Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pinstrosity Crayon Art Gallery of Awesomeness

I apologize this is a little late this morning. We've had hard news in the family and I'm a little emotional...which makes putting a post together a lot harder than you'd think. But, I'm here and it's good to have somewhere to direct my thoughts and attention. Bear with me and send happy thoughts for my husband's family. 

We've all seen today's pin. You can't hardly miss seeing it if you have a Pinterest account. It's everywhere. And, I'm not going to lie...I've even tried it. Em too. 

The Original Pins
Pinned Image
See, I told you you'd probably seen it. We've seen this done to varying degrees of success. Mine? Turned out okay, but not what I wanted so I chucked it. This was before the days of Pinstrosity and before I thought "Hey, I might want a picture of that for the future." I tried doing autumn colors over a leaf and peeling the leaf off. Didn't work so great. Or I should say didn't work at all. The actual melting of the crayons went great and it looked fine until I tried to pull off the leaf. But now I want to try again...of course it'd work this time (hahaha, right). 

We've been sent in quite the array of melted crayon art pieces. We've been saving them so that we could do an awesome gallery showing. So, prepare yourself for the Pinstrosity Crayon Art Gallery of Awesomeness. 

The Pinstrosities
So, I had this brilliant idea to start an altered book at the beginning of the summer. It was going great until about day three when I ran out of ideas. I looked on pinterest and found the melted crayon art thing. Simple enough; just crayons, hot glue, a hair dryer, and some sturdy paper. I had it all set up, with the crayons glued on and everything. Card stock is a little flimsy, but I needed it for my book to be able to actually close. I turned the hair dryer on full blast and sat down to watch the Olympics. I was only half paying attention to the crayons because rhythmic gymnastics was much more interesting. When I looked down at it again, I saw that about half of the crayons had fallen off and the light purple one had left a big streak down the middle. It looked like I had closed my eyes and scribbled with my right hand (I'm left handed). I threw it out, for obvious reasons. And that is the story of my crayon art... Fart. -Emma

I can't believe I am sending this in (what would my inner Martha Stewart say?!), but this is just too much of a gem in the world of pinterest fails.  You know those beautiful melted crayon art posts, with the great swirly colors and awesome drippy color palettes?  Upon immediately seeing them you want to run out to the store and buy a fresh box of crayolas- and then melt them all into a Van Gogh-esque masterpiece.

I was at my husband's company picnic and they had a booth set up to make name plaques using melted crayons.  I was so excited- as were most of the other women (and some men) at the picnic.  It was technically supposed to be a kids craft table, but that didn't stop nearly every adult from participating.

My excitement and elation lasted until the first wax drip came down the canvas and to my dismay I realized that red-toned crayons look just like blood.  In my rush to see if I could make it look any better I got a little over zealous and didn't take my time in melting them- blasting the hair dryer heat in a desperate attempt to outwit the pinstrosity that was awaiting.  And thus, Home Sweet Home... and blood, was my end result.  Sad day.  

At least the smell of melting crayons brought back childhood memories! -Hilary
Didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped. -Holly

So my friends and I get together on Sundays and have brunch and Pinterest-inspired crafting. This one Sunday, we decided try our hands at Crayola art.  We decided to peel ours because we didn't have all Crayola brand, which ended up taking most of our time. And we used smaller boards because that is a LOT of crayons. Well, it didn't turn out quite as we expected...   -Jessica

Crayon art works and is pretty. -Kori

The original project was supposed to have very neat artistic look to the crayons...this was my outcome and i had to smear the crayon to even look like that! -Sierra

You know...we seriously should open up a Pinstrosity gallery. That'd be awesome. This might be the opening exhibit. 

So the melted crayon art isn't quite as easy as it looks in the pins. Honestly, what project is? But, it's not impossible. Here are a few tips I learned from my experience and from what I've read. 

-It is best to keep the paper on the crayons. This helps the wax to melt and run down better and keeps the colors from mixing right from the get go. Learned that one the hard way. 

-Using a variation of colors really helps to make these pop. My first one I just used browns and that wasn't so pretty. My second one I went from red to orange to yellow to olive greens to browns and that one looked a lot better. 

-If you want a really runny looking piece of art you want to melt the crayons fast and thoroughly. Have the heat on high and hold the blow dryer close to the crayons. But beware, when the crayons start melting, they go fast!

-In addition to high heat, once the crayon starts melting you can help push the wax down the paper with the force of the air; just aim the blow dryer downward rather than straight on. 

-My first try I used just half a crayon and it worked...but it just wasn't as much wax as I thought it would be. If you're doing an 8x10 or larger I suggest using the entire crayon. 

-You need to glue the crayons to the board. Don't tape them to the board...doesn't work so great. I hot glued mine and they held fantastic, even with the heat. 


  1. I love this gallery-style collection of pinstrosities!
    You should do more "group" type posts .... maybe create a monthly theme!

  2. I have done this several times. The first it ended up working well, the second, not so much. My advice:

    1. Use Crayola. I tried it with off brands (Roseart, I believe) and it just doesn't work as well.
    2. Hot gluing works fine, as long as you leave the paper on. The second time I tried the art I peeled the crayons for a more even melt and the glue ended up heating and the crayons would fall off.
    3. I wasn't able to master keeping the dryer really close to the crayons because, when I did, the wax would start to melt up instead of down, even when it was leaning against a wall. The wax would just shoot off in random directions instead of flowing down the canvas.
    4. The first picture of the heart is a fake. The crayons are not even melted in the image. If it WAS done with crayons, the melted ones were removed and new crayons were applied afterwards.

