Lipstick is very important to me. Wearing lots of it is one of my core mission values. Whether it’s a cheap Wet n Wild shade or an outrageously expensive Anna Sui lipstick ring, whether it comes from Walgreens or Sephora, I’ve never met a lip color I didn’t love, and I will admit to a serious lipstick-buying habit. But sometimes, no matter how much lipstick I’ve already squirreled away, no matter how many shades I have…something’s missing. Usually this feeling happens when I decide that the shade I need for a particular look is not to be found in my makeup bag. Maybe it doesn’t even exist! All my reds are too pink, my burgundies not evil enough. And often in these moments, I have neither the time to pop by Sephora nor $24 to drop on a new lipstick.

With Halloween coming, I was cruising the drugstore aisles in search of a new color. I needed a blue lipstick—not just any blue, but a very specific shade of blue: Laura-Palmer-on-a-gurney blue. But I couldn’t find anything even close to that color. On the way out of the store, I stopped in the school supply section for some pens, and that’s when I saw it: a 64-pack of Crayola crayons.

Hmmmmmm. Weren’t crayons made out of highly pigmented, nontoxic wax? Weren’t crayons so safe that babies eat them and grow up to be productive members of society? What if…I melted down a crayon with an oil, poured it into a mold, and made…DIY CRAYON LIPSTICK IN EVERY SHADE OF THE RAINBOW??? WHAT THEN?

I went home immediately and googled it. Ahh, people had already beat me to this idea; there were several recipes for crayon lipstick already on the web. I made my own recipe, though, and tinkered around with it until it was just right, so I’m still gonna call this version MY IDEA. Here we go!

You will need

To make one shade of crayon lipstick, you will need:

  • One whole crayon—preferably Crayola. I tried this with a cheap crayon from a restaurant and the result was too waxy. In this tutorial, I’m using crayons from a 64-crayon box of Crayola crayons, and let me tell you, opening that new box and inhaling was like being back at the first day of kindergarten.
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil. (You can get coconut oil at the grocery store. It usually comes in a jar or a plastic tub and is solid and opaque white at room temperature.)
  • ¼ teaspoon olive oil or other vegetable oil.
  • Paper towels.
  • A small glass bowl or a jelly jar that has an opening big enough to put your hand into.
  • A cutting board covered with a paper towel.
  • A butter knife.
  • A pot to boil water in.
  • A tool for stirring: a chopstick works well. Just make sure it’s not made of plastic or any other material that will melt in boiling water.
  • A mold of some kind for your lipstick. I used a contact case (for adorableness and portability!) and some of those days-of-the-week plastic pill boxes you can get at the drugstore or dollar store.

How to make it:

1. Choose a color for your lipstick. The darker and/or more vibrant the crayon color, the better the results—I’m using Red Violet here.

2. Peel the paper label off. It will come off really easily if you run it under warm water for a few seconds first.

Crayon water

3. Fill your pot with, say, four inches of water and turn the heat on high to get the water boiling, then reduce the heat to low to medium, so that the water keeps boiling but isn’t spurting all over the place.

4. Put ½ teaspoon coconut oil and ¼ olive or vegetable oil in your glass jar.


5. Make sure your cutting board is completely covered by the paper towel so you don’t get crayon all over the board. Carefully, slowly (so chunks don’t fly everywhere) cut your crayon into small pieces with your butter knife. (The crayon needs to be in smaller pieces so it melts faster.)

Crayon cut

6. Put the crayon pieces into your small glass jar along with the coconut oil and olive/vegetable oil.

7. Set your glass jar carefully down into the pot of boiling water.

Crayon in pot

8. Get your mold out and ready—have it nearby.

9. Use the chopstick (or whatever) to stir the crayon pieces and oils together, and watch as the crayon chunks get smaller and smaller…

Melting Crayon

10. Keep stirring until the crayon is all melted and smooth.

All melted

11. Turn off the stove. Then get an oven mitt and CAREFULLY CAREFULLY OWIE HOT BE CAREFUL pull your glass jar with the molten crayon mixture out of the pot. Grab your mold and carefully, steadily pour the molten crayon into the mold. MOLTEN LIKE HOT LAVA CAUTION CAUTION

Pouring the mold

HEY THIS IS IMPORTANT: If you have any extra molten crayon mixture—anything at all beyond what you need to fill your mold—wait till it cools then throw it straight into the garbage. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES POUR HOT CRAYON WAX DOWN YOUR KITCHEN SINK OR YOUR RESIDENT ADULT WILL HAVE MY HEAD.

If you want to make more lipstick shades (and why wouldn’t you?) put the glass jar, now coated with colored wax, into the sink and let it cool before using a paper towel to wipe out the previous color from the jar. A few swipes and you should be ready for a new color.

12. Moving slowly, transfer your mold full of hot wax to the refrigerator, where it’ll need 15–20 minutes to set before you can use it.

But when it does…

Awwww!!! Lookit how cute!!


Left to right, the colors here are Orchid (my #1 favorite lipstick we made that day) and Red Violet.

Lookit how colorful!! Here’s my friend Lauren modeling all the shades I made in a single afternoon:

Crayon colors from left to right, top row: Red Violet, Orchid, Scarlet. Middle row: 2/3 Robin’s Egg Blue + 1/3 White, Black, Tickle Me Pink. Bottom row: Forest Green, Melon, Wisteria.

Crayon colors from left to right, top row: Red Violet, Orchid, Scarlet. Middle row: 2/3 Robin’s Egg Blue + 1/3 White, Black, Tickle Me Pink. Bottom row: Forest Green, Melon, Wisteria.

You’ll get the best results if you apply this lipstick with your finger, the heat from which which will help soften up the wax for easier application. The lipstick is matte, meaning it doesn’t have any shine, but as you can see in the picture, if you swipe a gloss over the top, the shade will really pop. You can mix crayons to make your own custom colors, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t try this with metallic crayons.

Finally, while DIY crayon lipstick is non-toxic, it’s probably not a good idea for everyday wear; for that, it’s best to stick with lipsticks that are actually made to be worn on your lips. But crayon lipstick is fun, easy, and REALLY SERIOUSLY FUN. I mean, what if you added GLITTER to one of these???? The possibilities are really endless. ♦