Children's toys have changed a lot over the years but one thing that is a staple is drawing and colouring in with crayons. But did you know that crayons, although safe, are typically made from paraffin wax - not ideal. With the long summer holidays just around the corner, prepare yourselves with 100% natural colouring crayons that are perfectly safe and non-toxic.
If you have very young children who tend to put everything in their mouths, these crayons are fine as the ingredients used are food grade and safe. Just don’t use beeswax if anyone is allergic to bees or bee products, and keep in mind that the oxides are not for ingesting so use one of the other suggested colour alternatives.
Cleaning up tips: wax can be a pain to clean so heat up the bowl or pot you used to melt it in, then wipe off the liquid wax with a paper towel. You can then clean with dish soap.
For colour pigment ideas refer to our DIY Natural Colourants guide or simply use the following:
Brown: cacao powder or coffee.
Orange: try mixing turmeric with red clay and titanium dioxide to make an orange.
Purple: mix the red or pink colours with titanium dioxide plus a blue pigment such as finely powdered blue cornflowers.
Black: activated charcoal. You can also use black iron oxide if your kids are older and won’t try to eat the crayons.
White: titanium dioxide.
Try blending your colours with titanium dioxide powder to make them more opaque or pastel. If you are going for a very clean shade, you may prefer to use white beeswax over the yellow beeswax as the colours may come out brighter.
Crayon ingredients are very simple - just wax, delicious cocoa butter and pigment. Once you have chosen a type of wax to use, it's time to start melting. You can also add essential oils to give the crayons interesting scents, or try using different shaped molds from the traditional oblong crayons - the kids will love it!
Essential oils can contribute an aromatherapy element that can be calming for young children. Try lavender, orange, geranium, chamomile or other child-friendly oils for specific aromatherapy actions. Our Guide to Child Friendly Essential Oils is a good resource to start with.
30g carnauba wax
45g cocoa butter (also edible and smells amazing!)
(if you want a larger batch just keep the ratios of carnauba to cocoa butter the same, 1:1.5)
Pigments of choice
Essential oils of choice (optional)
Melt the wax and cocoa butter together in a hot water bath then separate the wax mixture into different bowls depending on how many colours you are making. Carnauba wax will take slightly longer to melt than beeswax as it is a much harder wax. Stir in any essential oils if using and add your colourants. You may need to keep the bowls suspended in a hot water bath to ensure the wax mixture doesn’t begin to set before the pigments have been properly mixed in. Continue mixing until the wax begins to solidify a bit then pour into molds and leave to set completely.
You can make these with beeswax only, but we find the carnauba wax holds the pigment nicely so we like to add it.
¾ c beeswax
2 T cocoa butter
6 T carnauba wax
1 tsp each of 5 different natural pigments (to make 5 different colours).
Essential oils of choice (optional)
Melt the beeswax, carnauba wax and cocoa butter together then separate evenly into 5 bowls. Stir in any essential oils if using. Mix different colours into each of the bowls. You may need to keep the bowls suspended in a hot water bath to ensure the wax mixture doesn’t begin to set before the pigments have been properly mixed in. Continue mixing until the wax begins to solidify a bit then pour into molds and leave to set completely.
The kids will be sure to enjoy these completely natural crayons, and you can rest assured that there are no bad ingredients in sight!
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