After looking at the sad state of some of our crayons, I figured it was time to put them to better use so we tried our hands at melted crayon art.
Having never done this before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I soon discovered that a little crayon melts a long way.
The end results of our melted crayon art look absolutely fantastic ... especially when the sun shines through them. They glow beautifully!
Materials Required for Melted Crayon Art
- Old crayons
- A pencil sharpener
- Baking paper (the kind used for lining baking trays when cooking cakes)
- An iron & ironing board
The 'How To' of Melted Crayon Art
We began by sorting the crayons into groups according to colour (i.e., reds, greens, blues, etc.)
While this step isn't strictly vital, it was a great way to introduce some maths into the activity (i.e., sorting and categorising).
Next we used a pencil sharpener to create crayon shavings. While the boys were busy with the pencil sharpener, I used a sharp knife and a chopping board to help cut up the very small pieces.
It was time to move the activity to the ironing board which had been prepared with several layers of newspaper laid out on top. The newspaper helped to absorb any wax that melted through the paper.
We laid out a long sheet of baking paper on top of the newspaper.
Crayon shavings were then sprinkled on one half of the baking paper.
We folded the remaining half of the baking paper over so that the crayon shavings were sandwiched in the middle of the paper.
Several more layers of newspaper were laid on top of our crayon art.
Time for the iron. We started with a low temperature but ended up increasing the temperature slightly so the heat melted some of the lumps we could feel through the paper.
Once the crayon started to melt, it spread between the baking paper layers, mixing together and creating interesting patterns.
We kept lifting up the layers to have a peep to see how the heat was changing the crayon.
We really didn't have much control over how the colours mixed or spread ... something that just added a 'surprise' factor to the project.
The End Results of Our Melted Crayon Art
I actually love the way the crayons melted and formed different patterns and new colours.
The feel of the paper had changed dramatically and felt much thicker and waxier.
These photos don't actually do the melted crayon art justice as when the art is held up in the light, they glow. Definitely art to display on a window to allow light to play through them.
We later cut up the melted crayon art into shapes ... but that's another story.
This activity is a great way to use up the scrappy ends of crayons. Melted crayon art promotes:
- Science - how heat changes substances (e.g., crayons)
- Life-skills - how to use/handle an iron safely
- Self-esteem - as children are entrusted to use equipment that is potentially dangerous (e.g., an hot iron)
- Creativity & experimentation
- Enjoyment - it's fun to try something new, especially when you're not sure how it will all work out or what the results will be.
Who knows ... maybe this activity will inspire a love of ironing so that the boys will want to iron their own clothes later on in life.
I can only hope, especially since ironing is not one of my favourite domestic chores. :o
That's probably why most of our clothes are the 'wash-n-wear' type ... or the 'wear-them-wrinkly' fashion (regardless of how the manufacturer had designed them to be!).
But I digress ... melted crayon art is fun to do and the results are beautiful!
Let me know if you try this activity. I'd love to hear about your experiences.
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