This melted crayon art experiment was inspired from my Pinterest board where I store my craft inspiration. It’s one of my favorite boards, and I’ve been slowly starting to actually do some of the projects I’ve stored there. The stuff on Pinterest looks all pretty, perfect, clean, and professional, and sometimes you have to wonder if the technique really works. (I’ve seen entire blogs based on disproving “pinterest techniques” or “Pin fails”.) I set out to either prove or disprove this particularly odd way of creating wall art.
I saw several pictures like this one above that were made from melting crayons onto a canvas. I thought it was a cool idea, and I wanted to try it for myself.
I liked the “rain” idea of the picture I saw on Pinterest, but since it’s now fall, and it seemed easier to find the right color of crayon in our “crayon stash” I decided to go with an autumn theme. I also thought the silhouette stencil with the umbrella would be hard to protect from the wax, and I wanted to try an easier shape first.
Melted Crayon Art Experiment Prep
I did a google image search and found a picture of a leaf I liked. I printed it out and taped it to the window, like so.
The examples of this wax drip technique I saw were using a canvas, but I didn’t have a canvas on hand, and they are a little spendy. I decided to just use some high quality art paper I had on hand because I already had it, and because this was an experiment. I knew the paper probably wouldn’t work as well as a canvas, but oh well.
I taped the artist paper up on the window over the leaf silhouette and traced the outline. I also traced the same leaf outline onto a piece of card stock. I figured it might come in handy. I cut out the leaf I drew on the cardstock with an exact-o-knife.
I decided I wanted to use the cardstock as some sort of “protector” from the dripping wax. I decided that rubber cement would be the best adhesive for the job, but I wasn’t sure if it would leave a slight stain on the artist paper. A test was needed. Taking a scrap piece from both types of paper, I glued them together, waited for it to dry, and them peeled them apart and rubbed off the rubber cement.
No stain. Yay! I safely glued the cutout of the leaf onto the space I had drawn for the leaf.
I picked out a number of crayons that were “fall colored”; various colors of orange, red, brown, yellow, and maybe one or two green ones.
Since I’d never done this before, I wanted to try a little test with the melting of crayons bit before I ruined.. *ahem*… decorated my nice artist paper with hot wax.
I taped a few of the more scraggly-looking crayons with masking tape to the top of some scrap card stock, and taped it to the wall thoroughly covered in newspapers.
Apparently, hairdryers work well to melt the crayons, but I actually have a heat gun (for embossing) so I used that. Here is the result of my test:
1. A much more thorough taping job was required. Several of the crayons just dropped to the floor (good thing I spread newspapers there too!!) after getting a little slippery on the outside.
2. Some crayons just don’t melt, and others melt like crazy. Expect a few duds, and a few over-achievers.
3. The area directly beneath the crayon gets a HUGE oily spot before the cool drip part begins.
Because of the oily spot issue and the copious amounts of tape I now saw was required, I decided I needed to do another test. This time I would tape the crayons securely to one piece of paper, and tape another piece of paper a tiny bit lower. I hoped this way I could avoid ripping the paper with the tape and get the oily spot on the paper underneath whilst getting the pretty wax drippings on the top paper.
My idea mostly worked. A little bit of the wax dripped behind the top paper, but I could see that would be easy to avoid with a tiny bit of masking tape on the top.
My new crayon taping method worked much better, and the oil spot problem was solved. I felt ready to go for the real deal.
*Fingers Crossed* The Real Deal
A couple of the crayons were complete duds. A couple of the “over achievers” actually melted to the point where they were a lump of wax slowly sliding down the paper. I had a bit of a hard time getting the wax to not clump in some places. I didn’t want 1/2″ tall lumps of wax on my paper because they would just break off when they cooled.
The next step was a bit tricky. To see the leaf silhouette, I needed to get the card stock “stencil” I glued on off of the paper, and underneath all that wax. I didn’t want to break off more wax than was covering the stencil, so I used an exact-o-knife to cut the drips around the stencil before peeling it off.
Turns out, my protector had a few leaks in it. There was quite a bit of wax underneath. Not so cool. I used various scraping utensils to get the majority of the wax off of the area, but there were several parts that were permanently stained.
My plan was to use a black sharpie to color in the leaf, but because of the wax stains, I knew the sharpie might not work in those areas. Pens and wax do not get along together. I thought I might ruin it by trying the sharpie; what if I half covered the leaf, and couldn’t fill in the waxy area? It might look terrible. I decided to go for it anyway. This is, after all, an experiment.
It was not the easiest coloring job I’ve ever done, but I got it done. It looked a little weird still; the color wasn’t very full. I found a big red permanent marker that seemed to cover the wax really easily and went over the black with it. It looked better.
It was an interesting experiment, and I learned a lot about how crayons melt. I’m not sure I really care for how the project turned out. I think it looks a little….. lacking in finesse…. maybe slightly juvenile. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but it was still a fun project. Someday I might try it again with a canvas, but I think I’ve got the crayon out of my system for a while.
At least it didn’t end up like this:
Have you tried your own Crayon Art Experiment? I’d love to hear how yours turned out in the comments below.