Call Us Copy Cats! / Crayon Wall Art


This crayon art thing that is happening….You know, the one that’s sweeping the nation?  It’s been pinned to death, and it’s invaded Blogland, like there is tomorrow.  And although I am never one to copy someone else’s ideas, or follow trends for the sake of everybody else doing it, I KNEW I was going to do this art-craft with my kids, the very-first-time I saw it.

Even at the risk, of being called ‘Copy Cats’.

(Sticks and stones may break our bones….)

So I picked up a 16″ x 20″ white canvas. I knew I was going to love this piece when it was done so I wanted it as big as I thought we could manage, without buying every store in town out of Crayolas.  Oh yes! It has to be Crayola Crayons for me. IS there another brand? Huh. Not in my world. I’ve been a Crayon-Brat since I could….well, color! It’s Crayola, or bust.

So we started with a box of 64, and two boxes of 24. And then…..we got a 3rd box of 24 after that.  Naturally, we couldn’t use ALL of the crayons in every box.  Every color we did use, we needed 4 or more of, to make it across the canvas.  Some colors were just not going to work.  And some, I just didn’t like.

 

We laid our colors in the exact order we wanted, along the top of the canvas on the table.  Then we got ready to glue them.

 

Our initial plan, was to hot glue the crayons down.  But we quickly decided that wasn’t working for us.  The hot glue cooled and hardened too quickly.   So we broke out the ‘Amazing E-6000′.

 

Amazing, is right.  I love the stuff!  It’s the Mac-Daddy of all super glues, in my crafting world.

 

We just put a couple of lines of glue for a few inches at a time, and the kids helped lay down the crayons in order, as we went.   Alexis helped make sure the tops of the crayons, were as even as possible, aligned with the top of the canvas.

I wanted to just get to melting them right away.  But Alexis, often my handy voice of reason, convinced me that it really would be best, to let the glue crayons set overnight, if we were going to apply high heat to them.

I knew she was right. So I stomped away, and pretty much pouted the rest of the day.


The next day, it was all set for sure! Those crayons weren’t budging.   So we stood the canvas up on the bench, and leaned it against the table.   We put large sheets of paper underneath the canvas, because we knew we were about to make a hot mess. (Like usual, but literally this time.)  I highly advise a drop cloth or paper of some sort! The wax is bound to get dripping.

 

Finally, we could start melting the crayons!  (Yyyipeeee!!)   I can tell you, we tried a hair dryer, for about….ohhh, a milli-second. I knew there was no way I’d have that kind of patience. If it ever got the crayons melting at all, the hair dryer would probably be over-heating by then. So we plugged in my heat gun, I have used for embossing powder, over the years. I KNEW that would work.   And it did, right away.

 

And we learned pretty quickly, it could really blow some hot wax around!  Oops!

 

Really, very slowly, we worked our way across, watching what was happening as it was, and adjusting our distance and angle of the blowing hot air, as we did. I really didn’t want the colors blowing sideways!  But….more ‘control’ therapy for me.  Sometimes, one cannot control the way the wind blows, completely. (I’ve tried, on many-a-photo-shoot.) Furthermore, I wanted this to be more the kid’s masterpiece, than mine.

 

We were directing the heat onto the lower end of the crayons, and waving it around as needed.  The trick, is really to avoid getting too close to the top of the crayons, which we did not want to melt, and to not heat the middle either, as to have a crayon tip blob just fall out.  Sometimes, we started to see smoke, from the paper heating so much, so you want to be careful of that too.

We all took turns, while we all tried to verbally direct each other too. lol

WARNING though:   This is really NOT  a craft for a young child to do alone.  The heat gun is hot, and the melting wax is really hot too.  But, it’s a fun craft to do with your littles.

 

I really kept trying to go back, to try and perfect this, or fill in that, and the kids were like, “Mama, just leave it!!  It looks good. Don’t ruin it!”.   Excellent therapy for me, to just embrace the art that happened.   Because I have ALWAYS been the kind of technically sound type artist.  The kind that brings to life something I see, exactly as I see it in my head, down to the last detail.   My ‘let-loose’ therapy started in art school, the day I had to draw a nude model on paper, with a stick that had been dipped in ink, with my mouth. Talk about lack of control!  I think that exercise actually set me back a few years. lol

 

We all took a step back to take a good look at out artwork, and agreed to call it DONE.

