Can you tell me how Crayola Coloured Pencils are made?
THE CRAYOLA COLOURED PENCIL STORY
In 1988, Crayola introduced coloured pencils in their product line to fulfill consumer requests. Today, Crayola markets a variety of colour selections in packages of 8, 12, 24, 36, 50 and our largest selection, the 64 count package. Crayola Coloured Pencils are manufactured in Brazil and Costa Rica due to their high-volume manufacturing capabilities.
Crayola Coloured Pencils are made from reforested wood. Reforested wood is wood taken from special tree farms grown specifically for gathering wood and are not part of the tropical rain forest. No tropical rain forest wood is used in making Crayola Coloured Pencils.
The process of making Crayola Coloured Pencils begins in the forest. Seedlings, which are young trees, are planted in fields much like a farmer plants a crop. Seedling crops grow into trees which are eventually used to make wood casings for the pencils. After a number of years, the trees are harvested, cut into even lengths, stacked onto trucks and shipped to the sawmill. Then, a new crop of seedlings is planted to replace those which have been harvested.
At the sawmill, lumber arriving by the truckload, is stacked in large piles and allowed to dry. Once dry, the lumber is fed into a bark stripping machine which removes all of the bark from each piece of lumber. Next, the lumber goes through a series of milling machines which cuts the lumber into rectangular slats. These slats are about as long as a coloured pencil and about three inches wide. The slats are the building blocks for the production of coloured pencils.
The slats are then transported to the pencil making plant. Here they are fed into another milling machine which cuts small semicircular grooves at regular intervals down the length of each slat. These grooved slats are now ready to accept a coloured pencil lead.
In this case, lead is used as a generic term to describe the coloured core of the pencils. Crayola Coloured Pencils have been certified nontoxic by the Art and Creative Material Institute (ACMI) and bear the Approved Product (AP) seal. This seal assures consumers the product meets specific quality standards and contains no known toxic substances in sufficient quantities to be injurious to the human body, even if ingested.
To make a coloured pencil lead, you need four raw materials: extenders which make up the body of the lead, a binder to hold the ingredients together, pigment which gives each type of coloured pencil its unique colour and water to help uniformly mix all the ingredients. First, the extenders, binders, pigments and water are placed in a large mixer which gently kneads them together into a uniform doughy substance. When the mixing is complete, the contents of the mixer are rolled into flat sheets. Finally, these sheets are machine-pressed into large, long solid cylinder shapes. These shapes are called cartridges.
Each cartridge, while still damp and pliable, is inserted into another machine called an extrusion press, where it is forced through a small tube. The tube has a diameter equal to that of a coloured pencil lead. As the long rope of wet coloured lead comes out, an automatic slicer cuts it into equal lengths approximately as long as a coloured pencil. Since the leads are still quite moist, they must be dried in large ovens before they become hard enough to insert into the slats.
To assemble the pencils, half of the grooved slats are fed into a machine which carefully lays a coloured pencil lead into each groove. Then a layer of glue is applied and a second grooved slat is placed on top of the slat holding the lead. Think of this as a pencil sandwich, with each slat acting like a piece of bread and the coloured leads acting like the filling.
These pencil sandwiches are then bound very tightly together and placed into storage to give the glue time to dry. Once the glue is dry, they are fed into another milling machine which cuts them into individual coloured pencils. Depending on the design of coloured pencils, they are cut into either round or hexagonal shapes.
Next, the pencils are fed into a machine to be painted. Paint drips down onto an o‑ring, which acts like a small paint brush to coat the pencils with the same colour paint as the coloured lead it contains. The pencils run down a conveyer belt to allow the paint to dry. The painted pencils are then sent to a machine to be automatically sharpened. Finally, brightly coloured finished pencils are packed into boxes which are shipped to neighborhood stores.
Crayola Coloured Pencils are used by people of all ages for everything from crafts to professional artwork and school projects. Crayola continues to offer assortments which meet our consumers artistic needs.
