While you’re doing back to school shopping add some metallic crayons to your list, will ‘ya? Metallic crayons are perfect for making some sweet little melted crayon art with the kids! If you can’t get enough of melted crayon art try this project as an alternative to the hairdryer/canvas version; it’s a bit less dramatic but still surprising for budding artists.
One of the wonderful things about exploring art with kids is experimentation. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same old art projects or using the same old supplies. That’s when it’s time to mix it up; use those old favorites in a new way: paint branches instead of paper, make jewelry out of office supplies, or like today’s project, draw on a hot surface!
Disclaimer, please use proper precautions when working with hot surfaces and children! Adult supervision is absolutely required! Adult art interference is not, though.
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Melted Crayon Art
Age Appropriateness: 4+ with adult supervision and assistance
Project Length: 5-10 minutes not including heating time
- Crayons – Metallic crayons add a nice touch. These are the ones we used: Crayola 16 Count Metallic FX Crayons
- Old Cookie Sheet
- White Paper
- Towel- large enough to fold over the edges of the cookie sheet
- Oven Mitt
Have all your materials ready before hand. The cookie sheet will only remain hot enough to melt the crayons for about 5-10 minutes so you don’t want to waste precious time scrambling to assemble the project once the cookie sheet is removed from the oven.
- Step One Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Step Two Heat up cookie sheet in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. Make sure to use a cookie sheet that you don’t mind dedicating to art projects. Cooled melted crayon is hard to remove!
- Step Three Once the cookie sheet is hot, bring it to your table and place it on a towel.
- Step Four Place a sheet of white paper in the center of the cookie sheet.
- Step Five Now cover the exposed edges of the cookie sheet by wrapping the towel over the ends. Try to keep a reasonably sized work surface visible. Instruct your child not to remove the towel and to be very careful when drawing.
- Step Six Crayon time! Give your child crayons and let them draw on the hot paper/cookie sheet. The longer you use a crayon the warmer it gets and the better it melts so you may want to start with just a few colors. Once the crayons start melting it feels like you are working with oil pastels.
- Step Seven Continue coloring on the hot surface until the cookie sheet is no longer hot. You’ll know when that happens because the crayons will stop gliding across the page.
You’re done! Remove the towel and paper and hang up your melted crayon art! If you want to repeat this project I suggest using two cookie sheets; keep one in the oven heating up while the other is in use. Then swap them after each piece of art is complete.
Tip: For younger children start by heating up the cookie sheets at a slightly lower temperature, 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The results will be less dramatic but a cooler cookie sheet is less intimidating.
I really like the way this melted crayon art project is suited to making abstract art. Just coloring areas with the melting, gliding crayons makes for some beautiful designs especially when using the glittery, metallic crayons. There is also a nice transparent effect because the crayons are waxy.
So who does this art project remind me of? Clyfford Still, an abstract artist from the 20th century. I first heard about him in Italy, even though he is American. An artist friend of mine was very inspired by his work and I was also drawn to his simple, beautifiul use of color and shading. If you haven’t ever heard of him check out some of his art pieces online!
If you enjoyed making melted crayon art try another transparent, colorful favorite of ours: Faux stained glass.
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