melted crayon art

My boys and I have discovered a brilliant art activity in a book of  preschool  art projects called “Don’t Move the Mufffin Tins” c.1978.  It calls for a warming tray-I thrifted this one at the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

I covered the tray with foil, and then we set to work peeling the paper off old crayons.

We used longish ones for this and saved the short bits to smash and iron between wax paper-also fun of course…OK, so plug in the tray, and get to work:

after melting a puddle of crayons till its just right, we used the eraser end of a pencil to tap paper onto the melted  wax.

The wax immediately soaks into the paper. After transferring the design, there is still wax on the foil, which can be wiped off with a paper towel or used as part of the next design.

We were amazingly prolific (the boys grudgingly let me do a couple) and ended up with a big sheaf of “swamp drawings” as they were christened.

I found after they cool-which is almost immediately, you can buff the wax on the paper with a tissue and it will get glossy. This project has a few potential iffy drawbacks-hot surface + kids (this book was written by a preschool teacher who had success with classes full of kids-she cautions using a warming tray only and not an electric skillet which could get too hot and has awkward sides for little wrists.. .), fumes from melted crayons (we found working by a cracked window solved this issue), liberal use of paper towels….Its all worth it though, very fun. Eli, my 5 proclaimed it his favorite art project ever. Wow.