Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Beauty of Crayons

My dad likes to tell the story of the night before my first day of school. Ever. I was entering K-4, and I needed crayons. He went out to Woolworth’s to buy them, and he’s been buying me crayons ever since!

On a semi-related subject, I love making lists – always have. One of my favorite childhood activities was writing out the name of every crayon I owned, then drawing a circular sample next to its lyrical name.

I was in love when I saw artwork made of melted crayons all over Pinterest, and I knew it was something I had to try. Using my vast collection of crayons, I carefully selected 52 of the best colors and the best-named, bought a canvas, and then went to work.

Of course, it was not a project to be rushed. These crayons’ final acts would be vibrant bursts of color, but they deserved a special tribute beforehand. I lined them all up by color and carefully considered each one.

I took pictures of all the awesome ones with food-names.

They each got to shine in the spotlight with their brothers and sisters before being married to a canvas and giving their lives in the name of art.

I may or may not have recreated my childhood lists of each color family.

Then I gave the crayons a speech to be brave, endure the heat, and hold their heads up proudly as they entered the battle. (Actually, they would be holding their heads down, but… never mind.)

They all got hot-glued to my canvas in rainbow order. No elbow-room – they would have to learn to get along.

And it was finally time for the moment of truth: the hairdryer. At first they held up strongly. They began to sweat a little, but they would not melt. So I decided to turn up the heat to high. 

I held the hairdryer facing down to shed their blood, I mean wax, in the proper direction.

Soon enough they began leaking their true colors, dripping magnificently, and splattering across the canvas.

It was a masterpiece. It always will be so in my eyes. I spent a lovely afternoon getting to know these crayons, and their colors inspire my creativity.

My artwork found its place in my toddler classroom, where the words “Play ~ Create ~ Explore” are displayed proudly beneath. My little ones can’t read yet, but they do recognize the crayons and all the pretty colors. (They’ve also started pointing out the letters in my words!)

If you’re thinking of doing this sort of project with kids (depending on their ages), I would recommend doing some of the work yourself beforehand, as the gluing down was a little tedious, and I could see younger children getting bored with it. Maybe you could let them choose the colors, hot glue the crayons down during a nap, then let them go at it with a hairdryer! (That was the fun part, of course.) I set down newspapers, but they didn’t get messy at all. It was a lot cleaner than I expected.

I’ve seen some crayon art that is monochromatic – all different shades of blue, for instance. Maybe in the future I’ll experiment with that, but I love the combination of all these beautiful colors together.

This post is dedicated to the loving memory of these 52 crayons, which gave their lives for our aesthetic pleasure. 

vivid violet
purple mountain’s majesty
royal purple
purple heart
midnight blue
navy blue
pacific blue
teal blue
turquoise blue
blizzard blue
robin’s egg blue
tropical rain forest
jungle green
mountain meadow
sea green
magic mint
granny smith apple
yellow green
spring green
banana mania
yellow orange
vivid tangerine
macaroni and cheese
neon carrot
sunset orange
brick red
wild strawberry
razzle dazzle rose
pink flamingo
brink pink
tickle me pink
cotton candy


  1. Great photos of crayons. I pinned them as inspiration.

  2. This is amazing! Love it! I am featuring you at Thrifty Thursday! I hope you join us again!


    1. Thank you so much! I plan on future link-ups for sure!

  3. This looks like great fun to do and what an amazing picture - I have to try this one :)

    Hopping over from the Mums Make Lists bloghop.


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