Melted Crayon Art
January 8, 2012 9 Comments
I love crayons. I love the way they smell, their whimsical names, and the pleasant memories that flood me every time I use them. When Andy and I were young, we would run next door to our grandpa’s house for visits and Fig Newtons. On one particular visit, we pulled out his crayons and created a new use for them. We used to do this by melting them in the microwave to create new, psychedelic crayons, but this time we decided to take it to another level.
We crouched on the carpet behind our grandpa while he was asleep in his chair, snickering at the plan that was stirring in our minds. We carefully removed the wrappers, snapped them into tiny pieces and strategically placed them in the carpet in front of the radiator. We sat in amazement as the brilliant wax meshed with the cream-colored fibers of his carpet.
From then on, every time we visited our grandpa’s house we would grab a handful of crayons out of the bucket and place the small chunks in and around the existing melted crayon pile. I am not sure how long this went on for, but surprisingly it was our mother that noticed what we had done to his carpet. I can’t imagine she was very happy with us.
This story recently came up in a conversation, which got me thinking about how I can productively melt crayons and not be reprimanded as an end result. After a little research online I found that I could use crayons in a glue gun – who would have thought?
What you will need:
Canvas – size of your choice
Garbage Bags or Newspaper
Cardstock – optional
Paint – optional
Paintbrush – optional
I think you could do just about any kind of design with this project, whether it be streaks, blobs or shapes. I had a specific idea in mind, inspired by a dream I had last night. If you want to add any other kind of medium to the canvas to add to the crayons, do that step first. I am really bad at drawing, so creating this silhouette took me a good 25 minutes. Haha, check out her feet.
I carefully painted the silhouette after I had her transferred to the canvas. I like to use oil paint, which was also the only black paint that I had. Exercise caution if you decide to go this route, as oil paint takes about 24 hours to fully dry. Somehow I still ended up with black paint on my face, which I of course did not notice until a good hour after my project was complete. Typical. You could probably also use a black permanent marker.
Next, I created a shield with the cardstock so the wax wouldn’t run all over the painted lady.
Remove the paper from the crayons. I think I got a special box so this surprisingly took me longer than I had anticipated. I used 18 crayons for a 12″ x 16″ canvas.
You will need to remove the component of the gun that is designed to push the glue forward, otherwise the crayons won’t fit. My attempts to remove it with a needle nose pliers were futile. I ended up removing the screws and completely dismantling the gun to remove it. So, this will basically become my crayon gun since I ruined it. Glue guns are about $2 at any craft store so don’t lose any sleep over this.
Use the garbage bags or newspaper to create a barrier around your workstation. I was concerned the wax was going to splatter all over the place once it heated in the gun so I took the ugliest crayon out of the box and used it as a tester to get a feel for the wax flow. It came out in a steady stream and I used the following color to push the existing color through, since my gun no longer had a trigger. This also creates a nice transition between colors. Start at the top and allow the wax to drip to the bottom of the canvas, working your way from left to right.
This was actually kind of an awkward project. I was crouched on the floor, focusing on not touching the drying wax with my hands or the glue gun cord or messing up my drying silhouette. Use extra caution when you are working near the object you added to the canvas. I slowly made my way through my pile of crayons until I reached the right side of the canvas.
I allowed the wax to dry before I made a couple of touch-ups with the black paint and removed the excess wax from the bottom of the canvas. I sat back and took in the views of the completed project, laughing to myself and wishing my little brother was here to melt crayons with me.