As part of my quest to clean out my Pinterest, I “gathered” all the melted crayon pins for some experimenting this weekend. I have a large collection of broken crayons which I used to melt into shapes for fun “crayons” for my son. He’s had no interest in anything like that for years so I have this growing pile that needs a project.
I like the look of the melted crayon projects but, to be honest, after experimenting with them, I realized that it’s a very limited technique. Might be me but I wasn’t loving it.
Here are the bulk of my supplies – heat gun, broken crayons and 8 x 10 inch canvases (I ended up using 3 canvases). What you don’t see – hot glue gun (I used 2 different ones), masking tape, knitting needles and fake flowers. I should also note that I did all my melting over a glass plate to protect my surface and to collect any fallen wax.
The first technique began with gluing crayons to the canvas with hot glue.
Use the heat gun to melt the crayons while tipping the canvas so the wax runs down in ribbons.
The finished project was to make the wax look like stems for flowers. Since I wasn’t 100% sure how I wanted to finish it, I went with the fake flowers. These are from The Dollar Tree and not bad looking. I’m not sure I love the flowers but it does make the project feel finished. (Just so you know, I added the flowers the next day after a trip to the store.)
The second technique was to rub the crayons along the canvas while melting the wax. There were some suggestions as to how to hold the crayons. I picked some very fat crayons and opted to use some mismatched knitting needles (not sure how it happened but I have 3 random knitting needles).
It worked okay. The crayons had a tendency to break as I was moving them around. I got this far just using the knitting needles.
I wanted something a bit more filled in but my crayons were really giving me fits by this time. I discovered that I could heat the canvas and color over the hot spot (or color with the crayon and then melt it). This was probably my favorite technique because I had more control and I was fully participating in the “painting”. However, it’s a very bright and busy background so I have no idea what I am going to do with it.
Most of the projects I had on pinterest started with new crayons and I wanted something that would allow me to use up broken crayons. I got to thinking that I could tape them to the top of the canvas and melt them that way. Well it wasn’t a perfect plan. It was hard to control the flow of the wax (tipping it so the wax dripped meant that wax was also dripping down the back).
But for all that “trouble” I thought it was still fun. I had absolutely no plan for this one either. That’s the problem with playing with techniques, there’s nothing to help you figure out how to finish.
So I returned to the flowers I purchased for the green wax. I like the white flowers with all that color. My husband didn’t love it but it’ll grow on him, if I ever get around to hanging them up somewhere in the house.
The last actual technique was to use a hot glue gun to melt the crayons. I offered up my oldest glue gun which was a really cheap one when I bought it. This was my experimenting. I went with a few mat boards and my sketchbook instead of canvases. I was glad that I did. The upper right is my attempt to get wax melts. I had a few longer reddish crayons (looks so bloody) that I pulled out. I attempted to try melting the wax onto a stencil that I had attached to the mat board with rubber cement. None of that really made me ooh and ahh. It was just a mess.
I will say it did not ruin my glue gun. I took it apart and cleaned out all the wax (and learned what the inside of a glue gun looks like). It still works just fine. It’s so old that I didn’t mind sacrificing it to all these experiments and it was cheap when I bought it. I do have to say for all that I am completely impressed with the gun. I have no idea what brand it is because there is nothing on the gun to tell me.
Anyway, I’m thinking my next crayon melting experiment with be making candles. While these were fun, I didn’t feel like I learned a technique that I could use for a wide range of projects. I might pull out some melted crayons at some time but I can’t say when.