While my home is not completely decorated for the upcoming ‘month of love’ just yet, I knew it was time to get to some Valentine crafting! I happened to see this craft from Martha Stewart Living, and was inspired to try it ourselves, with a spin or 2 of our own on it. By melting crayons in between wax paper, and cutting out hearts, some very cute Valentine’s decor can be made! That Martha is a clever one, huh? ( Or, her creative team – whatever. lol.) You can make this craft as quick and simply. or as involved, as you choose, and I am going to tell you the ways how.
- Crayons, with paper removed (This craft is a great way to use up those old broken crayon pieces!)
- A sharpener with a fat hole.
- *Wax paper
- Clothing iron
- Brown craft paper, or brown paper bags (Just a protection layer for ironing.)
- Hearts stencils or cookie cutters (2-3 sizes is nice.)
- Pen or pencil
- Scotch-like tape
* DO NOT substitute parchment paper for the wax paper. It is not the same thing, as parchment paper has teflon in it.
Other optional supplies, depending on what you want to do with your crafts decoration:
- White cotton twine and food coloring. (Simplified option: thin ribbon in white or any Valentine color.)
- A clothing hanger, or a long tree branch
I intended to hang our hearts once they were done. So instead of using some satin ribbon (which is simple and faster, if you want to go that route), I had this vision of hanging our hearts on dyed string, that varied in color. So, with a roll of white cotton twine, and some food coloring, this is how I did it:
In a plastic container, I added some red food coloring to some water, deep enough to soak the roll on it’s side to the cardboard roll core. I just let it sit for awhile, while I did other things, until I thought it soaked through all of the layers of twine. Then, I made orange and yellow soaks as well, letting a different side of the roll sit in each.
I loved the results! How pretty is that?
I knew as the twine was pulled off the roll, the layers would get lighter, but that too would only help the variations in the string colors. Now, all of this string is not going to dry on the roll all the way through, any time this year, but that’s o.k. You’ll be able to use the string damp just fine, and it’ll dry hanging.
But while the string roll was soaking in various colors, the kids and I got to making our hearts.
Pull off a piece or 2 of wax paper, fold in half to make a good crease, and then open back up. . . .
What size piece you use depends on how many hearts you’ll want to make. Remember, you’ll only be able to get hearts out of one half, as it will be ironed together soon, with crayon shavings in between.
Grab your old peeled crayons, and start choosing some great colors for Valentine hearts. No need to stay with strictly traditional colors, such as red and pink. Try some purples, raspberries, and even oranges and yellows!
Now, if your old crayons have been kicking around together for some time, as ours have, they are going to have yuckity-doo-dahs all over them. Even as a kid, with me and my sibling’s bottomless bucket of crayons, I hated this.
So because I have had particular issues, long before I was a blogger, I have had a trick for this crayon problem. And since you came to this blogger with issues blog, I’m going to share it with you. : )
Just lay the crayons down, one by one, on some scrap paper, and rub the yuckity-doo-dahs away! I found this is also a good way to test what the color really looks like!! Some crayons when used, do not look anything like the shade of the actual crayon! So deceiving.
Old crayons, like new: Yuckity-doo-dah free!
To make crayon shavings, you need a sharpener of some kind. Our little hand pencil sharpener did not have a hole big enough for a crayon, so we used my make-up one! Thanks Lancome!
Now….you’ll need to iron on your table or other flat surface, so I highly recommend putting down some crafts paper to protect your surface, from both melting crayon, and the heat from the iron.
On top of the protected surface, lay your open wax paper pieces.
Over only one side of your wax paper piece, sharpen your crayons and let the shavings fall onto the paper. Each of my our kids did their own, and had their own unique colors combinations, which was going to make for a nice variety of colored hearts.
Some of our crayons were metallic ones!! So that was adding a whole new element of pretty!
Make sure you cover the whole side with shavings pretty well. Brush any pieces in from the very edge though.
Fold over the empty side of wax paper, onto the side with the shavings.
