Thursday, February 12, 2009

They're done - Happy Valentine's Day

So they are finally dry and I can share them. They turned out so pretty. So here is a tutorial of how to make them.

Valentine's Bathtub crayons:

Gather your supplies: 2 bars of soap, ¼ cup warm water, 15 drops of food coloring, molds or old muffin pan, drying rack

I got this recipe originally from High Five magazine but adapted and altered it after the first trial.

First I had my son grate bars of soap on the smallest blades of a cheese grater. I use Ivory soap bars. It’s cheap and easy to grate. Do not use your special scented bars of soap for this. Use them for you, not for your kids to draw all over the bathroom tile. I also recommend using a large baking dish to grate into. This is a messy project and the soap does fly when being grated. The grater cleans up fine, just put it in a pan of warm water and the soap dissolves easily.

After the soap is grated into fine shreds, measure out 2 cups of the grated soap and mix in the food coloring. This is the best time to mix it or the soap can become marbled. Be sure to mix it thoroughly so all the soap is colored. Depending on the color you are going for you may need to add more than 20 drops. (I do the dropping of the color while my son stirs so I control the amount of color and how much goes on his clothes)

Now begin adding the warm water. Start with one tablespoon at a time and you can add more if needed. After you add about 2-3 tablespoons get your hands in there and really knead the dough before adding more water. It’s fine to have the kids do the mixing with a spoon at first but they (and you) really should feel it too. Don’t worry, clean up is a breeze. Add water only if you need it to hold the soap together better. Too much water makes it slimy and doesn’t lend itself to good crayons. Too little water makes the crayons crumble easy. Neither situation is the goal. When you feel it is the perfect consistency, not too wet, not too crumbly, you are ready for the molds. It should feel like good pizza dough.

As previously mentioned I like to use old muffin tins for molds. They make crayons a good size for little hands and are easy to clean up. You can use cookie cutters, shaped ice cube trays, or free form it. For this project we used a heart shaped tartlet pan. Pull off dough and stuff it in the mold. It doesn’t matter if it is over the top as you will clean it off when they are all filled. Have the kids continue filling in the molds until they are all stuffed. I then take a butter knife and slide it along the top of the tray to remove the excess “dough”.

Pop the tray in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to set. You can do another round with the remaining grated soap or put it aside for another time. Just adjust the water amount to match the amount of soap you have left.

Now is the perfect time to clean up. Everything cleans off in warm water. Put the bowl and utensils under warm water and scrub your kids hands (or yours). The soap dissolves the color so the only stains should be where you poured the food coloring on yourself. After the crayons have set up in the freezer, remove the tray and pop (or carefully pry) the crayons from the pan. Lay them on a drying rack to dry for several days. Flip them over several times during the drying stages. The color will enhance as the crayon dries. Notice how the pink from the earlier picture turned to a beautiful red at the end of drying.

To finish his Valentines, I printed his saying on card stock:

Front “Have a colorful day, Valentine!”

Back “Enjoy your bathtub crayon. Love, .........”

I cut them apart and had my son sign them all. We put 2 crayons and the card inside a special bag ready for delivery on Valentine’s Day (or at school tomorrow). For his teachers and bus driver, he decided he would give each of them a fleece rose brooch. So sweet.



ElegantSnobbery said...

Oh my goodness, those are AWESOME! I'm totally going to make them with my kids! thanks for sharing!


ElegantSnobbery said...

Okay, I loved this idea so much I put this link on my blog. I hope you don't mind! Be sure to let me know if you do.

Original Cyn Studios said...

Thanks Marisa,
I don't mind at all! I hope you have a great time doing it with your kiddos.