Washable Marker Crayon Resist Cards

Feb 1, 2016

Here’s a fun and creative Valentine's Day activity! Your kids can write “magical” crayon resist messages and turn them into colourful cards to give friends and family.

This process is easy enough for even the youngest crafters and fascinating enough that older kids will love it too!

We've made Valentine's Day cards using a wax resist process before, but we’ve always used watercolour paints as our medium. The results were lovely, but the colours in the finished pieces were soft and muted because of the nature of the watercolours.

Recently, when colouring with the hooligans, I discovered that you can do crayon resist with washable markers and results are much more colourful and vibrant than wax resist done with paint!

A bright a colourful wax resist Valentine's Day card.

We decided to have some fun with our new-found discovery and we're using markers to make wax resist valentines this year.  

Let me show you how it's done!

You Will Need: 

  • a white crayon
  • washable markers
  • white paper
  • coloured card stock
  • pencil/scissors
  • stencil (optional)

Markers, a white crayon and a piece of white paper with a heart drawn on it.


1. With your pencil, using a stencil or working free-hand, draw a heart on a piece of white paper.

For some of our hearts, we used ordinary white printer paper. For others, we used artist’s watercolour paper. Both kinds of paper worked well.

Have your child cut out their paper hearts if they're able. You may need to assist very young children with this step.

2. With a white crayon, have your child write his or her Valentine's message on the heart. Encourage your child to press hard with the crayon so they lay down a nice thick layer of wax.

A child draws on white paper with a white crayon.

If your child is too young to print, he or she can make lines and doodles on the heart.

Of course, the message or doodles will be almost invisible to the eye because the white crayon on white paper is very difficult to see.

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3. Now it's time for the "magical" part of the process!

Have your child use washable markers to colour over the message that they wrote—they'll see it magically appear before their eyes!

A child colours with bright washable markers.

Your child may ask why the marker doesn't cover up the white crayon. It comes down to science: water and oil don't mix. 

The marker ink is water-based and crayon wax is made up of oils. Therefore, the crayon wax resists the marker colour. No matter what, that marker colour won't "stick" to the white wax. 

For this reason, it’s important to use washable markers for this process. Permanent ink is oil based and will not work.

There’s a little science lesson to go along with your Valentine's Day craft today!

4. Once your child has finished colouring the heart and the message is entirely visible, he or she can glue the heart onto a coloured piece of card stock and turn it into a Valentine's Day card.

A child glues a heart onto a colourful card.

Your child might also want to make a few message hearts and not colour them in. Instead, they can give a package of markers along with the card and the recipient can colour the heart to reveal the hidden message! 

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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