Today I have a fun DIY that would make a lovely addition to a nursery or child’s room. This is a project that could be completed in an afternoon or even during “nap time” and it uses supplies that you may already have at home!
STEP 1 GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES:
For this project you will need:
*A Canvas of any size. I used a canvas that measures 11 x 14 inches. (I added a coat of white paint to my canvas to give it an even color. This step is optional.)
*One box of Crayons. You will need enough crayons to cover the horizontal measurement of your canvas. I used 33 crayons but you may need more or fewer depending on the size of your canvas. I recommend using Crayola brand crayons. You can find them just about anywhere.
*Hot-Glue Gun and hot-glue sticks
*A hair dryer with several heat settings
*Newspaper or a paper shopping bag to protect your crafting area.
***PLEASE NOTE: This project includes warm to hot tools and materials. Please use caution with your hot glue gun and hair dryer while in use around children. Also, while it will not get VERY hot, please exercise caution while working with the hot/warm wax, especially if you are doing this project with children or have pets nearby.***
STEP 2 PLAN YOUR ARTWORK:
First, let’s lay down our paper bag or newspaper over our workspace. Use masking tape to secure the corners to ensure that the paper will not move around while you are working and using the hairdryer. This is to protect your workspace from getting melted wax on it. Before moving on to the next step, plug in your glue gun to allow it ample time to warm up.
Make sure you have enough crayons to go across your canvas
Next, set your canvas down and lay out your crayons. You don’t need to decide what colors will go “where” quite yet. This step is to make sure you have the right amount of crayons to go across your canvas. Add or subtract crayons as needed (I needed 33 crayons for 11 inches of canvas). Once you have the right number of crayons, arrange them in the proper color combination for your preferences.
I chose a rainbow order from white to black.
Before you start gluing, make sure that you have the right number of crayons and that they are in the correct order. You should also decide whether you would like the crayon brand name to be facing out OR if you would rather each crayon’s color name to be showing. I love the names of the colors, so I chose to have those facing outward.
The color names are way more fun to read than the brand names.
STEP 3 GLUING:
Now that your crayons are in place and your glue gun is heated up, you are ready to get gluing! Start with your first crayon and carefully glue it to the canvas. Glue each crayon one at a time with a long, thin strip of hot glue. Make sure each crayon is carefully secured before moving on to the next one.
By gluing each crayon one at a time, you’ll make sure no crayons are glued in the wrong spot or wrong order. This will also help make your piece of artwork more durable in the end. Once every crayon is glued to the canvas, lift the canvas up and hold it vertically. Make sure you have a clean line across the top and that no crayons are coming loose. Unplug your glue gun and plug in your hair dryer; we are on to the next step!
STEP 4 MELTING:
You can see the crayons heating up.
This next step requires a little patience and is a little bit messy. If you haven’t put down some scrap paper or newspaper yet, it would be a good idea to do that now.
What you will want to do is hold your hairdryer in one hand and use your free hand to hold the canvas. Start on ONE SIDE and aim your hairdryer (on high heat) at the crayons and heat them up. The crayons will start to sweat a little bit (as shown in the picture above) and then will soon start to melt. Keep the canvas horizontal until the crayons melt enough to make a small pool under each crayon. Turn the hair dryer off or point it away from the canvas and slowly tilt the canvas vertically so that the wax will run down the canvas. Try not to rotate side-to-side so as to keep the path of the wax only up and down.
To stop the wax from dripping further down the canvas, just reduce the angle and move toward a more horizontal position (as if you were lowering a lawn chair to lie down). You can always add more heat to the crayon or the wax path to make it bigger or longer.
**Take advantage of lower settings on your hairdryer if you want to work more slowly. Also keep in mind that the highest settings may blow harder and could cause the wax to spread and splatter.
Add and remove heat as necessary.
Repeat these steps across the canvas until each crayon has been heated and every color is melted onto the canvas. I found it easiest to work in groups of 6-or-so crayons at one time, waiting until the last group was mostly cooled before moving on to the next group of colors.
If you want the melted wax to travel all the way down the canvas or make a certain pattern, just add more heat until you reach the design you would like.
If you find your wax thinning out toward the bottom, use your hair dryer to add more heat to the crayons and melt more wax of that color. The wax will follow the path already created, so it is pretty easy to add more wax. Be careful not to over-melt the crayons, though. I almost did that with my silver and grey crayon while trying to melt the colors next to them. If you melt a little too much wax at one time, tilt the canvas back to stop the flow and allow to cool before proceeding on to the next color.
**As you get closer to the bottom of your canvas, you may notice some wax dripping off of the canvas. Be careful not to get any wax on you, your clothing, or your workspace. While it will not be VERY hot, please exercise caution while working with the hot/warm wax, especially if you are doing this project with children or pets nearby. The hairdryer scared my cats away, but please be mindful and safe while working on this project.**
I wanted to take full advantage of these artful drips, so I made sure to have my wax drip over the sides of my canvas. This way, little-ones can see the rainbow on the canvas even if they are looking at the artwork from below.
I wanted my artwork to fill the whole canvas! Even the sides and bottom!
STEP 5 COOL and HANG:
Spend as much time on the previous step as you need, tinkering to make sure your artwork is “Just Right”. When you are finished with your artwork, unplug your hairdryer and set the canvas down horizontally to cool for a few minutes. Once completely cool, hang your new artwork in your living room, nursery, or playroom!
Voilà! Shown with another fun DIY project.