Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Melted Crayon Art

I have been waiting to post this because I didn't want to pin it until the birthday girl had actually received and opened her gift. Six months later, I STILL haven't given it to her, but I have been dying to share this post about my first time working with melted crayons!
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I have been wanting to try melted crayon art FOREVER so when I saw that a birthday was coming up, I decided to try it out and make a gift. I had 2 pins and a lot of ideas so after simply skimming some websites, I decided to jump in and do it.  After trial and error (the best teacher?), my directions are below, along with some notes . . .

Step #1: Assemble your materials. If you prefer bulleted lists, I have a more complete one below the picture.
  • canvas
  • crayons (the cheaper, the better?!)
  • cardboard
  • heat source
  • craft knife
  • stickers (optional) 
  • tweezers (optional)
  • newspaper/canvas to protect your work area

Step #2: Set up your canvas by applying the stickers. I chose to do a word, and I was really happy to see the letters I bought included lowercase ones. (I hate gratuitous capitalization!) You could also do shapes or even leave the canvas blank and simply melt the crayons on it.

Step #3: Choose your colors and line up your crayons. I've noticed some people choose to incorporate them into the art and attach them directly to the canvas. I chose not to so I taped them to a piece of cardboard. I ended up applying another strip of tape (not pictured). Some people suggested taking the crayon labels off and I do wish I had done that now. If you choose to do that, make it easier by using your craft knife to make a slit down the label--the longer, the better!

Step #4: Use your heat source to melt the crayons. I propped the canvas up at an angle (against a candle that I have in my office) and simply held the cardboard with the crayons above it. I used my embossing gun, but next time I might use my hair dryer so that I have different heat levels. 

Step #5: Use tweezers to remove the letters soon after you finish applying the heat. The finished version is below. Please keep reading for my second (and more successful) attempt.

Step #4 DO-OVER: Hold a peeled crayon over the wax and apply heat to melt it. Once you have some wax on the canvas, use the heat source to move it around. I actually found that some cheap crayons worked better than the name-brand ones. (You know what name I'm talking about.) Keep doing this and cover most of the canvas. If less really is more, than a few white spaces are probably okay. 

Step#5 DO-OVER: Again, use your tweezers to pull off the stickers (if you used some). The area may not have been perfectly masked, but I think this one of those projects where a little messiness is part of the beauty. (I suppose you could use white paint to make it perfect if you really wanted to.)

Step #6: Clean up the back of the canvas with the craft knife. The edges of my canvas had some drips and I left those, but I did get rid of the chunks of wax that had re-solidified where they had pooled. Be careful not to cut the canvas. If you are very careful, you could also use the knife to clean up the area that was masked. Again, be very careful.

Caution: I noticed I was creating smelly smoke while applying the heat. Knowing that crayons are in the hands of kids, I'm hoping it was non-toxic. I did feel a little "funny" while I typed up this blog so just to be safe, you should probably do this outdoors in a well-ventilated area. 

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