To make a crayon, the crayon factory heats up a bunch of wax in a big tank and adds in the dye (pigment) that will give the crayon its color. When the wax is really hot like this it becomes liquid-like, so the machines can pour the hot liquid wax into small molds that are in the shape of your crayons! Once the hot wax has been poured into its molds it cools down and hardens into crayons! The factory then labels the crayons, packs them into a box, and ships them to a store where you can buy the crayons and bring them home.
Most crayons are made from paraffin wax (instead of other waxes, like beeswax). Paraffin wax comes from plants, which make wax on their leaves and stems naturally, and leave it behind when they die and decompose. The paraffin wax is then useful to us for crayons, candles, and more!
Further informationParaffin wax is extracted from plants that died millions and millions of years ago. Under the ground, the heat and pressure turns the dead plants into petroleum; when petroleum is pumped out from within the earth, the wax is there with it!
Sources & links
“Where does wax come from?” Candle Making. General Wax & Candle Company. 21 Nov. 2010 “Where do the raw materials for crayons come from?” Can We Help. 2009. Crayola. 21 Nov. 2010 “How Crayola Crayons are made.” Preview the Experience. The Crayola Factory. 21 Nov. 2010 Video: Crayons. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. PBS Kids. 21 Nov. 2010