I feel melty.

EDIT 11/5/2012: We are no longer selling custom crayon pieces in our Etsy shop. We are now focusing on a new jewelry project, so please check that out and we hope you enjoy the tutorial below!

Edit: We are now selling custom crayon pieces in our Etsy shop! If you have questions about commissioning your own artwork, please see the shop or email us at lightandspoon@gmail.com.

Here’s our contribution to the melted crayon craze on Pinterest. My original inspiration was this one, though original source is apparently unknown, because I found it on Pinterest. Grumble. *Edit! Thank you to commenter SoKnitpicky, I have now seen the original “crayons through a glue gun” pin. Not much more to it than the picture, but she answers a lot of questions in the comments about how to make the crayons work in the gun.

Anyway! We wanted to put a little more of ourselves into it, literally. We started by taking a silhouette photo of ourselves, which Jeff traced on the lightbox and transferred to the canvas with pencil and tracing paper. (We were both smiling in the picture, which means we sort of don’t have lips in the silhouette. But I like it that way.)

He filled in in with marker, and then we taped some saran wrap around a piece of cardstock to make a run-off barrier for the top of the umbrella. Some more painter’s tape went over the silhouettes.

We pulled out all the blues and greys from three boxes we got on sale for $2.50 each at A.C. Moore. We only ended up using 19 crayons on this canvas, but used about 20 for practicing before the real thing. The canvas is a 18×24 “Econo” canvas that came in a 2-pack for $10, making this about a $7 project.

Then it was just a matter of putting the crayons through the gun–the pretty-but-stupid impulse-buy glue gun that barely works, so I didn’t ruin my good one. The wax got really drippy at times and splattered more than expected. Not sure if this is a high- or low-temp gun. Not sure if it matters.

The hardest part was removing the guard and fixing the wax around it. It involved some flame and an Xacto knife, plus a little fill-in with the marker.

Yay! We love how it turned out. This will probably go in the upstairs bathroom.


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178 responses to “I feel melty.

  1. This is absolutely beautiful! :)

    I found you through… you guessed it… Pinterest! :)

  2. My fiance and I will be walking into our upcoming wedding to Umbrella by Rhianna…..our song! If I pay you can you make me one ofthose?!?!?! Email me!!! Lexiandnoah@gmail.com

  3. interesting, i just showed my kids, and now I have to worry about the house buring down!

    • I wouldn’t worry about flames, but it should be noted that the melted crayon is very hot (duh) and VERY runny. Depending on how long it sits in the gun before the trigger is pulled, it can explode out both ends or even dissolve into smoke. And if your gun is very hot, it really just dribbles out, without pulling the trigger (which can also make for a fun Jackson Pollock look). With supervision, I think it could be a good project do do with older kids!

  4. This is absolutely beautiful! I’ve seen a lot of versions of the melted crayon art around Pinterest but yours is my favorite :) I would like to try this but could you tell me, does it ruin your glue gun? I can always purchase an extra cheap one if so. I have also seen where someone taped the crayons to the top of the canvas and then melted them using a hair dryer, causing it to run and drip down as well. Bravo on your unique art!

    • Thanks, Rachel! I don’t think it really “ruined” my glue gun, but the glue will definitely be blue for the next few uses–but who ever sees the glue, right? Like I mentioned, I used the one that I never use for real projects because it sucks, so I didn’t care if this was the last thing I used it for.

      By the way, it looks like most people are using heat guns, not hair dryers, for those other projects. Maybe it’s just my hair dryer, but it would have taken forEVER to achieve the effect we were going for. They might have super hot hair dryers, though!

      • Ohhh haha I’m sure you’re right about the heat gun, I suppose it just looked like a hair dryer in the picture :P

      • I did this last night with my kids and using a hair dryer and it worked just fine. We used elmers glue to hold the crayons in place (no it didn’t melt away which we were worried about). It takes a little while to warm the crayons up, but once they are hot it goes pretty fast.

        Also you need to line all the crayons up next to each other. The more space you leave between them, the more white space you have in your melt.

