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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I’m Melting, I’m Melting

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So Princess Thundercloud is getting the butterfly mobile for Christmas, but the boys are a little more difficult when it comes to an idea for handmade. Mostly because they’re so destructive inquisitive, they tend to break anything I make for them. Thus, I look for inexpensive, instant gratification crafts to make them.
I’ve seen loads of these crayon paintings on Pinterest, with all sorts of techniques. I extrapolated what seemed like it would work best for me (meaning, I had the supplies on hand for the most part) and here’s what I ended up making.
crayonSome of the ones I saw had a silhouette of something (like a girl under an umbrella or a couple kissing under an umbrella) but I just wrote the hooligans’ names at the bottom and called it good. Plus, I’m reinforcing that the only uppercase in their name is at the front. I’m so helpful with their education.
To make this, I used 2 11x14 canvases ($8 minus 40% at Michaels= about $5 with tax) and a box of 120 crayons ($7 at Walmart). Take out all the neutrals, then arrange the crayons however you want. There are a lot of wacky color names in a box of 120. I had no idea.
I used E6000, my favorite heavy-duty epoxy, to glue them across the top. You could use hot glue, too, but it gets hard a lot faster than E6000, so I was able to smear on all the glue, then have time to place the crayons. I say I did it…my husband actually helped out with this, mostly because it was Sunday night and he wanted to watch football rather than work on his Army stuff he brought home. But I digress. He does deserve some credit.
After the glue dries (I left it about 30 minutes, while I wrote Christmas cards), you just need…are you ready for it?….your blowdryer! Yes, that’s enough heat. We have a hot air gun for stripping paint and such, and my husband was itching to use it, but I think that owuld have been way too hot.
Hold your canvas at a slight tilt, about 30-40 degrees from vertical, for you geometry geeks, seemed to work best. Turn the dryer on “High” and hover over one set of crayons. It takes very little time, once they get hot. The paper starts to shine a little, then the wax begins to drip out the tip. It’s quite amazing. Use the air flow to control where the wax goes…as you can see, I learned this on the left side of the crayons, where the big white gap is. It’s really fun to play around with controlling the path.
I did this over newspaper, and we had a few drips, so I was glad for the paper. The wax hardens almost immediately. When we were finished (it was helpful to have my husband holding the canvas while I was melting), we just put them flat on the kitchen table for a little while to cool completely.
My rainbow-lovin’ boys will dig these, especially with their names on them. And we have the satisfaction of giving them something we made for them!

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