How to make beeswax crayons. See also: homemade crayons kick ass.
January 04, 2011

The cast of characters:

- Beeswax
- Soap (we use goat milk soap from a nearby organic farm)
- Dyes (you can use food coloring or home-made)

To the left: jars of blueberry dye.  To the right: paprika and tumeric powder dyes.

1.  Grate the soap.  All of it.  As though it were cheese.

2.  Melt the beeswax.  Keep an eye on it.  When the wax is too hot, it froths and spills and hardens everywhere.  This may cause excessive swearing.  Not that I would know anything about that.  I use a saucier over low heat on the stovetop.  The saucier is great, but be ye warned: it’s a pain in the ass to pour out.  It dribbles and drops and hardens everywhere.  This may cause excessive swearing.  Not that I would know anything about that either.

3.  Mix in the desired amount of melted soap, not exceeding a 1:1 ratio.  The more soap you add, the harder your crayons will be which is good because soft crayons leave big globs of wax everywhere.  But the more soap you add, the stickier your crayons too.  Then crayons of different colors stick together in your cabinet and your fingers are sticky after coloring.

4.  Stir in your dyes until the beeswax is the color you would like.  Be quick like a cobra, though, because the wax will begin to harden as you stir.

5.  Shape the beeswax.  If your beeswax is still very liquid, you can easily pour it into silicone ice cube trays or a muffin tin.  Then when it is thoroughly dry, you can pop the crayons out.  A few days of letting your crayons sit will help them harden.  If you would like more familiar crayon shapes, allow the wax to slightly harden.  During the hardening, beeswax goes through a stage during which it is playdough-like.  When it reaches this shape, you can roll chunks of it into long crayons and let them harden in that shape.

6.  Enjoy!

Note: Beeswax crayons easily rub into clothing.  If you want to avoid stains, a little bit of isopropyl alcohol will go a long way.

Warning: Attempting to make crayons with a toddler underfoot is nearly impossible.  Whenever you have downtime, the toddler will be completely preoccupied.  Whenever you are handling boiling liquid, the toddler will naturally cling to your legs.  This is the nature of toddlers.  This may also cause excessive swearing.  But I don’t know anything about that.

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  1. By Cynthia A on January 04, 2011

    YAY!  I have my beeswax I got from a local honey farm ready, Need to find some soap though… and make some dyes or find some :) Hope you had fun!

  2. By on January 04, 2011

    As I am completely new to these sorts of topics: what’s the reason behind making your own crayons (other than for the fun of it)?

  3. By Sarah Christensen on January 04, 2011

    Catherine - I just didn’t want the chemicals in crayons to be ingested by Charlotte or other kids we have over.  I know crayons aren’t meant for munching, but they always seem to go straight into the mouth!  So I wanted them to be as non-toxic as possible if that were going to be the case.  When I started reading up on crayons, I was surprised to find that most of them are made with petroleum wax and use paraffins and that some were recalled a few years back for asbestos content, etc.  In one case, the woman I talked to said that she wouldn’t recommend any child use the crayons from her company because she knew that one of the color dyes was a known carcinogen, and even though the amount was so small she still wouldn’t feel comfortable giving it to her kid, but a job’s a job.  That pretty much did it for us.  After talking about it, Donald and I decided that it would probably just be easiest to go with beeswax crayons from a natural toy firm.  A friend turned me on to a crayon company that advertise beeswax crayons and natural dyes, but when I called and asked them about their crayon contents it turned out that the beeswax and dyes were a very small percentage of the total crayon - there were other chemicals used for dyes, as hardening agents and beeswax supplements.

    A week or two after that happened, another friend of mine (I call her my hippie friend lol) had us over for a playdate.  It was a music/art/eat-everything-in-the-pantry sort of playdate, but she wanted to make use of the time with us there to watch her kid to make crayons.  It didn’t seem to hard when she did it, so I figured I could too.

    Now I’m in the process of documenting all the costs with receipts.  I know that making beeswax crayons at home with natural dyes like pomegranate juice and peach leaves is more expensive, but I won’t know how much more expensive until I run out of dyes.  Right now, it’s looking like it’s nearly double the price.

  4. By on January 05, 2011

    Thanks!!  EVERYTHING goes in Nora’s mouth (one of her favorite pastimes is taste-testing books!), so this is good to know about.  Thank you!

  5. By Christy on January 11, 2011

    Thank you so much for the recipe, I love making stuff for my daughter.  I love knowing that what my little ones puts in her mouth is safe and natural and free of all the stuff that manufactures put in.
    By the way I just moved from Montana to California and really appreciate that you are supporting a Montana company.  I will be ordering some beeswax from them once I get around to making the crayons.

  6. By on February 24, 2011

    I’m curious to see your finished product.

    My first batch: sucked. The soap wouldn’t melt and the color didn’t take and when I tried to roll the crappy wax/soap mix into something that resembled a crayon, they looked like poop. Literally like poop.

    My second batch: sucked less. The soap melted, but the color didn’t take AT ALL. I tried to make my own dye which might be a big part of the problem - everything else I read beyond your page talks about paste dyes. So, now I have a bowl of hardened wax/soap that needs to be melted down, colored and shaped… and don’t know where to go from here.


  7. By on December 18, 2011

    I tried your recipe yesterday. When my crayons hardened (after being poured into a silicone mold), the dye settled to the bottom and the top of the crayon didn’t have enough dye to transfer any color. I used gel food coloring. Any suggestions?

  8. By on October 19, 2012

    Hi Sarah,
    other then soap is there other option to mix to the beewax because pure natural soap are hard to come by because it depends on the mixture of the content. As i was inform the way they make soap also pretty important.

    Please advise.


  9. By on November 21, 2012

    Thanks for the recipe! I just made a batch of crayons yesterday. I wanted to make different colors, but didn’t want to make huge batches of each color, so I measured out 1 oz. of white castille soap to 1 oz. of white beeswax pellets for each color. I put them in clean baby food jars in a pot of water on the stove (like a double boiler). I let them get really melted, and then took them out one at a time to mix in the dyes. I used gel paste food coloring, probably about 1/4 to 1/3 oz. per jar. Then, I mixed it very thoroughly before pouring it into a silicone mold. It made three “disks” of crayons, in the daisy mold I used. I figured that shape would be good for a toddler to grasp, but still had points to make lines.

    We’ll see how they turn out—right now they look pretty soft, so I don’t know if I needed to add more soap. The soap seemed kind of soft before I started, so maybe I should have used a different soap? Maybe a couple of days of hardening and they’ll be alright.

  10. By computer games on October 19, 2013

    This soap industry consider which enhances the success of home-sufficiency if moving towards self-sufficiency in the industry and production and consumption

  11. By on October 20, 2013

    I love this article. But i have got a question. Can I use liquid soap to make these beewax crayons? and can i place the coloring together with the beewax before the melting process?





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