Trending Craft Ideas You Really Should Try, Part Two: Crayon Drip Art

battle scene
“The Big Battle.”
All photos: Lisa Kay Tate

This is one craft I feel would be noticeable in its omission since it’s one of the more prolific trending crafts in the blogosphere right now.

Arrange the crayons.
Arrange the crayons.

Everyone, I mean everyone, seems to have done this and shared the result online. It appears every crafter, artisan, teacher, pop culture expert, and blogging mom has tried this method. I have to admit, most of the results look pretty darn good.

I consider this craft a kind of a “poor man’s encaustic,” the centuries-old technique of painting with hot wax. Beeswax with natural pigment was a preferred method in the beginning—not crayons.

What I love about this is it is a great way to use that ever-expanding supply of used crayons all parents must have stashed in some drawer, craft closet, or forgotten car cup holder. New crayons can also be used, too.

For the basic, no frills, method, there are only four things you need:

• A canvas (not regular paper)
• Crayons
• Glue gun or strong craft glue
• Blow dryer

Next, there are only three basic steps:

Melting the crayons and adding some personal touches.
Melt the crayons and add some personal touches.

1. Line the crayons across the top edge of the canvas in the color pattern you want, and secure them with liberal amount of glue. Break the crayons in smaller pieces for smaller canvases.

2. Set the canvas upright against a wall. Make sure you cover the floor and wall area with newspaper or other “anti-drip” protection.

3. Set the blow dry on high and, little by little, melt the crayons until they drip down the canvas.

There are two important things to remember here. First, do the final step in a well-ventilated area, or outside, because it can get pretty rank smelling. Second, have patience. It might take awhile to get all of the crayons to melt. Concentrate on one area at a time, and take a few breathers in between.

Once the basics are mastered, you can take this craft even further. Here are some ideas:

• Use a chopstick or pencil as a “stylus” to draw images into finished work. This works best while the crayons are still a little warm.

• Paint an outline of a cityscape, or other simple landscape along the bottom in a dark color, or collage images out of a travel or science fiction magazine to make it look like other-worldly.

• Lightly tack on stickers, craft templates, or even pumpkin stencils before melting the crayons. Gently remove them after for a great silhouette. The wax might drip underneath the shapes, so don’t expect perfect stencils each time.

• Experiment with placing crayons in different shapes and patterns.  For example, place them in a circle in the middle of the canvas for a cool “spin art” effect.

A little “sun goddess”

Have fun with this. It has all the elements of a successful family craft: messy, colorful, and imagination-friendly.

Next week: Jars o’ light!

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Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. In addition to serving as Associate Editor for her local arts and entertainment guide, El Paso Scene, she has been a regular contributor to the site ihogeek.com and maintains her own blogsite at lisathegeekmom.wordpress.com. She and her husband, writer/photographer Rick, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.