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How are Crayons and markers made?

        Science | Science Questions

Making Crayon Labels

Since younger users of crayons may have a tendency to peel off a crayon label and ingest it, Binney & Smith uses a non-toxic cornstarch and water mixture for the glue that holds the label on the Crayola crayon. The label machine wraps the crayon twice to give it strength. The Binney & Smith label machine design has stayed essentially the same since 1943! Bare crayons are fed from one hopper while labels are fed from a separate hopper. Glue is added to the glue pot and the label machine is started. The glue transfers to a slot in a drum that a crayon goes into. The label is then fed onto the drum where a roller presses the label against the glue, where the label is then tucked and wrapped around the crayon twice. Before 1943, crayons were hand-wrapped by farmers in the winter months to supplement their income.

The labels are in 11 languages and 18 different color labels are used for all the crayons.

Crayon awaiting label.

Crayon label being applied. The white roller at the right spreads the cornstarch glue.

Crayons are packed in boxes of various sizes from 2 - 96 crayons per box. Small packages of 2, 3 or 4 crayons are purchased for party packs and restaurants.

Labeled Crayons in packing machine.

Interesting Facts About Crayola Crayons:

  • A national poll in 1993 revealed blue and red are the most popular crayon colors.
  • After coffee and peanut butter, the scent of a crayon is the third most recognizable scent.
  • On average, a child uses 730 crayons by their 10th birthday!

Next, see how Crayola markers are made.


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