Crayon Shaving Art for Valentine’s Day

Feb 14, 2013

Recently in my home daycare, the Hooligans and I discovered a simple way to create beautiful, marbled works of art by melting crayons at a low temperature in the oven. The effects were absolutely gorgeous, making this the perfect project for some one-of-a-kind Valentine's Day art!

This project is very easy, and requires only a few basic materials that you likely already have on hand.What you'll need:

  • several wax crayons in the colours of your choice (we used white, red, purple and a few different pinks)
  • grater (I have a small spice grater that I use for this purpose, but a cheese grater will work, too)
  • a piece of cardboard (the front or back panel of a cereal box works perfectly)
  • aluminum foil
  • acrylic craft paints (we used several shades of pink, burgundy and red)

To easily clean your grater afterwards, just brush off the loose bits of wax, and pour some boiling water over it.

Making your art is easy:

Remove the crayon wrappers, and grate each crayon into a small pile. If you're crafting with one child, half of each crayon will be enough. For a play date or a group of children, you'll want to grate the entire crayon. Older children will be able to help with this step.

Set your wax shavings aside for a bit because now it's time to make your canvas.Cover your cardboard with a piece of aluminum foil, wrapping the foil around to the back of the cardboard and taping it in place. Take care when wrapping that the edges of your cardboard canvas don't poke through the foil. It won't matter whether the shiny side or the dull side of the foil faces outward.

Have the children paint their foil canvas with the acrylic paints. I like to set out several colours so the kids can blend and mix their colours, but the results will look no less beautiful if you use only one colour.

Acrylics dry quickly, but I often use the heat of a blow-dryer to speed up the process when we're crafting.

Once your paints are dry, have the children sprinkle their wax shavings in a thin layer over their foil-covered cardboard, leaving a bit of a border around the edges so the wax doesn't run off as it melts.

We placed our cardboard directly onto our oven rack and baked for 2 to 3 minutes at 175 degrees Fahrenheit.The transformation that takes place is absolutely fascinating!

Remove your cardboard as soon as the wax softens and starts to blend and marbleize, taking care to keep it level in order to preserve the design that you've created.

Out of the oven, the wax will cool quickly, and it's fascinating to watch the colours swirl together.

When your wax has completely cooled, you can punch a couple of holes in the top of each canvas and thread a matching ribbon or piece of raffia or yarn through for hanging!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Read more from Jackie here.

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.

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