Beeswax Crayons

Beeswax Crayons


There are many different variations for beeswax crayons, but most use equal weight amounts of beeswax and white bar soap. This is the recipe I’ve used with great success over the years. How do these compare to the Soy Crayons we made several months ago? I find the beeswax crayons to be harder than the soy, giving the ability to add more details to pictures. Both are wonderful and VERY child friendly. BTW… I found out that little puppies LOVE to chew on these. Shocker, right?

BEESWAX CRAYONS

(Use equal weights of soap and beeswax.)
1 part soap, grated (inexpensive bar white bar soap)
1 part beeswax, chopped into pieces
Paste or liquid food coloring or a veggie based colorant. Note: You can use tempera paints or fresco pigments instead of food coloring for deeper colors, but they should not be ingested so they are not safe for small children.
2 cup Pyrex measuring cup or other microwave safe container
Molds – see note in directions
Veggie spray or shortening

Chop up beeswax into pieces and grate soap.

In your microwave melt soap and beeswax in Pyrex measuring cup. Caution: the liquid will be very hot! You can also melt the soap and beeswax in the top of a double boiler. Watch the mixture closely. You do not want it to boil or it will foam up putting air bubbles in your crayons. If this does happen, let it set for a couple of minutes, gently stirring to remove air bubbles. 

When the soap and beeswax have melted, carefully mix in color. I used paste food coloring. Obviously, the more you add, the more vibrant the color. I also wanted to make 4 colors so I divided the hot liquid before adding colors. Note: If using a veggie based colorant, you may have to return it to the microwave to completely melt the tart.

Lightly grease the mold you will be using to pour the liquid into. Possible molds are ice cube trays, mini muffin pans, depressions in artist clay, disposable mini paper cups, or make your own mold using foil paper.

Pour the melted mixture into your mold and allow to dry completely. Note: If the crayons have become "gloppy" and you are using an oven safe mold, pop them in a 350 oven for a few minutes to melt a bit. Be careful not to let them go too long or they will begin to foam!

Remove from mold and use!

BTW… I have had parents tell me that if you use glycerin soap the crayons will be harder. I have not tried it yet, but you may wish the experiment.

http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 – 2010. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.

Kimara

41 Comments

  1. I made beeswax crayons a few years ago and I was very disappointed. Instead of bright colors, it was like the wax was barely tinted! I wound up throwing them out. I know I used the liquid food coloring, and it seemed like I just couldn’t get the colors intense enough. I will try it again with paste food coloring. I’ve never used it before but I’ve seen it at the store. Thanks for all your great ideas. My children and I love coming to your site.

    1. Would love to try making my own beeswax crayons from scratch!

      Another idea to use up one’s old pieces of beeswax crayons is to separate by color, melt down in a double boiler then pour into ice cube trays to make new block crayons.

      Alternatively, one could layer the colors (allowing each layer to cool and harden before adding the next) to make rainbow crayons!

      1. I love layered crayons! Thanks for the reminder πŸ™‚ Some big, rainbow beeswax crayons would make super party favors, too. 

        1. I just made these crayons… I used silicone muffin molds and WOW, big success! No need for spraying them, the crayons come right off. I have the flower shape, so the petals are smooth. The traditional ones probably wouldn’t work very well for crayons! I also used goat milk soap (Zum Bar) from a local grocery store. It was a bit softer than mainstream soaps like Dove and Ivory. The crayons turned out well and my littles love to use them. Actually, they kind of double as modeling beeswax when they handle them for a long time! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. YAY! A friend just gave me several large hunks of beeswax. She’s moving and wanted to get rid of lots of her crafting supplies. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with have the stuff, but now I now what I’m going to do with some of the beeswax. Thanks!

  3. Great recipe. Thanks! I think we’re going to have to try this.

  4. My dog eats my crayons, too! Glad to know I’m not the only one, though I can’t blame in on puppyhood. We haven’t had a decently shaped block crayon at my house for ages. I’ve been saving my chips to melt down into some new form.

  5. I’ve been wanting to try this! So, yesterday I did. Unfortunately, I failed miserably! I think my beeswax separated from the soap as they cooled. So I have a layer of beeswax (uncolored) and then a colored layer of soap. I used clear melt and pour for my soap and food coloring gel. (Couldn’t find paste.) I think the melt and pour is really just a glycerin soap, so I don’t know where I went wrong. I tried melting (in the microwave), mixing, and pouring into a mold and letting it cool, and I also tried melting(on the stove in double boiler) it (my original mold was plastic) and putting it in the oven. I had the same results. Any guesses where I went wrong?

    Thanks for such a wonderful blog. I’ve been having fun exploring – there are so many things I want to try now!

    1. The only 2 soaps I have ever used when making beeswax candles are Dove and Ivory. I have had a couple parents tell me they did use glycerin soap with great results, but I have no idea what type they used.

      And I’ve never used food coloring gel. I do find, in general, that paste colors are more intense than the gels, requiring less, but I think that would affect the color, not the ability of the soap and wax to bind. I have to assume it was probably the clear melt. Try again with a dense, white bar soap.