Then we waited for Daddy to come home to see it. And of course, hang it up for us.  Somewhere.

But where?  That was the question.  I wanted it in every room I thought of!  It’s colorful, and happy!  And the kids and I made it together.   It had to be in a good place.

 

We decided on the wall over the stairwell in the kitchen, down to the lower levels, was a good place.

 

It was on the way down to what will soon be our Creative Room. My Photography Studio, which will also be the Craft Room, and Music Room.

It’s also on the way down to the Laundry Room.  And you all know, we ALL could use a smile, on the way to the Laundry Room!

Being over the stairwell there, it can be seen from about half the house on that level.  The kitchen, the school room, and the living room.

 

I really love to see it.  It’s so beautiful to me, the way one color transitions to the next.

 

I have always said, “Colors make me happy.” They really do.

 

I wonder what the Crayola Corporation thinks about this craze.  Surely they’ve caught wind of it by now. I’d have to guess they should be pleased, with what must be a sudden and dramatic increase in sales. I alone did that!!

 

But it was not my idea.  I wish it was.  And although copying the latest craft happening will never be my style, I do not regret this once, for a minute.  After all, each one comes out different, (whether you want it to or not!).  And I created yet another colorful memory, creating with my kiddos.

Have you, given this idea a try yet?  And if not, don’t you want to now?

******





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Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Love it!!! Great job and so colorful! Hey, I always tell my kids that it’s not bad to get ideas from other people (like when they are coloring and I hear “DON’T COPY ME!), it’s inspiration and it means you like what someone else did and made it your own.

  2. Paula says:

    I have really wanted to do this, but without a heat gun? I don’t have the patience.

    • Laura says:

      Paula, maybe you have a hair dryer that blows hot enough and that you can direct the air? Ours wasn’t, and the heat gun is more directional with the blow. Maybe get a heat gun, or borrow one from someone if you know anyone who has one. Actually, I’ll lend you mine if you’d like.

  3. Pam says:

    Love it! That is the best glue…it’s what I use on Sam’s dresses!

  4. Josh Estano says:

    Wow.

  5. Patrick Estano says:

    Thats cool

  6. Ani says:

    I love this. I am in love with Crayolas. (I got a package of 120 for my birthday and am super excited.) I really enjoy the melted crayon look. It’s so much fun. Thanks for sharing your take on this project.

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Everyone, for the comments. I’m glad you like it. It really was so much fun, and it’s cool to see it on the wall.

      HaPpY BiRtHdAy, Ani. One is never too old for Crayons. : )

  7. Brenda says:

    There are 29 different shades of red in crayola crayons…that might be a nice project for valentines. I think I’ll try this with my kids favorite color and the shades of that color…hmmm…you got my creative juices flowing…:)

  8. Brenda says:

    So nice to hear back…:). I would like to take credit for the crayon bit, unfortunately, I’m not that clever…lol. I read that on an app for national geographics called weird but true…it’s a must have. My kids get a kick out of it….like today we had turkey hotdogs for lunch, and we read on there that a hot dog could last 20 years in a landfill…yikes!!! You should have seen the look on my kids face…O.O Hysterical! Thanks for sharing your projects with us…My kids can’t wait to melt crayons on canvas..:). I’ve tried the other project with my kids in the past, but I will have to do it again…it’s one of the ways we repurpose our crayons…:)

  9. Lisa says:

    Love that idea !! Never heard of it before. I would love to do for Katies room- do they have flourescent colors,too ?? Katies room is neon green .

    • Laura says:

      Hi Lisa! Yes, sure you can use fluorescent color crayons instead! And there are some OTHER designs and ideas you can consider doing instead, using this same technique in this project. I will gather a little collection of photos of different ideas for you to see, and send it to you. (Or send you a link to it.) If we figured out a way to get together for a day or so, I would help you do this project, if you’d like. If not, I can help you with any questions or troubles, all I can from here. : ) XOXO

  10. Lisa says:

    Laura-
    I showed this crayon art to Katie and she is excited about it and thinks its really cool !!! We are going to make one soon. I am going to look for the neon colors. If you get to a craft store before me, can you get neon and I will pay you for them. ?? We would probably do the same canvas and size that you did.

    • Laura says:

      Oh fun! I’m glad she is excited.
      Yes, we are always at the craft store. I have been researching about the flourescent crayon colors, and will email you about our options to get enough for the project.

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