  5. I agree with everyone else, your picture is my favorite! One question… did the crayon squirt out of the glue gun like a cheap water gun? I bought some super cheap crayons but it squirts. Is that normal?

    Thank you for sharing your project and the steps to recreate one.

  6. I think this is so great & makes for a great gift. How did you get your picture on the canvas??? That is the part I’m confused about.
    And did you use a canvas?

    • Yes, it’s a canvas. We traced the silhouette onto tracing paper, turned it over, and went over the lines again, which transfers the pencil to the canvas. Then we just used art markers to fill in.

  7. I definitely think you should sell these it’s the best one I’ve ever seen! You could easily sell it for at least 30 bucks! I love the sillouhette idea so cute!

  8. Wow that’s gorgeous! I hope I’ll be able to do art like that someday =)

  9. This is very cool and I love your silhouette idea, it is very sweet. I can’t wait to try it!

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  11. My friend and I did this by taping crayons to the top of our canvas and then using a heat gun to melt them.

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  13. Pamela Desjardine

    I LOVE this! How inventive.

  14. So, are you going to customize and sell these? I would definitely buy one! If so, what kind of picture and how much?

  15. Unnecessary American Flags

    That’s fantastic looking. I might just pick one up for myself now that you got the Etsy account set up. :)

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  17. Beautiful! Great job! Very Creative! <3 Thanks for sharing!

  18. Very cool……..that beats the way we used to do it when I was a kid…….wax paper and mom’s “only” iron! Lol

  19. Looks awesome! We used a hair dryer for our picture. We hot-glued the crayon pieces to the top, and then angled the dryer down at them. No smoke, exploding, or risk of burning yourself!

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  22. I really really really love this! I want to try it. Stumbleupon has done me well today!

  23. Pingback: Liz (lizijk) | Pearltrees

  24. I am going to have to try this for a family portrait! lovely blog

  25. Beautiful job. Thank you for the how to.

  26. Good idea and very well done. Clever and attractive.
    Thanks to you and some commenters for sharing tips and techniques.

  27. Pingback: Justin (sairino) | Pearltrees

  28. I absolutely love it! Best crayon melting I’ve seen! :)

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  30. Nice I hope you hop over and visit my blog. I loved how you made the rain.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    http://turnedgypsy.blogspot.com

    Chris

  31. It looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  32. owwww I wanna have a go….. sooo cool!

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  35. That i such a great idea! I can already think of different ways to create on this idea… Love creative peeps!

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  37. What kind of glue gun did you use that let the crayons fit? I used a cheap one that I bought specifically for this purpose but had to take the trigger/advancer thingy out so that the crayons could fit.
    I’m relatively new to crafty stuff, but my melted-crayon stuff has been coming out quite well :)

    Thanks!

  38. Wonderful project! I just pinned this.

  39. This is simply beautiful! It’s elegant and elaborate at the same time and I love how you made this popular idea your own. I look forward to seeing more of your unique arts!!!

  40. Great idear

  41. Pingback: Leigh (perverseleigh) | Pearltrees

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  43. How did you take your sillouette picture? I’m also wondering how you traced your picture afterwards – did you cut yourselves out of the photo and then trace it?
    Thanks!

    • We took the picture using the self-timer on the digital camera, then used a photoshop-like tool to outline the silhouette on the computer, then printed it out, traced it on tracing paper, and then transferred it to the canvas.

  44. There, you done it. You made me sign up for Pinterest. And I will add original authors to pictures if I can! Not sure if that is possible though, but here’s a tip: put your name or your webaddress on the picture so if someone repins it, your name will still be on it. I’m sure this picture will spread fast on pinterest!
    I am adding this to my To Do list, seems like such a fun thing to do.

    Hmmm note to self: don’t forget to add crayons to my Christmas wish-list!

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  46. What size glue gun did you use?
    The one I tried using, the crayons are just barely too big for it and won’t go through.
    I just want to give up!

