Crayon Art

Photo 2013-02-05 11 10 24 AMOne of the final projects that I did with my junior high art class was Crayon Art! It hadn’t actually occurred to me to do this project until one of my students showed me a picture of her canvas of melted rainbow colours that she had done at home. It was beautiful and it was the perfect project to end our semester!

This is actually a very simple art project – but it can be a little messy! Here’s what you need:

1. a canvas (I put in a requisition form so the school paid for a class set)

2. Crayola crayons (make sure they are not some generic brand, otherwise it won’t work as well)

3. white glue

4. a cardboard box (big enough to fit the canvas in)

5. blowdryer

6. stencils and tape (optional)

I began by having students brainstorm and sketch ideas in their sketchbooks of what design or image they would like to have on their canvas, also which colours they would like to use. Once students were ready, they picked out which crayons and how many they wanted (I had them bring their own, or I provided several boxes which they had to pay $1 per 10 crayons).

To glue the crayons on, we poured a bit of white glue onto a paper plate and dipped one side of the crayon into the glue and stuck it onto the canvas. This step takes no time at all. Some students chose to space out their crayons while others went all out.

Once the glue dried, we cut out stencils of letters, words, images, etc. and taped these over with painters tape. Then, we cut around the stencil and we were left with a stencil that was just made of painters tape. This is what we put on the canvas – that way, the colours wouldn’t seep into the stencil. Make sure the paper you use for the stencils has a smooth surface (i.e. not construction paper), otherwise when you peel the tape, the paper will rip.

The last step is the best part – blowdrying! Any hairdryer will do. Place your canvas in a cardboard box (I made the mistake of only putting down newspaper on the ground, but when we started melting the crayons, some of it splattered on the walls. Luckily, we found out that the crayon wax can be removed by taking a spatula and scraping it off the floor/walls. Now this is important: do not aim at the top of the crayons, aim at the bottom. Aiming the blowdryer at the top causes the entire crayon to melt and the wax starts melting over the crayons. Not pretty.

When students had finished, they peeled off their stencils and voilà! This is what they made:

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