Monday, September 19, 2011

DIY Wall Art: Melted Crayons on Canvas

I bought some canvas a few weeks ago with the intention of painting some really awesome robots for this giant, empty wall in my living room. HeyMatthew and I drew the robots out and bought the paint but after a week of staring at the pencil outlines we decided not to finish them. So, when I was looking around on Pinterest this afternoon and saw the idea for melted crayon art I knew THIS was what we would use or canvases for. Most of the people on Pinterest glue the crayons to the top and then melt them a bit to let the wax run down the canvas in straight lines (see here) but HeyMatthew and I got a bit more creative with ours and actually painted pictures with the melted wax. Take a look...

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The first step was to pick out our colors. HeyMatthew and I actually split the box completely in half with our choices. No fighting over colors in this house.

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The next step is the easiest and the harderst. Peel those crayons and get to blow drying. I kept burning my finger with the direct finger to crayon to heat action so I eventually started stabbing the crayons with a fork and then heating them up that way. There is definitely a method to doing all of this properly and 4 burned fingers later I'd be happy to give you tips if you want them.

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HeyMatthew came up with his own method and kept his canvas vertical while melting his crayons. If you want the watercolor smeary look then keep yours flat but if you want the drippy look then this is the way to do it. Also, rotating the canvas every now and then helps keep the drippy things interesting!

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Here is the finished product. Aren't they a-ma-zing!?!? Don't you think HeyMatthew's (the one on the right) looks like a rooster? I think he named his "Chicken Dinner" or something crazy like that. This project took a little over two hours to finish and only cost us about $35 dollars with a 50% off coupon (for the canvas) from Michaels. I read online that the girl who makes the solid crayon drip paintings sells hers for like $250 so when you think about that, ours are totally worth $35. Make your own and let me see them!! Hope everyone had a great weekend! UPDATE FROM JULY 2013- I didn't seal mine but if you try it and find a way to seal yours, please let me know! I get a lot of questions about how to do it and I'd love to be able to share tips from someone else. Thanks!

128 comments:

  1. Jenna? Has anyone every told you that your cool? Well I think your the coolest person ever!:) love you,
    Kimmi

    ReplyDelete
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    1. above post from someone whose writing gets a LOT of corrections, rofl

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  2. These paitings look amazing! I'm definitely going to try this myself. Hopefully mine turn out as good looking as yours! All of your tips and descriptions are great. lovveeee this.

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  3. I have done the ones with crayons on the actual canvas many times for my self and friends, but will definitely be doing this, I think its a lot more fun and mature looking!

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  4. Do you need to do anything to protect it?

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  5. Those are gorgeous! I really love them, and can't believe they're made from crayons!

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  6. I've melted old/broken crayons before in metal cups (I used old banged up cupcake molds) over a candle. I poured them over rocks and glass (very colorful paperweights). Maybe you could start off with melting the crayons first, then pouring it on canvas. You could still use the hairdryer to direct your streaks and smudges :) ---yelainez

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  7. Another cool addition would be to add a phrase with vinyl lettering (or soemthing similar) first. After your melted crayons dry, you could just peel up the letters and *hopefully* the lettering would still be white.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried that and it doesn't work because the crayon dries and hardens like a shell so you end up taking a chunk of crayon off. Great idea though, isn't it?

      Delete
    2. You have to either peel the stickers off before it dries or reheat the crayon a little before peeling.

      Delete
    3. I've done it before. I put the letter stickers on the canvas first, then I painted over them with a layer of mod podge (watered down elmers glue works to), it helped seal off the stickers from melted wax getting underneath. then I used an exacto knife to help peel up the stickers after the crayon wax dried. some wax still stained the canvas underneath the letters, so then I painted some spots (white). It's extremely tedious but it works and looks amazing =)

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  8. Forceps or tongs would help you to hold the crayons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or do like I do, I jold my crayons with a pair of scissors or tweezers. Just a thought. But I do love your finished project, keep us updated with your works.

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  9. The one on thr right looks like something out of a fantasy image, with a rocky cliff on the left in tan with the blue and darker color mountain peaks to the right and the sunny clouds up on the upper left. very interesting turn out love it, but also love the pastel water color look as well.