      Sorry you wasted the time and materials πŸ™ But don’t give up. When you succeed, they really are a wonderful crayon!

      1. Thanks! I’ll add Dove to shopping list and give it another try. I have plenty of beeswax left! Where do you find food coloring paste?

        1. Craft stores like JoAnns and Michaels carry the paste, as do some of the larger supermarkets. Also, if you have a specialty kitchen shop in your area, they usually will, too. Be generous with the paste. It’s no fun to color with crayons that are too light πŸ™‚

    2. Here are a couple of things that you can try if your crayons separate (and a hint at a homeschool science lesson on solutions):

      – When you melt your media, get the mixture hotter than just melting. Stir as it cools to keep the ingredients interspersed. Pour into molds once you have a pudding-like consistency.

      – Add a water, a tablespoon at a time while stirring. This will help your emulsion hold. The same concept works for cooking emulsions, like adding an ice cube to your mayonnaise or butter sauce.

      1. Thanks so much for the suggestions, Ashley. I had not idea water helped emulsions hold. I will definitely give this a try the next time making crayons or mayo (haven’t done that in years… thanks for the reminder!)

  6. I made some beeswax crayons last week! : ) Thanks for the recipe!
    I noticed that the beeswax and soap melt at different rates, so putting them together didnt work very well. What worked best for me, was melting the beeswax first (on increments of 60 sec in the microwave), then adding the soap and melting them together (on increments of 10 sec in the microwave). Then pouring the mixture into a mixing container (disposable plastic cup) and adding the food coloring (approx. 1/8 tsp). Then pouring into the molds. It worked–they color! : )
    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for sharing these tips. It's always wonderful to hear from readers that have made our crafts. It seems like every time we make something, we tweak it a little. Your suggestions are appreciated πŸ™‚

    2. Thanks for sharing your experience.I did try and used 50-50 beeswax and glycerine(Pears) soap.Then melted as you suggested…first the beeswax increment of 60 sec and then soap in increment of 10sec.Mixed in turmeric for yellow colour, though I know it’ll turn darker(because of soap) and not remain yellow, but I was happy to make it natural.I used already used tea-lite candle for the mould and it came out perfectly,just hard enough!And so glad…my kid(3yrs) who never much used any of the box of crayons I bought for him other than jumping and breaking them when he wanted to release some energy, was happily colouring with it! After some time,he came and asked me for red colour, which I am going to make next with turmeric and pickling lime(use it for making red vermillion for my forehead).

      1. Awesome! I wouldn't have thought to try turmeric or pickling lime. Now I so want to make more πŸ™‚ Let us know how the red color turns out.

        1. Okay, it came out slightly red orange colour on paper and crimson to look.I’ll use paprika powder next for the red and update(we use it as red food colour).It’s turning out to be so much fun!:-)

          1. I borrowed my son’s Crayola finger paint for blue and red, and they have come out very well.He has been happily colouring all day.I wonder how long they will last!Thanks Kimara and everyone else for sharing their wonderful ideas..

          2. And, thank you. We always love to hear from our readers. So exciting to see our ideas being used πŸ™‚ ((hugs))

  7. Hi as a bee keeper / costodian
    And thankyou for posting the recipe for bees waxed crayons
    I’m always looking for new ideas to add to my market stall
    The recipe and hints worked great
    Justine

  8. I set out to make beeswax crayons for my daughter and I tried at least a dozen different combinations. My favorite recipe is 50% beeswax, 33.3% soap and 16.67% soy. Clearly I rounded a little here and there. These crayons retained a lot of color while having a smooth finish. My 2 year old and her friends enjoy using them. I made them in a silicon mold that was suppose to be for bite sized brownies.

  9. I tried making these tonight. I used Ivory soap and we failed miserably. The soaps foamed right away. I tried it first my melting each seperately. Beeswaxx melted perfectly but the second i added the soap it foamed. 2nd attempt i tried melting all together and it foamed up within 10 seconds in the mocrowave πŸ™ maybe a different soap?

    1. I used Dove soap without problem. If you notice, tho, my finished crayons are not "smooth". They were a bit gloppy. Heating them in the oven helped a bit, but they don't have the same dense texture as paraffin or even the soy crayons do. Perhaps the glycerin soap might work better. The wee ones still enjoyed coloring with them. They didn't seem to care that they were as pretty as our soy crayons.

  10. Hi,

    I made some crayons with beeswax, soaproot (a.k.a. soapwort or saponaria), and pigment. First off, is there a direct substitute which is vegetarian and non-toxic to substitute for the soap? I tried using the soapwort but somehow it’s not the same. I will try vegetable stearic acid shortly. Also, the crayon colors well but sometimes residues get stuck to the paper! How can I avoid that? Lastly, the crayons are way to dark in appearance! They color just fine, but from the outside they all look black! How can I change that without compromising the color produced?

    Anything helps!

    Thanks!

