Party Kit Network
Guest Post: The Crayon Bug - Zero Waste Party Bag Fillers
Guest Post by Rebs from The Crayon Bug
A fun afternoon spent making an alternative to plastic party bag fillers led Rebs to launch a new business. Her marbled crayons make a beautifully original party favour or gift.
The Crayon Bug is a family-run business based in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Each unique crayon is handmade in our home by the sea.
Beginnings of The Crayon Bug
For our son’s 3rd birthday party I wanted to provide party favours which were plastic free. As a family we aim to live our lives in a non-disposable way. We had been to a lot of parties where the party bags contained cheap plastic toys which just didn’t last. I wanted to make something which was not only plastic free but also more useful.
I had seen online that you could buy shaped crayons but my son is mad about bugs and I just couldn't find what I was looking for. So I did a bit of research and decided I could do it myself!
I bought a mould and a load of crayons and my son helped me to make the very first batch. They came out brilliantly and we had such fun making them.
When it came to the party the crayon bugs received such a great reaction from both the guests and their parents that I decided I could start offering them for sale as an alternative to common plastic party bag fillers; and so The Crayon Bug was born.
More than just bugs!
Since then, The Crayon Bug range has grown to offer an array of different shaped crayons for party favours and gifts; such as dinosaurs, rainbows, mermaids and pirate-themed crayons.
I also make letter crayons which can be made into a personalised gift pack. At present, I am the only UK maker of lower case crayon letters. This is a cause quite close to my heart; as the daughter of an early years teacher, I understand the importance of young children being given personalised items with their name on written how they will be taught to read and write it when they start school.
How we make the crayons
Each marbled crayon is handmade and unique. I use Crayola crayons which are manufactured using solar power. The crayons come in a huge palette of 64 colours which means there are almost endless colour possibilities for my marbled shapes. And by choosing Crayola I can also ensure the end product actually colours well.
The Crayola crayons are melted and then poured into silicone moulds. Once set, each crayon is removed from the mould and hand polished before being carefully packaged for party favours or into gift boxes for presents.
As part of my mission to be as plastic free as possible, I have made conscious choices for all aspects of my business, and packaging is no exception.
For the party favours, I provide a simple, small, paper bag with each crayon.
For the crayon gifts I use cardboard boxes which are made from 100% recycled materials and are also recyclable (or even reusable - they are fairly sturdy!). Inside, the box padding is made from recycled cotton and natural sheep’s wool, which are both biodegradable, or reused crayon papers. I use string made from 100% cotton with natural dyes.
All online orders are shipped in plastic-free packaging.
Reaction to The Crayon Bug
I've had a really positive response since launching The Crayon Bug. I’ve found that, like me, lots of parents want to fight the onslaught of single-use plastic and teach their children to choose to do the same, to protect our planet's future.
Here is a lovely review I received from a recent a customer:
“I ordered some mini crayons for my children's’ advent calendar (at a great price!) and loved them so much I then went on to order a set for party bags for my little girl’s 4th birthday. They are absolutely gorgeous I wanted to keep them all! So nice not to have plastic tat in a party bag and to top it all off all the packaging was recyclable. I can’t wait to have an excuse to order more. Thank you The Crayon Bug!”
My work with The Sea Trust
The Sea Trust, based near me in Fishguard, is a non-profit community interest company, committed to the study and studying and raising awareness of local marine wildlife.
I have been awarded 'Ocean Guardian' status by The Sea Trust for my work to reduce single-use plastics in my business; from the plastic-free packaging to the reuse of tin cans to melt the crayons.
I am hoping to collaborate with The Sea Trust to create a new line of crayons made from old crayons donated via a collection point at their Ocean Lab. I will remake these old crayons into new ones with a percentage of the profits going to support The Sea Trust’s work.
Where to buy The Crayon Bug products
The crayons are available online from thecrayonbug.com and from a selection of bricks and mortar stockists.
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All images are copyright of The Crayon Bug and used with permission.