Remember my post about a Dripping Rainbow of Crayon Joy? I finally got around to trying that idea with my good friend Renee. Here’s how it works: Step 1, glue down crayons to a surface in whatever pattern you want. Step 2, using a hairdryer, melt the crayons until the wax starts dripping. Continue melting the wax and angling the surface however you want until you’re satisfied with the final look.
My original idea was to glue my crayons in a circle, in chromatic order, to create a melted crayon color wheel. Unfortunately I realized that the circle took up more space that I had available to me for my “canvas.” I was using the square lid of an oversized shoebox. The lip of the lid turned out to be very useful because it caught any runaway wax drips. I painted the inside white before I glued any crayons. Then, because my circle idea wasn’t going to work, I decided to glue them in a straight line, like most of the pictures of this process show.
Renee and I found that there’s a lot of technique to getting the wax to flow how you want. Setting your hairdryer on high or low makes a difference. Sometimes, when on high, the wax would begin to literally fly and land in little spatters. It also depends on how you direct the airflow of the dryer. Renee’s hairdryer had an attachment on the end which expanded the airflow direction to the left and right. Removing this attachment provided a more direct airflow, and a straighter line of wax flow. Holding the hairdryer at 90 degrees to your surface caused the wax to fly in every which way, causing a splatter effect. We also tilted our canvases a lot to change the flow of melted wax. A high angle of tilt allowed the wax to flow rapidly downhill, in a straight line. Having a shallow tilt allowed the wax to meander more in different directions. One of my favorite parts about my piece is the negative spaces between the crayon tips. These little diamonds of space where the white paint shows through create a fun little pattern attractive to the eye.
My melted crayon art.
By the time we finished mine, we had a better idea of what to expect. Renee decided to try something a little more fun for hers. First she painted a canvas with acrylic paint, blending a beautiful mix of blue, green, yellow, and white into what looked like an aurora borealis. While it was drying she snapped her selection of crayons into halves, ripping off some of the wrappers. These she positioned on the top and bottom of her canvas at rather haphazard (but aesthetically pleasing) angles. Then we melted the crayons, doing one half first before rotating the canvas and melting the other side. Renee preferred a more splatter effect on hers, allowing the melted wax to branch out and blend in a lot of places. I think you’ll agree with me that the effect is lovely. It almost looks like an aquatic scene, with rainbow coral branches.
Renee's melted crayon art.
We had a lot of fun working on this project. It takes very little time from start to finish, and is even quicker if you don’t have to prime your surface first. It’s also really cheap, since crayons are very affordable and a little hot glue goes a long ways. I think melted crayon art could be fun for all ages, though I would suggest that an adult handle the hot gluing if children want to try this out.