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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Monday, August 22, 2011

DIY Melted Crayon Artwork

 So, the most amazing pictures keep popping up on Pinterest of these richly colored melted crayon canvases. Mr. Bear and I, being rather handy, decided it looked like a fun project and we set about recreating it as a wedding gift for our lovely friends.

We bought a pack of canvases and a box of crayons from Michaels. After I removed the crayons I didn't want to use(all the browns, white, black, and gold), I organized them into more or less rainbow order and arranged them on the canvas to make sure I liked how they look.

I used my trusty glue gun to affix the crayons to the canvas, leaving a border around the edge to accommodate the eventual frame.

 The canvas, all glued up:

 We set the canvas up on some cardboard to protect the deck from the wax, and I used a heat gun of Mr. Bear's, but I've seen other tutorials where they had success using a basic hairdryer.

 You're welcome for the product plug, Steinel.

I set the gun to 4.5 and played with the distance until I found a spot that melted the crayon without burning it or splattering it everywhere.

 I worked back and forth along the crayons until I was pleased with the drips and the color saturation.

 And took a break to assure Ponyo that I didn't love the heat gun more than her.

 She's a very neurotic dog.

Pause for some beauty shots.

 Now we're getting somewhere.

Here's the finished canvas. Some of the ones I've seen took special care to make all the crayon melts stream straight down. As you can see, I took a more freewheeling approach. I like the way some of the colors mixed.

 Mr. Bear built the frame by getting a long piece of molding and some decorative accents at the hardware store, cutting the molding down, and spray painting them a flat matte black.

 He arranged the frame on the canvas and when he was pleased with how it was fitting, he attached it to the canvas with wood glue, then clamped it to dry.

 He's so handy.

The finished project turned out pretty gorgeous, all told. I want to make a super big one to hang in our living room. I'm happy to report that our friends liked their wedding gift, as I am constantly worried that I'm the only one who prefers gifts that are made rather than bought. I foolishly didn't take a pretty picture of it all finished, but maybe they'll be accommodating and let me take a picture once they've decided where they want to keep it.

We didn't keep track, but I estimate that all the materials cost us under $20(not that we were trying to be cheap, but, hey, recession) so this is a really affordable project for adding some drama and interest to your walls.


  1. I LOVE THIS. Most. Appropriate. Gay. Wedding. Present. Evar.

  2. this is actually pretty neat! BTW... I recently bought a bunch of crayons on sale so I can melt them down and make my own special shaped crayons for Mei, like in the shapes of legos and penguins and such but this is a good, fun looking project too!

  3. You two make me happy. I love our present.

  4. you have inspired me to have a project day with cade making this for his new room!!! LOVE IT! Genius!!!

  5. I saw this linked through offbeat home and I have to compliment how awesome it is. A great idea for a wedding gift. Can't wait to try it myself.

  6. Thanks so much for the tutorial! This is awesome for the living room, my kid's bedroom, as a teacher gift, the list goes on! I only hope my blow dryer gets hot enough! :)

  7. THANKS for doing this, I'm one of those people you speak of on pinterest, and haven't had the time to sit down and do this....but now I have to! ;)
    and may I just say it is awesome your dogs name is Ponyo? because it is!

  8. LOVE! I live in an apartment that has bland, boring, contractor beige walls that I can't paint, which is sad because I LOVE colour. This would make a GREAT piece to add some colour to my home! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Wow, I'm flattered by all the attention this project is getting!

    In the projects I've seen where hairdriers were used, they let the canvas with the crayons glued on sit in the sun for a few hours first, and then had no problem getting them to melt with the hairdryer.

    Ponyo loves her name, too! She came to us with the name "Angel" but she's definitely more of a Ponyo!

  10. haha! poor ponyo, mommys paying attention to something thats not her! so cute. i love this project!!!


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