Now, Martha’s directions say to fold up each open side some, to keep the melting crayon in. But, I didn’t want to waste any space, as we wanted to make lots of hearts, and some on the bigger side too. So….I just made sure I was working on my brown paper bag. (We also had other craft paper taped to cover our surface under that.)
Now, after putting brown paper on top of your waxed paper and shavings, you can start ironing. What setting? Good question!! See, Martha said on a ‘medium setting’. But guess what? Our iron doesn’t have a medium setting! So I set it between silk and wool, ; ) …. and adjusted the heat up or down from there.
As you can see, some oils from the crayons may seep through the wax paper and the brown paper. It doesn’t cause any problems. Just make sure you clean the surface of your iron off when you are done with this craft, so it doesn’t transfer to your clothes! What a hot mess that would be! (Note to self: Clean surface of iron from crayon craft!!) (By the time I decide to iron an article of clothing, I’ll have forgotten I ever did this craft with it.)
As you iron, you’ll want to keep peeking, to see if there are more shavings that still need melting in areas.
Heavy in crayon wax…..but nice!!
The next kiddo went with a lighter layer of shavings, for a new effect. Or, his hands just got tired from sharpening the crayons.
They were looking good!! Just holding each of them up to the light, I could tell this was going to look super cool when we were done.
I couldn’t wait to see what this one was going to look like, all melted.
Now, you may notice some bubbling or wrinkling in areas. I’m not sure why this happened sometimes. I was guessing maybe it was too much heat at times. But since this was a fun crafts class, and not our Science class, we weren’t going to waste time running tests, to figure it out. We decided it was a cool effect, and embraced it.
Next, came tracing hearts onto our waxed pieces, and cutting them out with scissors.
We used simple heart shaped cookie cutters that we had, in 3 different sizes. Just trace them using a pen or pencil, and then cut out on the heart shaped line. I used a pen, and because I was using it on wax paper, it wouldn’t really write, which I preferred anyway. I was able to see the tracing indention well enough to cut, just by tracing it a couple of times. * I did not take photos of tracing and cutting. I have faith you get the picture.
Nor did I take photos of exactly how we did the rest of our crafts. BUT……Once your hearts are all cut out, there several things you can do with them:
1) The easiest thing you can do, is just put them on your windows much like window clings, using a little transparent tape! The hearts have a stained-glass look, and they would be beautiful with the light coming through, and the colors so radiant.
2) Another option, is using pieces of thin cut ribbon, tape one end to the back of each heart, and tie them to a clothing hanger at different lengths. Instant Valentine’s themed mobile!!
3) You can take it to the extreme, like we did…..
Michael went out and found us a really long and fairly straight tree branch, that would meet the length of our sliding glass doors. Then, to work in a comfortable manner tying our hearts on it, we set 2 chairs very far apart, and rested each end of the stick on the top back of each chair. Using long pieces of our dyed string, we wound one end around the stick a few times, and taped the dangling end to the back of each heart, at different lengths.
Yes, you could just tie it on quickly, but I knew I would love the look of our pretty, hand-dyed string, wound around this rustic tree branch. And I was right.
It was worth ll of my efforts. It may not be worth it to you. Also….my girls helped with this some.
If you’re wondering how we hung this long tree branch adorned with colorful Valentine hearts up high and across our slider glass doors, I’ll tell you: Michael screwed a long screw into the backside of the stick on each end. Then we simply used those little tight-clamp thingies, and clamped them to the curtain rod bracket. See? No permanent damage anywhere.
They colors really look beautiful, hanging there, even as I look past them, through our window into the snowy scene behind them. There are often squirrels out there frolicking in the snow (o.k. …finding the fallen bird seed), and birds at the feeders, eating.
We think the critters rather appreciate our Valentine decorations on display.
I love coming in our front door, and seeing them swaying in the breeze across the room in front of us. I can feel the love in the air. It makes us smile.
The colors of love are a beautiful thing.
Let them shine, shine, shine.
(Love this craft idea? Share the link on your Facebook! Your mom-friends will love it too! Or….*pin it* to one of your boards! ; )