Melted Crayon Background

by Beate Johns

Create landscape or abstract backgrounds by melting crayons on glossy cardstock.

Supplies

  • Crayons
  • Craft Iron, or travel iron without steam holes
  • Cardstock, glossy used here
  • Scrap Paper
  • Tissue Paper

Step-by-Step

  1. Step 1

    Set your iron on medium heat. Once it is warm, start scribbling crayon over iron surface. The crayon will melt.

  2. Add several colors for an interesting look.

  3. Step 2

    Place your cardstock on top of your scrap paper on a heat resistant surface. Pull your iron over your entire piece of cardstock for a smooth finish.

    Hint:
    To achieve the ridged look shown here, move your iron in zigzag motion over your cardstock.

  4. Step 3

    Add more crayons to your iron. Several greens were added to the center of the iron and a brown crayon line was drawn on the left outer edge.

  5. Apply crayon to the lower half of your cardstock. Here a figure eight was drawn with the iron to achieve the wavy look.

    Hint:
    To get edge to edge coverage, make sure you start on your scrap piece of paper and go over the entire cardstock, to the other side of your scrap paper, with your iron.

  6. Step 4

    For more texture add addtional green crayon colors to your iron.


  7. Tap the bottom part of your cardstock with the iron. You will create a textured look.

  8. Step 5

    Take a tissue paper and gently buff the cardstock to make it shine.



  9. Step 6

    Use crayon background as it is, or stamp on it.

    Hint:
    Jet Black Archival Ink and Black Stazon™ will both work. The ink will take a few minutes to dry.

Video!

Variations

    Make it really sparkle!
    Glitter or Metallic crayons create a different background.

    Wax paper method
    Cover your ironing board with wax paper. Put the cardstock down and add crayon shavings on top. Cover this with another piece of wax paper. Iron over the wax paper until the crayon is melted.

    Different surfaces
    Be adventurous. Try different surfaces for different looks. Matte cardstock will give you a matte look.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Melted Crayon Background. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

that is beautiful and looks so easy.
Joyce  |  Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 5:06 PM
Can the crayon background scratch easily?
Apri Harrison  |  Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 2:05 PM
Can you use water color crayons with this technqiue?
Neva  |  Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 9:30 AM
Hi Apri,

It has been a while since I did this technique, but I think it doesn't scratch easily.

Hi Neva,
I am not sure about watercolor crayons. They should work, but they are a little pricy for that technique. I used metallic crayola crayons for that sample.
beate  |  Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 9:49 AM
Apri,
After playing with the technique again, I noticed that the background does scratch if you aren't careful.
I haven't tried sealing yet. Maybe acrylic sealer spray or future floor wax will work?
beate  |  Tue May 18, 2010 at 5:10 PM
Does all the crayon come off the iron or do you need to clean it, and if so, how do you do that?
Linn  |  Wed May 19, 2010 at 8:10 AM
Linn,

Just wipe over your iron with a paper towel or Kleenex while it's still hot. That will take the wax right off.

Hugs and smiles
Beate
beate  |  Wed May 19, 2010 at 8:34 AM
These were some fabulous tutorials, I have never seen or heard of this before, but I am sure going to try this out this weekend when I get me a little travel iron. smile.
Thanks for sharing.
Rebekka  |  Wed May 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM
I have been working with the crayons today and I just love what I have been able to do. It is amazing. The funny thing is my work with an iron seems to be much better than my work with a paint brush. I was going to use them on cards but they came out so well that I think I may frame them. Thanks so much for technique.
kaye  |  Wed May 19, 2010 at 6:42 PM
Many years ago I bought a box of cards that was made with melted crayons, a hot plate and dental floss. She used the dental floss to dip in the melted crayons and slid and dipped and pounces the floss over the glossy cardstock. There are trees and birds and mountains and lakes on the cards. They are beautiful. I have never seen this technique done since. Have you?
Kathy Richards  |  Wed May 19, 2010 at 8:53 PM
Love it and so do kids this was one of my favorite elementary art projects. You will always be successful.
Bonnie  |  Wed May 19, 2010 at 9:20 PM
Beate,

This is another awesome tutorial! Thank you so much for the video! I can't wait to buy the supplies and iron so I can try it too!! TFS!
Dawn  |  Thu May 20, 2010 at 1:35 PM
It really is a very nice technique!

The cards and paintings will look more shiny as you use an old panty instead a tissue !
Herma  |  Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 3:47 AM
This is so so fun! I have a mini mini handle iron I used for fabric piecing. Might be a bit tiny but I am going to play around with it! Very Cool Idea!
Thanks
T.
Tinalouise  |  Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 5:47 AM
ypu are an Artist so great your card really lovely
Samary Roman  |  Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 6:11 AM
another version of this technique is to line an electric fry pan with tin foil and break up several crayons and place in pan. Turn pan on high. Once the colors have melted, take a fork and swirl the colors and then just lay your card front over the melted area and lift off. You can do several fronts with the batch -- swirl again for different effects or add more colors... You can buff off the crayons or let it dry as is.
Toni  |  Sun Jun 27, 2010 at 10:27 AM
I just tried the melted crayon technique and wasn't very successful. The crayon beaded up on the iron! The only craft iron I could find is by Darice but it doesn't have any heat setting. Could the beading up of the crayon be caused by the iron being too hot?

Also, as a side note, every time I click on one of these boxes I am put on Hooproll.com, what's with that? It's ANNOYING
Audrey  |  Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 10:23 AM
Hi,
I've been watching this technique on youtube, and its pretty interesting. Now i do not own an iron, but my question is: can you use this type of iron on a normal paper? Does it have a low heat setting that does not burn paper?
Mercia  |  Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 9:53 AM
They do have a low setting on the irons and that is the one you need to to use. You need glossy paper to make the wax slide well and not absorb into the paper. I have used plain card stock but the results weren't as good. My daughter and I have had a lot of fun with encaustic art. We have the wax but also use crayons.
Mary Kuhn  |  Wed Oct 6, 2010 at 5:04 AM
I can't find any kind of iron on internet or in stores thaat does not have holes for steam! Where can I find one?
Gail Stirnaman  |  Wed Oct 6, 2010 at 7:49 AM

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