While the marker barrel and cap are recyclable, not all parts of the marker are. Because the marker components are securely sealed during the manufacturing process, we don’t recommend trying to remove the marker nib and reservoir. The marker caps can be recycled at facilities that accept #5 plastic.
Green is more than just a colour to us! Click here to learn more about Crayola’s environmental initiatives.
Crayola Canada’s community relations program supports non-profit organizations located across Canada, with an emphasis on the arts and education.
How To Apply
Requests for donations must be submitted on your organization’s letterhead with your contact information by email, fax, or mail. If sending your request by email, you will receive an automatic reply acknowledging that your email has been received. If you do not receive this confirmation within 5 business days, please call Amanda Pascoe at Crayola Canada.
Phone Number: 1.800.342.6534 ext. 2252 or 1.705.324.6105 ext 2252
P.O. Box 120
15 Mary St. West
Attn: Amanda Pascoe
What To Include
We ask that you include the following required information in your letter:
- Date of your event
- If you require confirmation earlier than one month prior to your event, please provide us with a time frame needed to receive a response.
- Details of your event
- Shipping Address
- Telephone and fax number, if we need to contact you
- Contact person’s name, phone or fax number, and email address
- What you would like to receive – i.e., door prize, art supplies for craft area, etc.
Please be advised that it may take up to three weeks for your request to
be reviewed. Only organizations selected to receive a donation will be
What are skin tones?
Your skin tone is the genetic amount of melanin, naturally occurring dark brown or black pigments, in the outermost layer of your skin. Skin tones can change over time for various reasons.
What is your skin tone?
There are 3 traditional skin tones: Light, Medium, and Deep.
- Light or fair skin tone: Contains a small amount of melanin within the skin.
- Medium skin tone: Contains a fair amount of melanin within the skin, is a neutral colour, and has a beige appearance. This skin tone is often referred to as an “olive” colour.
- Deep skin tone: Contains a large amount of melanin within the skin.
What are undertones?
Undertones are the natural colours underneath the surface of your skin. Because undertones are under the surface of the skin, you can have the same skin tone as another person, but have a completely different undertone. Undertones are not based on skin tone. For instance, a light skin tone can have a warm undertone and a deep skin tone can have a cool undertone. Also, undertones remain the same, even when you tan. There are 3 traditional undertones: Rose, Almond, and Golden.
- Pink, blue, and/or red hues under the skin = Rose, pink or cool undertone
- A mixture of warm and cool hues typically the same colour as your skin tone = Almond, neutral or olive undertone
- Peach, yellow, and/or gold hues under the skin = Golden or warm undertone
What is your undertone?
You can identify your undertone by using the colour of your veins. In natural light, what colour are the veins under your skin on the inside of your arm or wrist?
- Blue and/or purple veins = Rose or cool undertone
- Colourless, same colour as your skin, and/or a combination of blue and green veins = Almond or neutral undertone
- Green and/or olive veins = Golden or warm undertone
Tips for selecting your Colors of the World skin tone crayon colour:
- Check out the colour panels on the side of the Colors of the World crayon box.
- Match: Use crayon box colour panels or create colour swatches.
- Select: Pick colours closest to your skin tone.
- Colour: Draw your #TrueSelfie with your unique colours!
Another way to find your skin tone crayon is to colour a small area on a piece of paper with the crayon colours closest to your skin tone. Compare the areas with the inside of your arm or wrist, and select the crayon colour that best matches your skin tone.
All CRAYOLA Crayons are made from paraffin wax and colour pigment. The crayons vary slightly in weight due to the amount of colour pigment added to produce a particular colour as well as the density of the powder pigment itself. Certain colour pigments are very light while other pigments are very dense. It would not be accurate, however, to say that all dark crayons are heavier than other colours. You can test this by doing an experiment to see which Crayola Crayons float and which will sink.