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  10. I was wondering about the possibility of doing this technique on a white tee shirt? Maybe stabelizer under where you want the design before hooping or stretching? There probably isn't any way to keep it from washing out, but even for a one-time deal, it might be cute...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's how you would do the t-shirt idea, looks pretty cool

      http://www.momready.com/articles/content.asp?ID=563

      Delete
  11. WoW!!!Is just awesome!Love art so colorful.Thanks for sharing!
    Lucia
    lailalay

    ReplyDelete
  12. GREAT idea!! Actually going to try this today :)
    Also, great choice in hairdryer, I have the same one!

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  13. wow that is so fantabulous! I did it but on a smaller canvas, held it with a scraper (which worked really well because the hair dryer heated up the metal scraper which helped melt the crayon)and it only took 30 min!Great idea!

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  14. Do Crayola crayons work best or will other brands work just as well? My gut feeling is, Crayola works bet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i've heard crayola works best. apparently someone tried others and this is how it turned out.

      http://craftfail.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/rose-art-vs-crayola-400x300.jpg

      don't know how true it is but better safe than sorry.

      Delete
    2. I haven't tried other brands, but Crayola is fantastically washable. I accidently got some on the carpet, and thought my boyfriend was going to kill me. It came out really easily.

      Delete
    3. I tried a dollar store brand and the crayons wouldn't melt. Crayola was definitely worth the extra money.

      Delete
    4. I've used cheap crayons and they work fine, doing ours as Christmas presents with a photo frame in the middle. looking great. I use a heat gun and hairdryer for good effect.
      Looks super and a fun craft as a present. Only they look so good I want to keep them, so am photographing them instead.
      =)

      Delete
    5. I used rose art and they did not workusing crayola next time for sure

      Delete
  15. I use grill skewers, to "hold" the crayon, as I melt them. Saves on hot fingers...

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  16. I'd love to make one of these... My goal is to make one like yours on the left - seriously LOVE it! I'd appreciate you emailing/posting your tips - peteandjenapp@gmail.com

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  17. I did this a few years ago and I shaved my old crayons first. when melted I tipped the canvas around. it is interesting of what you can see. I see some faces, animals. others see it too. interesting is putting silver mixed around with the colors. I'll have to try the hair dryer. I'm sure it is better than the oven.

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  18. love this! i definitely like this look better than the just melted dripped crayons. i also had the idea of putting lettering below and then pealing it off... i wonder if it would make the crayon crack on the canvas though. might have to reheat the crayon around the letters to peel them off. have any tips for someone who would love to try this as well?
    also any color combos that you think look the best?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking that maybe you could make a stencil with the lettering and just take an X-acto knife and VERY lightly cut (no-so deeply)into the crayon wax. maybe you could give that a go. I'm going to try this soon! the only problem with this is the lettering probably won't come out white so if you want it white this may not work, BUT i think it will look pretty good with light color in the letters. It may come out looking good! worth a try!

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    2. I have used masking tape, and done a peace sign before. Some of the crayon wax went under the tape, which I wonder if I melted the crayons flat instead of vertical if it would help the problem. It still came out pretty cool.

      Delete
    3. I've done it before. I put the letter stickers on the canvas first, then I painted over them with a layer of mod podge (watered down elmers glue works to), it helped seal off the stickers from melted wax getting underneath. then I used an exacto knife to help peel up the stickers after the crayon wax dried. some wax still stained the canvas underneath the letters, so then I painted some spots (white). It's extremely tedious but it works and looks amazing =)

      Delete
  19. Love the one on the left as well as the vinyl letter idea. So gonna do this one! My dd and I did the dripping crayon on canvas last summer in the second hottest summer in Dallas. This will be a fun new twist to try. Thanks!

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  20. i love this!! i bet you could use tongs to hold the crayons

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  21. Great idea!!! thanks for sharing it!! (it isn´t supposed to be only for children, isn´t it? :-)

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  22. It is so hot outside I am thinking of putting the canvas outside with crayon shavings on it to see what happens.

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  23. Made this with my niece last weekend - so fun. Thanks for the idea.

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  24. I just did my own version of this since you inspired me! Click on this link to my blog to see how it turned out:)I also went ahead and linked back to your blog.

    My link:
    http://athousandtimes1000.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/gettin-crafty/

    ReplyDelete
  25. The day's of using a hot plate in the classroom for crayon melting are done. This is a nice alternative. :) It should work on paper too right?

