Melted crayon art is another one of those projects that I’ve wanted to try for awhile. After seeing this post on Summerstead I was so inspired I ran right out and bought the supplies to make it happen (finally). I loved the idea of not just art from melted crayons but using the melted crayons as part of a picture.
Besides it was finally time to move on from M’s 4th birthday and the streamers had to go (what better way to get rid of them than to make flowers out of them?). Initially I had started taking decorations down under the veil of night, little by little, but then I just figured perhaps it’s better to take the band-aid approach—quick, flash of pain, and then it’s over. Of course the desire to take the decorations hit me like a truck one afternoon looking at the pit of despair that used to be my living room (that messy) so I didn’t even wait for night and unfortunately got busted halfway through the streamer removal…..”whatcha doin?” (me, up on stepstool, guilty hands full of streamers) ummmm…..but fortunately for me “M” really liked the idea of recycling the streamers into art projects and has been not only using the streamer flower heads in her art crafts (bubbles, planets, balls) but is currently using them as cash in her play kitchen. And yes, apparently I might have gone overboard with the streamer decorations (what?!? me?!?) and may have been coaxed into turning every single last one of them into a flower spiral by my ever-so-clever 4 year old so that we happen to have a plethora of them around (oh good, so I’m helping to remove the clutter from the living room by making more?).
To my delight I discovered that this is the best time of year to be doing this project because it’s “back to school” time so crayons are on sale all over the place! I bought 4 boxes for a dollar at Walmart (and just to make sure I had enough greens I bought 8 boxes). My first step to make the melted crayon backdrop was to figure out how many crayons it would take to cover the bottom edge of the canvas (answer: 24). A good tip from Summerstead is to put the canvas in the frame you intend to use and mark the edges and bottom with painters tape. Then take the canvas out of the frame and outline where you put the first tape with a second piece of tape (basically creating your boundary). Now take off the inside tape and you have marked where your crayons should go. Because I am using my canvas with the longer edge as the bottom/top I decided to cut the crayons in half so that they didn’t take up a majority of the canvas. Although I apparently went a little rogue when cutting my crayons so if you look really closely (ok no need to look closely I can see it from here) you can see (and be annoyed by) that one side of the crayon line is slightly higher than the other (…..arg….apparently doing this on the floor of my room late at night was not my best plan). I also learned that apparently hot glue on canvas sets pretty much instantly and is ridiculously difficult to get off so be warned.
I’ve tried, ever so briefly, to melt crayons before and while I have great success doing this inadvertently in my car I found trying to do it inside with my hairdryer to be pretty tedious. Fortunately (?) it’s about 100 degrees outside at the moment so after hot gluing my crayons on to my canvas I just put the canvas (with crayons attached) outside to warm up a bit. Then, with “M’s” help the crayons melted almost instantly when we turned on the hairdryer. I will say that the hairdryer can make the crayons splatter if kept too close. Also I was really going for a drippy effect and the crayons weren’t making it that far down the canvas so we kept starting from the top (with the canvas inverted so the crayons were at the top of an incline) and then blowing the drippings down. This took a couple of attempts which actually gives the wax a layered look (bonus!).
Now on to the flowers…
To make a streamer flower you’ll need to start with two pieces. One that is only a few inches long (that can be set aside until the very end) and one that is 2-3 feet long. First fold the long streamer in half lengthwise.
To give the flower a little more depth I then fold the streamer in half widthwise.
Fold a small portion of the end over (about an inch).
Then begin to roll the streamer until you pass the folded portion.
At this point I twist the entire length of streamer to make the next steps easier.
So that it looks a little something like this….
Then proceed to roll again. I found it easier to add a dab of hot glue after a couple of rolls just to get the center to stay put, but it’s not necessary. (next job, hand model?)
Continue to wrap the rolled streamer around the core. You’ll want to wrap it around the top end of the core forming essentially a little streamer stem and a flower head.
Keep rolling until you get to the desired size of flower and glue the end of the streamer underneath the flower. This is what it will look like from the top.
And this is what it will look like from the bottom. If you plan to glue your flower to something you’ll need to smoosh the stem against the back of the flower at this point.
Using that second piece of streamer, the small one, fold it in half and put a flower-sized hot glue circle down. Place the flower, smooshed stem and all, onto the small streamer (which is folded because the glue leaks through a single sheet).
Ever wonder what would happen if you try and hot glue and take pictures at the same time? Ouch! Lastly, cut around the flower once the glue has cooled and then glue flower circled onto the canvas.