How to Make Your Own Melted Crayon Art

How to Make Your Own Melted Crayon Art main article image
Posted on March 7, 2021 by Sara Douglas
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Colorful abstract art is easier than you might think! This fun project is endlessly customizable and if you happen to have a collection of broken crayons around it’s a great way to use them up too!

Material needed: 

  • Canvas: We’re using a 12×16 inch canvas panel for this project.
  • Crayons: Whether you choose to use up the Ziplock full of broken crayons you’ve had around forever or if you decide to buy a new box for this project, experience has taught me that it’s best to use lower priced brands. They melt nicely and their paper wrappers are much easier to remove.  For this project we’re using twelve whole crayons.
  • Hot Glue Gun: With its corresponding glue sticks.
  • Permanent Vinyl: The color doesn’t matter because it won’t be a part of the final design.
  • Black Acrylic Paint: Only a little bit is needed. Add a small teaspoon sized amount of water to the half tablespoon sized drop of paint. Mix the paint until the water is completely incorporated.
  • Sponge Tipped Paint Brush: Or any wide bristled paint brush.
  • Any Size Bowl and Water: Big enough to submerge all of your crayons. The water softens the paper wrappers and makes them far easier to remove.
  • Newspaper or Plastic Trash Bag: To protect your work surface from both the acrylic paint and any wax that might drip.
  • Cutting Machine: These instructions are for a Cricut brand cutting machine, but they can easily be adapted to use with any other machine you might have.
  • Cricut Tools: For weeding, as well as transfer tape and a blue or green cutting mat.
  • Blow Dryer: Or Other Heat Source to melt the Crayons. The best option is a slow, steady flow of heat to minimize the chances of splattering hot wax.
  • The Digital Image You Plan to Use: For this project the Bunny Silhouette design from Creative Fabrica was used.

Be sure to carefully read the full instructions before you begin

 

 Prepare the design in Cricut Design Space

Upload your image into Design Space. The original image we are using today has detail on the bunny that we don’t need, so we’re going to weld shapes over it to cover the details up. Once you have it open grab circles or squares from the Shapes button. Set the shapes on top of the unwanted foliage, change the color to match the bunny and scale them to the size you need. Then select the Weld button to permanently remove the details. Select a simple flower shape and, once you’re happy with the design, weld it to the bunny shape too to create the final piece. Scale the shape, about 5 in x 9 in for a 12×16 inch canvas. Place your vinyl on a blue or green cutting mat and load it into your machine. Set your machine to cut your choice of vinyl and make your cuts like normal. Remove your mat when finished and remove your vinyl piece. Cut any scraps worth saving away from around the edges if there are any. Beginning at one corner weed the excess vinyl from around your shapes, leaving them still stuck to the transfer backing they come on. Lay them one at a time on your sticky transfer paper and remove the backing from your shape, leaving the sticky side of the vinyl exposed.

Apply the vinyl

Once your vinyl is all cut out take your canvas and decide where you would like it placed. When you are satisfied with your design begin transferring your vinyl sticky side down slowly and with care. The vinyl doesn’t stick well to the rough material of the canvas and it can easily tear. Once the transfer tape is removed firmly press your shapes starting from the center and working outward to help keep the paint from bleeding under.

 

 Soak the crayons in water

Allow at least ten minutes or so before you start applying paint. Letting permanent vinyl the time to set gives its adhesive a chance to cure and hold better. While you’re letting the vinyl set, place your crayons in the bowl and cover them with enough water to completely submerge them. Set the bowl aside.

Cover your work surface to protect it from any stray paint or wax. Taped down newspaper, garbage bags, or plastic table cloths all work great. Once cured take your canvas and apply firm, gentle pressure to the front and back of the canvas at the same time to make sure your vinyl is ready to be painted around. Begin applying paint to your canvas starting as close to the middle as you can and working outwards towards the edges. Keep the amount of paint even and thin, you don’t want it getting up under the vinyl’s adhesive. Acrylic paint dries very quickly so once you see it stop looking wet apply a second coat across the surface of the canvas until you have a nice even coat over the whole canvas. Allow plenty of time for the paint to dry. The time needed will vary depending on where you live. Use that time to remove the paper wrappers from the crayons. The water should have softened the paper and made it easier to remove. If you find you’re having trouble, return the crayons to the bowl and continue to allow them time to soak. Set them on a paper towel or washcloth to dry. Plug in your hot glue gun and set safely aside.

Don’t place the crayons to close together

Once everything has completely dried take your crayons and decide on the order that you’d like them to be on the canvas. Keep in mind that placing the crayons too close together can result in the colors mixing together and/or the overall look becoming messy. We’re going to avoid that today by staggering our twelve crayons about every inch or so across the canvas. When you’re satisfied with the placement begin taking them one at a time and apply a small stripe of hot glue to the underside of the crayon. Carefully re-place the crayon back into its spot on the canvas and hold it steady for a few moments while the glue hardens. Continue until you have all of them secure across the top of the canvas.

Bring out the hair dryer 

A hair dryer or a heat gun are your best options for melting the wax. The important things to keep in mind are being safe with whichever heat source you use and being careful with the hot wax. I absolutely cannot stress this enough, be patient!!! If you try to rush the wax melting not only will you create an ugly blob of colors that will ruin your design, you can also accidentally splatter the wax and burn yourself or destroy objects nearby. I actually took a scrap canvas and glued a couple extra crayons to the top. After protecting the area where I leaned the canvas at an angle, I tested applying the heat and letting the wax drip. This gave me a chance to get the temp, speed and angle of the canvas just how I’d like it before I worked on the final piece. After placing your 12×16 canvas on the floor, leaning at an angle, apply the heat low and slow working with a small section of the canvas at a time until you have each crayon melted how you’d like it. If you are using a hair dryer, make sure its blowing at the lowest speed possible to give you the best chance to control the drops. After everything has melted how you’d like it, carefully lay the canvas flat in a safe place so the wax can harden.

Make sure the wax has hardened

After a few minutes everything should be set. Test a small area near your vinyl by carefully tapping on the wax with a pencil or something similar to see if it’s hard. Take your pen knife and carefully lift the edges of your design. Slowly lift the vinyl, checking to see if any of the wax or paint snags as you pull it up. Your pen knife can help if the wax or paint isn’t separating cleanly. After all the vinyl is up you can add more details if you’d like, you can paint in the bunny and flower or remove the un-melted crayons and paint fluffy clouds, it’s completely up to you! If you crafted along and made your own melted crayon wax art please share your experience in the comments here.
And let me know what you liked best about working with melted wax!


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Comments
1 Comment
Valentina24

March 9, 2021

So cool! Will definitely try this out this weekend


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