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The big, big bag of broken crayons – we all have one, don’t we? For every new box of crayons I’ve bought over the years, I have about 15 or 20 nubs that no one wants to use but can’t quite bring myself to throw out. Fortunately, we have an ingenious solution for you…you can upcycle those old art supplies into gorgeous melted crayon art!
This clever upcycled artwork only requires a handful of craft supplies you likely already have at home. It’s a fairly quick process, an easy crafting experience to customize for any age, and creates the most striking pieces of kid-made abstract art – a total win in my book. I’ve laid out the whole tutorial below (along with some tips and variations) but also be sure to read to the end for even MORE melted crayon art ideas…
Watch the video below for a preview of the quick process we used to make our melted crayon abstract art!
To make your own melted crayon art you’ll need:
- A Canvas, watercolor paper, or cardstock
- An Iron or hairdryer
- A Pencil sharpener
- Wax or parchment paper
SAFETY NOTE: Adult supervision is required when using a hot iron.
How to Make Melted Crayon Art – DIY Instructions:
- Select the crayon colors you’d like to use
Pick out a color palette from your crayons. We used the whole rainbow!
- Make shavings from your crayons
Use a pencil sharpener or similar to create piles of colorful crayon shavings. You can shave them into small bowls or use a muffin tin as we did to make it easier for kids to grab from.
- Create your abstract crayon art design on a canvas, watercolor paper, or heavy cardstock
Lay your paper or canvas on a flat surface with cardboard or newspaper underneath to catch any loose crayon wax bits. Layout your crayon shavings in the desired composition on your canvas. You can create fun patterns and shapes or simply sprinkle them!
- Cover with wax paper
Cover your design with wax paper. If you’re using an iron to melt the crayons, this keeps the wax bits from sticking to the iron.
If you’re using a hairdryer, tape down the edges – this will ensure all the shavings stay where they’re supposed to and don’t fly off the canvas.
- Use an iron or hairdryer to melt the crayon wax shavings
Use your iron or hairdryer to melt the wax. If you’re using an iron a low heat setting will work well. If you’re using a hair dryer, you’ll want to use a high-heat setting and a low-speed setting to melt the crayon bits.
- Let dry for 15-20 minutes before touching
Keep little hands away from your melted crayon art finished product for at least 15-20 minutes to ensure the wax has completely cooled and hardened.
There’s endless room for creativity and self-expression and it’s an incredibly fun activity for kids!
Variations on our Upcycled Crayon Abstract Art Project
Love this and want to play with a few variations? Here are some simple ideas that will give your crayon art a whole different look…
- Melt your crayons on a black or colored piece of heavy cardstock instead of white for a whole different look!
- Collage other images underneath/over top of your melted crayons.
- Create a rain or water effect by limiting your colors to shades of blue only.
- Melt some green crayons, then flip your canvas upside down to make blades of grass that you can mod podge paper or dried flowers onto.
- Use a hot glue gun to glue your old crayons directly to the top of the canvas or a heavy piece of cardstock/watercolor paper. Heat to melt and watch the colors slowly drip down the canvas to create beautiful waterfalls of color!
Even MORE Recycled Crayon Art and Craft Activities
A quick trip around the web confirms I’m not the only one with baskets of broken crayons! This small collection of repurposed crayon activities is guaranteed to help you diminish that old crayon supply while keeping your little ones entertained…
- Modern melted crayon wall hangings – This gorgeous wall art from my friend Shannon doubles as a super fun for kids AND a great lesson in symmetry (and her video tutorial is SO good!)
- Melted crayon butterflies – Inspired by Shannon’s wall art, we made a set of melted crayon butterflies we later put on garden stakes and used in potted plants.
- Rainbow crayons – a crayon melting point experiment – I love the clever idea of reusing crayons for a science experiment, finishing up with a beautiful set of rainbow crayons in the end!
- DIY Earth Day crayons – I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day with kids than by putting recycling into practice.
- Melted crayon watermelon suncatchers – For a fun summery project, give these bright and cheery watermelon suncatchers a try!
- Melted crayon rock art – This fun process combines natural and recycled materials for a phenomenal project.
- Wax paper & melted crayon lanterns – Use simple supplies to make your own luminous lantern!
- DIY Fun-shaped crayons – This detailed tutorial takes you through all the best basics of at-home crayon-making (and how we adore these colorful butterfly beauties!)
Grabbing supplies from the recycling bin or finding old projects to remake anew with kiddos is one of my very favorite past-times. For even more recycled kids’ crafts, turn a peanut butter jar into a colorful (and functional!) kid-safe lantern, or use up old cardboard boxes to build a city neighborhood full of drawing prompts!