Every fall, boxes of crayons come home with the school supplies. Most crayons are made with paraffin wax and stearic acid. Soy crayons are made with hydrogenated genetically modified soybean oil. Some brands of crayons may contain lead and asbestos. So while technically, crayons are “nontoxic,” they are not necessarily benign.
You could make crayons by melting beeswax and adding a pigment. The resulting crayons are softer than commercial crayons and don’t perform well. Adding carnauba wax and cocoa butter to this recipe results in a harder crayon that performs well. Choose your pigment from natural vegetable pigments, earth pigments, or gel food colorings.
YIELD: 5 (1-ounce) crayons
- Silicone mold
- 2/4 cup beeswax
- 2tablespoons cocoa butter
- 6tablespoons carnauba wax
- 1teaspoon each of 5 different natural pigments
- Make a double boiler using a glass measuring cup. Simmer beeswax, cocoa butter, and carnauba wax in the cup over medium heat until the beeswax is melted.
- Prepare five different pigments while the beeswax is melting.
- Remove the wax mixture from the heat. Divide the wax base into five portions of one-fourth cup each.
- Working with one portion at a time, return the remaining portions to the hot water bath to keep them melted. Stir the prepared pigment into one portion, being careful to suspend it fully in the wax. Use a clean spatula for each pigment.
- Continue stirring while the mixture cools slightly, to prevent the pigment from settling to the bottom of the mixture. When the mixture begins to thicken, pour into your prepared crayon molds.
- Repeat with each additional crayon color.
- Allow the crayons to harden for several hours until they are cool to the touch.
Yield: 2 (1-ounce) pastels
- 2 tablespoons white beeswax
- 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
- 2teaspoons prepared oil-based pigments or natural pigments for each color
- Create a double boiler using a tin can. Bend a pouring spout on the can with a pair of pliers. Simmer the beeswax and jojoba oil in the can over medium heat until the beeswax is melted. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the pigment, evenly distributing it with the pigment in the wax mixture. Continue stirring while the mixture begins to cool.
- Pour mixture into prepared molds.
- Allow the pastels to harden fully before removing from the mold. They will be ready to use in 24 hours.
- Repeat this recipe for each color you require.
The Beeswax Workshop by Chris Dalziel Lewis (Ulysses Press, 2016) transforms one of your hive’s most versatile products into non-toxic and useful household products.