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  26. I definitely want to do this but was hoping for a few tips on how you did the one on the left, if you would email me that would lovely...maddy_92@hotmail.com. I just have a few questions and technique and such, thank you!!
    Maddy

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love em to me they look like spring and fall

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  28. I absolutely love it! It's mid July now, and all of the big stores are having their "Back to School Sales." This is where we can find crayons really cheap! Also, I have a lot of stumps of candles that I've been saving to make to make "Pinecone Fire Starters."* I plan to melt those and use them to cover big areas! GREAT IDEA! Thanks for posting!

    *directions found on my JeannieGuzman1Pinterest board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have lots of bits of candle wax too and was wondering, what are pine cone fire starters? Will candle wax work as well?

      Delete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Any tips would be appreciated, I'm trying this tomorrow and would love to make one that looks like the one on the left.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Would a heat gun work, or do you need the blowing air from a hair dryer?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Here's a link to mine!
    http://thethingsnikkimakes.tumblr.com/
    I love the way it turned out.... bright colors look awesome. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great crayoning (painting?) LOL. It turned out really nice. Thanks for sharing your version.

      Delete
  33. so, let the crayon crack...wipe black (or the color of your choice)paint, shoe polish, or stain over the canvas and remove excess so there is a crackle effect.

    ReplyDelete
  34. My mother did a crayon painting on canvas (24" X 36")years ago. She just moved to a smaller place and gave it to a friend. She used shaved crayons, covered the areas of the canvas with wax paper and used a warm iron. I wish I had a picture to show you; it looked like a crystal cave, full of beautiful colored patterns. I was in the process of shaving some crayons when I decided to look up this form of art on the web. I'm glad to see it is still done. Nice work Jenna and Matthew!I really like the fact that you left some of the white canvas show. I bet a black gessoed canvas would not look too bad either. I am going to Walmart today and I'm going to buy a wand type mini iron; the head is triangular so it might work well on a smaller canvas. I will let you know the results. The sky's the limit! Diane from Kamloops, BC Canada

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  35. Also, if you have an extra glue gun you can put your crayon in it and then shoot the puddle with the
    Blow dryer. It will save you from burned fingers!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Very cool would love to try this any tips other than all the amazing ones on this page would be appreciated roebelles@aol.com

    Have great day

    ReplyDelete
  37. Canvases can make every interior extraordinary, there is really great work, and very nice tips, final print have awesome look, i just want to say thanks for sharing this great post.

    Canvasdezign

    ReplyDelete
  38. The finished product vaguely reminds me of the illustrations in the book Monster Mama! I just love how the canvases turn out.
    http://mrstrottersfavorites.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/monster-mama.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks so much for the inspiration!! Here's mine

    http://annikalikes.blogspot.com/2012/08/melted-crayon-art.html

    It was so fun! I feel like if we sold these on etsy we'd strike it rich ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great job Anna. Yours turned out very well. You guys are motivating me!

      Delete
  40. What a great idea. I have done the technique with cards, but never in this large scale. I might suggest that you try shaving the crayons & using a heat gun from the back. I also did a technique with something like crayons & used a wire pick from Sallys Beauty (store) & created a great swirl look.

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  41. I used a little craft iron to melt the crayons and smoosh the color around. I really liked the effect. And it was easy on the fingers.

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  42. Rubber gloves would probably help and maybe some tweezers or tongs!

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  43. Beautiful work!! A group of us just finished up a crayon project as well. We all felt like kids again! Great post too.

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  44. I am so glad I found your post, it has inspired me! I have been making all sorts of fun melted Crayon projects. I have one that's a surfer on a wave, a whole collection of Universe themed ones and wine and grapes as a request for a coworker. The possibilities are endless!

    ReplyDelete
  45. What tips would you give to someone who wants to try this but hasn't done too much melted crayon art?

    ReplyDelete
  46. hi i'M LOOKING TO DO THIS CRAFT PLEASE EMAIL ANY TIPS TO NOUHA12@HOTMAIL.CO.UK IF YOU CAN THANKS :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. a really easy way to peel crayons is to put them in warm or hot water for 10-20 minutes. the paper just peels and falls off by itself.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Love the idea and would like to try it. I love your color scheme - could you tell me what colors you used?

