great article and the comments are most helpful. I have been experimenting with using carnauba wax and beeswax to make crayons for quite some time now. I ended up using oil based candy colours to color the wax. Overall, these have worked quite well. However, I’ve noticed that the blue, green and purple crayons made with the oil candy colours rub off on the hands when used. The red, yellow, orange and pink are fine. Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions why this happens and if there’s anything I can do to avoid this happening?

    Many thanks!

    1. What a great idea! I have never seen oil-based candy colors – I’ll definitely look into them.

      However, as for your question, I’ll definitely defer to the wisdom of other commenters, as I don’t have any experience with this. So interesting (and infuriating, I’m sure, as the color comes off on your hands….)

      Anyone care to chime in or have an experience to share?

      Thanks for a great question!

  20. I was wondering if you could add a small amount of soy wax with the carnauba wax instead of the beeswax to make them slightly softer? Do you think this would work? I’m talking like 95% carnauba and 5% (or maybe even less) soy wax. Also, you said that the carnauba wax becomes brittle over time? How long have your crayons maintained their integrity? Thanks for making such an awesome tutorial/recipe! You are an inspiration!!

    1. I haven’t tried soy wax, but I think it’s a great idea. I would imagine that they wouldn’t be as sticky as beeswax and yes – they’d likely be less brittle than the carnauba. In fact, if the first batch goes well, soy might work well for an even larger percentage of the recipe. Again, I haven’t tried it, but I’d love to hear how it goes. πŸ™‚

      And the carnauba doesn’t necessarily become brittle over time – they’re quite firm and “snappy” as soon as they’re dry. They’ll last as long as carnauba wax will last, which is to say a very very very long time, especially if kept out of the sun. πŸ™‚

      I hope that helps and have fun!

      1. Hi – just to say I tried with soy wax on its own before – and it comes out very similar to beeswax. I haven’t tried it mixed with carnauba yet but am going to try – I imagine it will be very similar to the beeswax. πŸ™‚

  21. Could a large clear carnuaba wax crayon be used to wax cars? Maybe wax appliances in the kitchen to keep oil off them or even glassware to keep their shine?

    1. Wow – that’s a great idea, but I have no idea if it would actually work. πŸ™‚ My hunch is that most of the commercial car waxes use only a small percentage of carnauba wax, but you may be on to something! I would recommend looking at the ingredient lists of a number of products you like for both home and car use and make a decision from there. πŸ™‚

      Let us know how it goes! I’m definitely intrigued…..

    1. I’ve listed all my suggestions as for which essential oils to use in the post above, as it just depends on which scent you’d like. As for brand, I have no preference in this application – whatever is available to you will be fine.

      The amount varies according to the scent, as each oil varies in its intensity. Drop in 4-5 drops when you’re stirring, smell it to see if it’s strong enough (it will abate a bit when cooled), and add more if you’d like.

      I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  22. Wow, these look amazing!!! Believe it or not, I have been trying to make natural fragranced crayons for ages myself – I kept stumbling over the softness but hadn’t thought to try carnauba wax, thank you soooo much!!! I have an autistic son so natural and sensory products are great for us, I was just wondering – could you give me an idea how much colouring you used per crayon? I have some oxide and mica powders here but would save me a shedload of experimentation if I had a rough idea of how much is needed per crayon??? I had no joy with food dyes either….

    Any advice would very gratefully received. Thank you

    1. I hope they work well for you! πŸ™‚

      As for coloring amounts, I use 2-3 g for dry pigments / 1/4 tsp for liquid colorants.

      I hope that helps!

  23. Can you suggest the best recipe to make crayons for a hot iron melted crayon on wax paper project. . Actually I don’t even need to form actual crayons but just need to make a super large amount of colored wax or the raw crayon material. In the past I have bought crayons and thrown them in a blender to grind them up and then place between wax paper and apply the hot iron . That process would be costly and time consuming for the project I have in mind. Thank you for any suggestions – Michael

    1. Well, I haven’t tried grating these crayons for that kind of project, but after I saw your question come in yesterday, I did a quick little experiment that might help. If you use just beeswax and once it’s melted, add in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch (per 20g of beeswax) plus your coloring and mix until smooth, then let harden in whatever shapes or quantities that work for you, I found that it hardened the wax a bit. It wasn’t easy to write with, but it shaved REALLY nicely, so perhaps that would work for what you have in mind? DEFINITELY try it on a small amount first, but hopefully that will get you in the right direction! πŸ™‚

      Good luck and have fun!

  24. Loved this! Really want to try it soon for my nephews! Just one question – could I substitute the palm/carnaruba for something, as palm is incredibly destructive environmentally? Large portions of rainforests around the world have been or are being chopped down because of it – where I’m from its hardly sold anymore because of its harmful impact on the climate and on cute orangutans (I’m from Sweden).. Any ideas of replacements?