    1. As you've already learned, crayon recipes are not an exact science πŸ™‚ Even using the exact same recipe can change due to humidity and elevation. All I can suggest is experimentation. It has been my experience that the colors in the crayons need to be fairly intensive or the colors are very washed out when you color. Using the food color paste I was able to get some intense colors and the crayons maintained their primary colors. But, I needed to use lots of food coloring in order to get colors that children are happy with. And again, as far as soap is concerned, you will find that some work well and others do not. Also, we have found that the beeswax crayons, both homemade and "store bought" tend to "flake" when drawing with them. I've yet to make a recipe where that didn't occur.

      Although I make crayons… both beeswax and soy… to be very honest, I usually buy crayons that are child safe and environmentally friendly. We make crayons more to share the process with our wee ones rather than a mainstay for our crafting supplies.

      Having said all that, if you manage to come up with a recipe that works well, please share it with us and our readers. We stopped buying play dough long ago since you can get such wonderful results at home. I'd love to come up with that "perfect" crayon recipe that performs well, is safe for children and the environment, and is cost effective. Good luck and keep us posted πŸ™‚

    2. Perhaps using REAL soap (you know the kind where a soapmaker takes oils and lye and mixes to make a chemical reaction…. soap?) The soap can be found that uses Vegi oils instead of animal fats…

      I used some of my soap and these crayons came out wonderful.

      I also use a flexible silicone mold… not the ice tray or ikea type… those are to rigid and you have to use a mold release of some kind.. I use molds I got from a moldmaker in NC. She uses military grade silicone and it is soft, squishy and releases crayons with no effort!

      I have also found that adding a little candillia wax ( a plant based wax) to the mix will harden off the crayon, make it longer lasting and is a wonderful substitute for the petroleum based wax .

      The best places I have found colorants would be lip balm making supply companies. Reason being, if it is going to color the lip balm you are making… it will work in a crayon (and I love the range of colors too).

      As far as how dark the colors are (asthetically) I believe the soaproot is reacting to the air… turning dark, much like a leaf turns brown…. try the real soap and add a little candillia wax (to harden).

      I even add fragrance oils to my crayons… the kids go crazy for them.

      Color on !

      gini farnham

      1. Thank you so much, Gini, for sharing these wonderful suggestions. It seems like you've found wonderful solutions to the problems that have plagued my crayon making πŸ™‚ ((hugs)) ~Kimara~

  11. How do i make crayons long and cylindor as so they last longer do i use different molds or is it much more complicated!!!

    1. I've tried to find molds for making crayons in the long cylinder shape without success. But, after making my own crayons using various ingredients, I think it would be very hard to successfully pull it off, and I think they would be breaking all the time! Store bought crayons probably add chemicals to their crayons to make them harder. Because of that, when you see natural crayons, they usually are in "chunkier" shapes. People do use the silicon molds to make crayons, but again, most of them are not thin. You could try pouring the wax into a rectangular mold, and "scoring" the wax (like you do when making some candies) in long narrow pieces when the wax is still soft, and "snapping" the crayons when dry, but I think you might just wind up with tons of small pieces.

      Bottom line… I really don't know of anyway to make the long cylinder crayons. Please let me know if you ever figure out a way that works πŸ™‚

        1. OMGoodness. I can't believe your timing. Tim took the day off of work and we are going to go pick up some shelves for my studio! I most certainly will check for these. Brilliant πŸ™‚ Thanks, tons!

    2. I recently used silicone ice cube trays and star cupcake (Wilton) silicone mold. Worked great. The long rectangular shape of the silicone ice cube stick trays are nice because the crayons cone out square and do not roll…similar to the expensive triangular ones for tots.

      1. I’m going to have to check out the silicone ice cube stick trays. One of my problems with “globs” of wax is they are difficult to do any detailed work. You get nice sweeping motions but hard to draw. I looked for actual crayon molds and couldn’t find any. The rectangles may do the trick. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Exactly how I ended up here tonight, I have no idea – but I am so glad I did!!!! πŸ˜€

    I am past making these for my kids – some day possibly for/with my grandkids.

    I had a thought – would coloring with drink powder (ie: Koolaid) work also?

    I use that for dying fabric, wool, and also playdough, so maybe crayons too?

    Besides the wonderfully vibrant colors, it smells good too!

    Just thought I would ask what you thought.

    Thank you for your blog!

  13. Essential Oils blend well with both soap and beeswax, and if you use pure, 100% EOs they are not only non-toxic, they are also therapeutic. Lavender, peppermint and sweet orange are easy to find and not uncommon so a bit easier on the budget than some of the more exotic ones. This is providing you actually want scented crayons – my kids are grown now but they loved them!
    ** Please be aware that fragrance oils are NOT natural, they are petrochemicals. Essential oils should be steam distilled, not solvent extracted; no need for solvents in children’s crayons!

    1. Kimara
      Author

      Thank you for the wonderful suggestion and explanation. I think it would lovely to have some therapeutic scents. If someone does do this, I would suggest using a scent free soap. πŸ™‚ ~Kimara~





Leave a Reply

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