    Good luck!

  3. I've personally never understood why these became so popular. That first heart is the first one I've EVER seen that looked kind of cool/neat. Otherwise, these... just look like melted crayons on paper to me. Although the one with the couple under the umbrella is a VERY cute idea.

    As an aside, my thoughts are with you! I lost my sister in April and I know how hard these things can be.

  4. I think the best advice is to buy a heat gun. Those heat up so much faster and get hotter, and therefore you can get the crayons to melt much quicker. Most hair dryers just don't get that hot, since well, you don't want to melt your hair.

    That, and agreeing with above comments. DONT unwrap the crayons, and hot glue them. Oh- and it really does work best on canvas. Paper, even cardstock just isn't strong enough to hold melted wax, which is pretty heavy (and can burn if using a heat gun)

    Great slide show though! Great site too! :)

  5. I've tried the crayon art thing as well, and this is the best way I discovered to keep the whole thing from being a disaster:

    1. The hairdryer has never worked for me. I agree with the heat gun advice if you want the crayons on the artwork.

    2. You need to use canvas.

    3. My strongest recommendation though is attempt to recreate this pin instead:

    You get this look by feeding the crayons through a hot glue gun. You can get a mini hot glue gun at Walmart pretty cheap. Unwrap the crayons, and feed them through. You get all the cool wax stream effects, but in very thin lines, and it looks really awesome. The brand of crayons didn't seem to matter when I tried this, I used cheap ones and it worked out great.

    Note: This is incredibly messy, but if you want to attempt this, you probably already knew that. :)

    1. Where do you get the little umbrella people?

    2. I found an image I liked on google images, printed it out on heavy card stock, cut it out carefully, then traced it with a permanent marker. then i filled it in with black acrylic paint and a very fine paintbrush. You could also just color it in with a black permanent marker. To keep the crayon from going over them, you have to make a little paper roof, and tape it to the canvas, and then tape over the people. I used blue electrical tape, so it would come back off.

      I used this tutorial:
      Mine turned out great! I gave it to my mother for Christmas. She loved it!

      One other piece of advice it would give it be very careful with your finished piece, because the wax can break off if it gets bumped too hard.

  6. I had really terrible experiences running crayons through my hot glue gun. I don't have pictures of it, because it was probably last year before I knew about a place like this, haha. It was just sooo much fail that I haven't bothered with any more crayon art yet!!

  7. Here's my effort. Pinstrosity? You decide!
    I had no luck with the heat gun, used a hairdryer and used the angle of the airstream, modifying the angle of the canvas (yes, agree about canvas, mine was framed too, which helped) to get different paces of flow. I glued the unpapered crayons on with quality glue - I think the papers on looks a bit tacky.

  8. Why do the crayons on the original heart pin not look melted at all?

    1. Intact crayons were attached after doing the initial melt project.

  9. If actually done this project quite a few times an it has worked ever time an turned out to look like the good pictures above. I left the paper on my crayons though which I think helped it but I don't know.

  10. My sisters and I tried the heart one and it turned out beautifully. We took a long time setting it up and carefully gluing on each crayon. Then we took it outside and did one little section at a time so that the wax would flow in the right direction. It looks amazing! (And it was really fun to play with the melted wax that spilled off the canvas. Hot finger paint!)

  11. I've done the whole crayon art a few times and have learned a lot along the way. The CHEAP crayons work best, not Crayola for starters. I have also learned that a heat gun is better than a hair dryer! After a couple of oh crap attempts, mine now look like tho orig. pins. Yay..

  12. I did this twice and it worked well both times - the secret is to throw away that hair dryer crap & just feed the crayons through a hot glue gun. Here's how it turned out:

    The main points - be prepared for some minor burns (& mess) & be patient - let the wax melt before you spray it out!

  13. I actually did this with my students quite successfully!

    1. We used Crayola crayons and hot glued them, with wrappers on.

    2. We used paper (because we did it kind of spur of the moment and didn't want to go buy canvas). Canvas would have worked much better, but the paper was fine for a kids' project. We taped it to lunch trays and propped it up with books so the wax would run down. The main problem with the paper is that it will get ripples in it and when the wax dries and you try to flatten it out the wax might break. This wasn't a huge deal though. We ended up stapling them to a bulletin board and they look great.

    3. We used a hairdryer. It took some time and patience, but if you hold it close eventually the wax will just start to liquefy enough that it runs straight down and look great. I found it was best when you hold the hairdryer close, let the wax get really hot, then as it starts running pull the hairdryer away so that the wax doesn't get blown to the sides.

  14. This project actually and my wife have done multiple successful projects. Canvas definitely works better, we glue the crayons (any brand, label peeled) onto cardboard above the canvas, find silhouettes on google that you like (mod-podge them onto the canvas and tape over with painters tape), melt crayons with hair dryers (we used 2 to speed process, the trick is to melt from all angles), peel tape just before crayon is fully dry...voila, beautiful crayon art!

  15. I tried this about a year turned out beautifully. We used hot glue to secure the crayons to canvas, tilted, and used a hair dryer on a low heat setting. Hold a few inches away, and don't concentrate the heat in one area for too long.

  16. how about an embossing gun? I have one of those and they get very hot quick


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