When I was in college I had a special crockpot just for wax.  A little electric skillet was specially reserved for heating little glass jars of colored wax.  I no longer have such specialty gear as the time I devote to such projects no longer warrants it.  But I do remember that hot wax is a fun medium.  Melted crayon is the perfect way to introduce your kids to the fun of encaustic painting.

Say it with me…encaustic painting.  Do you feel smarter and more cultured already?  Encaustic painting is just painting with wax.  But sometimes those fun, new words can make something as simple as using melted crayon to make art feel extra special.

There are adorable crafts…..

Pinterest is chock full of melted crayons art projects.  Most of them involve lining the crayons up on a canvas and blowing them with a blow dryer or heat gun till the colors stream down the canvas.  They are totally adorable.  And predictable.

And then there is art….

This melted crayon project is way less predictable and may or may not be adorable.  I cannot make any guarantees on looks.  But I can guarantee the fun.  The feeling of hot wax squishing through little fingers (or middle aged fingers) is kind of awesome.

The materials….

Are you ready for this?  It’s pretty extensive…  You know that box/bag of old crayons you have stashed?  Go get it.  Use an X-acto blade to peel off the wrappers.  I used my blade to cut a line down the center of the paper crayon wrapper, then let kiddos peel the paper.

I used analogous colors because I like the way they blend together.  But, please, let your kiddos smush together any old colors they like.  If it turns out brown, so be it.  And if you’re saying “Huh, What?” about the analogous colors thing please go take a look at my color theory post.  It explains it all!

Encaustic painting is just painting with wax. But those fun, new words can make something as simple as using melted crayon to make art feel extra special.

The process…

So, the number one requirement for this project, besides all your old crummy crayons, is a hot, sunny day.

Take your peeled crayons and lay them on a sturdy art surface.  This could be the back of a cereal box, cardboard., or any heavy weight paper.  I laid my paper on top of our picnic table in the sun.

An hour or so later I came back and the crayons had heated enough to make them totally squishable and smear-able; almost like working with finger paint.

That’s it….

Smear, push, and blend the colors.  Use your fingers.  Get dirty.

That’s it.  Enjoy the making!

Experiment with different colors and brands of crayons.  The wax and pigment varies from brand to brand.  My favorites were the glitter crayons.  The glitter added a whole new dimension.

Encaustic painting is just painting with wax. But those fun, new words can make something as simple as using melted crayon to make art feel extra special.

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