    ReplyDelete
  49. I think my weekend project will definitely be this. I would like to try using a potato peeler and shave pieces of crayon on to the canvas. I would focus on three different shades of the same color, making it an abstract piece. This article has definitely inspired me to try it out. For this, I thank you.

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  50. Oh this is gorgeous - so much more so than the row of crayons along the top. Must try! Thank you :)

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  51. Did this project with my son (he's 5) I used a heating gun instead. It's faster and easier, plus long tweezers held with a glove to rotate and splatter our crayons.

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  52. Try using wood skewers to hold the crayons

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  53. Does it take 2 hours to make the crayon melt or with the drying included?

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    Replies
    1. i just made one it dries instantly. like as soon as you remove heat, it dries

      Delete
  54. the drip method painting looks like a cheerleader badger (rotated 90 clockwise)

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  55. Hi! This is pretty awesome! I would love to know if you sealed them? Have you noticed if the wax actually adheres to the fibers of the canvas? I can't wait to try this!!!

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    Replies
    1. I didn't seal them and the wax is staying in place. I'm very careful with them because I'm sure it wouldn't be terribly hard to knock a chunk off but they're fine on the wall.

      Delete
  56. Great article! I just tried mine and it looks neat. I'll probably be sealing it when I'm not feeling too lazy.

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  57. How would you seal it? Clear spray of some sort or what? I liked all the drip pix but like these so very much more. Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  58. This seems to be quite simple. I've never tried it but this looks like it might be fun!

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  59. i love this! yours is more my style, colour-wise, but heymatthews is pretty cool too.
    way cooler than the simple drip.

    and also thank for the tips. i think im going to have my camp do this this summer and i dont need any burtn fingers on my watch!!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hi Jenna, I love your "watercolour" version of crayon art. You mention that you could provide tips. Would you be able to send them to me? I would love to try this for my granddaughters room!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I love this great project, you have performed great creativity and done worth admirable work, this Melted Crayons on Canvas has incredible look, i enjoyed it. many thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  62. If you're asian, you know you'd avoid burning your fingers by using chopsticks ;D LOLs!!
    Will try this out soon!!

    ReplyDelete
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  65. Did anyone have problems with splatter? I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Just hold it straight?

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  67. Wow, these final canvases are looking very attractive, you did worth admirable work, this Melted Crayons on Canvas diy project is really a fun project, i wan to do that. Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

    canvas art a special delight for walls

    ReplyDelete
  68. What would be the best thing to seal the canvas? I want to do some smaller ones to give as gifts this year and would like to seal them so they'll last longer. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't seal mine so I don't really know. I get that question a lot though so if you find something that works, PLEASE let me know. Thanks and good luck!!

      JennaLeighBrown@gmail.com

      Delete
  69. I've read (haven't ever actually tried it myself)and heard from other artists that you can use a coating of floor wax (a professional brand is recommended) to seal ecaustic paintings...so I would guess that it would work the same for the crayons. There is an encaustic art wax sealer too.

    While sealing can add some protection, it won't prevent the wax from melting if it gets warm enough, and it's still possible to chip and scratch them.

    I think your paintings are lovely. I did some of the crayon art, just letting it drip. I want to try this now.

    ReplyDelete
  70. When I was in preschool, we were given a few wax crayons and an adult would place a rectangular sized piece of aluminum foil onto a hot plate. We then would continue to draw like normal, except to be very careful to only touch the hot plate with the crayons.

    I wonder though if somehow paper could be used, but at a low enough heat or something to prevent the paper from burning.

    ReplyDelete
  71. That is a nice way to do it. So will it dry better then.

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  76. I am looking forward to trying this. I like the look of yours better than any I've seen. However, I intend to use needle nose pliers or find some hemostats (they are narrower/doctors use) rather than burning my fingers. ;)
    Thank You for the great ideas!

    ReplyDelete
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  78. What about a thin pin on the other side in the canvas an in the crayon as the crayon melts it will come away from the pin and u can just pull it out of the canvas and just rub the canvas to hide the pin hole. Just a thought.

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  83. Hi Jenny - love what you've done. I've actually been doing these types of paintings for a little over 2 years - here is a link for ones that I've done with melted crayon - https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/960089_189558611198821_1195227435_n.jpg

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  84. Melted crayon canvas have very attractive look, you did great job, many thanks for sharing. :)

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  92. Thats great but is there possible or need to seal them afterwards somehow?

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