DIY Twig Crayons
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DIY Twig Crayons

My family loves to be creative. On beautiful summer days, while hiking and enjoying the outdoors, we gather up armloads of salvaged materials and found objects to stash away for a rainy- or cold-day project. Last year, a few downed trees in our cabin yard made for a whole season of inspiration. Here is one project we loved, making twig crayons.

When finished, these handmade crayons make great gifts for cabin guests. The project is recommended for older children/adults, as it requires a power tool and hot wax.


  • Straight branches, about 5/8-inch thick (no less than ½-inch)
  • Small saw or pruning shears to cut branches
  • Sandpaper
  • Table vise or clamp
  • Hand drill and drill bit (see instructions for size)
  • Old crayon pieces, divided into same or similar colors
  • Knife
  • Microwave and small microwaveable glass bowl or jar
  • Small funnel or homemade paper funnel
  • Stirring sticks (popsicle stick, skewer, etc.)
  • Hot pad or heat-resistant glove
You can also make pencils and colored pencils out of twigs.

Instead of crayon pieces, you’ll need a graphite or colored lead that can easily be disassembled from an old pencil. Gently crack the shell of an old pencil casing with pruning sheers and peel back the wood until you can slide the lead free in one piece. Thicker pencils work much better than standard thin pencils. You can also purchase graphite and colored pencils without wood casings at a variety of art stores and online art suppliers for an easier alternative.

Decide on a drill bit that is just slightly larger than the size of your lead. Drill the twig in the same way as above.

Put white glue on a paper plate and roll the lead in it. Slide the lead into the hole of the twig and let it dry. Snip any extra lead off and sharpen the tip!

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