    1. Good question! πŸ™‚

      Anytime I mention palm oil, palm shortening, or palm wax on this site, I definitely refer to sustainably-responsible companies, of which there are a number. In the case of carnauba wax, Mountain Rose Herbs is an excellent source, for example. (I link to them above, but you can also see their waxes here.)

      That said, carnauba is completely separate from this issue. While palms grow around the world, carnauba wax comes exclusively from palms in one part of Brazil and the wax cannot be harvested from felled trees, as the trees must be live in order to exude the wax. Thus leaves are harvested in small batches several times during the harvest months.

      As for substitutes, perhaps try candelilla. It’s another plant-based wax – it’s not as hard as carnauba, but it’s definitely more brittle than beeswax, so perhaps that would work well in this application.

      I hope that helps and I hope your nephews enjoy their crayons!

  25. Hi, Did anyone research the pigments to make sure they were safe? I remember reading that some mineral pigments were toxic, like the ones found in some oil paints, the dark blues. I don’t want to expose my kid to something without knowing but not sure where to start. Anyone?

    1. It depends on which dyes you’re talking about. The earth pigments definitely might be toxic, as they’re not graded for food use, but any powdered pigment that is food-grade shouldn’t be toxic, such as cocoa or beet powder. This includes food-grade mineral pigments such as baking soda, although as a colorant it’s admittedly drab. :-/ In that case, I’d use food-based powders, which you can see on our homemade food coloring page:

      I hope that helps!

  26. There is a way you can do this without having to rush when you mix in the colors. You’d start by going to a thrift store and getting several cheap shot glasses that you don’t care about. (must be glass.) Then place them in a pan partway filled with water so that they are making a macguyvered double boiler inside the pan in the water. turn the heat on low so the water will just gently simmer, melt the wax, and mix one color in each shot glass! The reason I know this is because homemade chapstick tutorials always suggest a double boiler method.

    1. SMART! Depending on volume, you might want to go one size up to a small juice glass or something, but the idea is right on! Thanks so much for sharing.

  27. Hello,

    I attempted this and I failed. I tried Mica pigments that I ordered from Amazon but they didn’t work. The colors just didn’t take. I loved the idea and the lego mold that I bought for these turned out great…really cute but the colors just didn’t take. I was hoping to use these as party favors for my son’s birthday party. I’m posting just to let you know that the Mica pigments didn’t work. At least not for me.

    1. Oh, bummer! That’s so frustrating! Thanks for letting us know.

      Out of curiosity, what kind of wax(es) did you use? I ask not to “fix” it, but just to know what didn’t work.

  28. Pingback: The Sustainable School Year Part 1: Supplies - The SMS Life
  29. Pingback: yiyamo's brain |
  30. Hi Kresha

    I have a go with your instructions above.. i had 50% canaurba, and 50% beewax as i wanted to it a little softer as I find a little to hard and ‘crispy’. i had added half a bottle of gel colouring (as the first few drops didnt cut it), but the colour doesnt seem to melt its just tiny dots all over the melt.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Yes, there are a number of great ideas in other comments, so perhaps try a few of those. Gel colorings are definitely tricky, but thankfully you can melt and remelt the wax as needed. πŸ™‚

      Good luck!

  31. Hi, thanks so much for all the info. I really like your classic crayon shape but I can’t seem to find a mold like that anywhere and your links no longer work. Any idea where you can get them now?

  32. HEllo,
    I tried this and for some reason the gel food color wont mix in. its just bubbling up….. maybe the wax was to hard?

    1. Hmmm… I’m not sure, but that does sound possible. Was your wax entirely liquid (and remaining so while you added color)?

      Here’s hoping future batches aren’t so frustrating!

  33. you need to find out if the food color gel is water based or if it oily. wax is oil soluble so if your food color is water based it’s not going to mix in.

  34. Alright I’m having problems. I have been using the 90/10 ratio and having great results to the hardness but when I color it with food gel it doesn’t come out the same color as the coloring. Such as bright pink it came out burnt orange and royal blue came out army green. The pink colors pink and the blue colored light blue. Any insight, I’m really trying to figure this out.

    1. Yes, because the colors of the dyes are being diluted with the wax, they won’t come out with the same vibrancy. That’s why I recommended dry pigments at the end of the article because they hold their color so much better without affecting the hardness of the crayon nearly as much. I had the same problem you do.

      I’m impressed with what you did come up with though – they sound lovely, even if their shades weren’t as bright as you were hoping. πŸ™‚

      I hope that helps!

  35. Who knew it would take so much trial-and-error just to get a simple, safe crayon recipe? Well, thanks for blazing the trail.

    Other issues aside, which combination would you say gave you the richest colors? I was really into the chalk idea until I read that the colors were not as vibrant as other methods.

    1. I would definitely go with some of the earth pigments or vibrant eyeshadow-type pigments. You need something really vibrant when it goes in, as it will be muted considerably by the end. πŸ™‚

      I hope that helps and good luck!

  36. Pingback: How To Make Crayons With Meals Grade Components - Fitness Fix

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.