  47. I love your variation on this idea! (Yes, I found you on Pinterest.) FYI, the original pin is by Jilly Leigh here: http://pinterest.com/pin/283656476499654244/

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  52. nooo….. =( im 17, 17 okay, and ive been doing this art style alone, since i was 15, not a long time, but it was myyyy idea…. i feel so unoriginal now that the whole world is stealing it!

  53. May be a dumb question, but I’m currently trying this (with different silhouettes) and I was wondering what you used to glue the silhouettes onto the canvas. Beautiful and brilliant idea ^_^

    • Hi Gen, it’s actually not glued, but traced and filled in with an art marker. So it’s actually directly on the canvas, though I could see how using a paper glue might work, too! One specifically made for paper, so it won’t curl or wrinkle the paper.

  54. I love the way this came out…with the silhouette. Brilliant!

  55. OMG – I LOVE this!! I’m going to have to try my own crayon art. Thank you for sharing!

  56. I love this!! I might just have to dig out my old Crayolas, thanks for sharing!

  57. I plan on doing on of these but directly onto my wall (life size) any tips?

    • Wow, what an undertaking! Other than obvious ones like covering your floors REALLY well, I’d say, try to find the best deals possible on crayons! If you’re doing just blues and greys, it gets expensive fast to buy all the multi-packs you need. Search on Amazon too, for “refill packs” of blue, silver, and grey. And we got all of ours at craft stores with printed-out coupons. A.C. Moore regularly has 50% off Crayola products sales, so we usually buy them out.

      We would LOVE to see this when it’s finished, if you don’t mind! Good luck and have fun!

  58. Just finished my version of this for my grandmother, let me know if you would like a picture I think it turned out gorgeous.

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  60. Here’s my version!

    It’s for my girlfriend for Christmas; I created the silhouette by printing four pictures (an umbrella, one of us together facing the camera, two of each of us in profile- we didn’t have one in profile and we’re in a long distance relationship and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise), combining them by tracing the printed images onto blank printer paper, then cutting it out and taping it to black cardstock and cutting THAT out.
    I hot-glued completely unwrapped crayons along the top of the canvas and melted them completely with a hairdryer. I created the barrier for the umbrella by hot-gluing a piece of thick foam to the canvas and protecting the space under it with masking tape. It worked pretty well!
    Then I hot-glued the silhouette to the canvas. I then took a piece of cardstock that had the same proportions as the canvas and drew clouds along the top of the cardstock, big enough to cover the hot-glue marks where the crayons had been. I then cut the clouds apart, like pieces of a puzzle, so they would still fit together.
    Then I melted chopped-up crayons together on paper plates in the microwave (6 small plates of 2-3 chopped up crayons each) which took about 3 minutes each. Then I dipped each cloud in a different melted crayon mixture. After the clouds dried, I hot-glued them to the top of the canvas, fitting them back together like a puzzle.
    I am really pleased with how it turned out! The silhouette looks just like us! The clouds are a little fragile so if I could find a frame that fit, I would put it in a frame… I hope it survives being in my carry-on on the plane! I wrapped it in about five trash bags and wrapped it in wrapping paper… we’ll see! It would probably be a decently easy fix with a hairdryer :)

    • Leah, I love this! The clouds are a great idea. Thank you so much for sharing your process with us, and I hope it survives the flight! I hope your gf absolutely loves it.

  61. Totally going to try this!!!!

  62. That is absolutely beautiful! I’d be so proud of this piece of art if I were you. This just may be one I’ll have to try. There are so many possibilities in what you can create using this effect. I picture a big black heart with lots of red, pinks and oranges dripping around. Hrm, where to start? Thanks for the great idea!

  63. I did one similar to this using the hair dryer method. Didnt really go wild on Pinterest, but I like it. Its one of my favorites hanging on the wall of my living room… http://pinterest.com/pin/74027987594444569/

  64. LOVE this and eager to try it!

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  66. I have never seen anything like your crayon art, and as an elementary school teacher, I thought I knew almost everything to do with crayons! WOW!

  67. that’s amazing i love it!

  68. super cute as soon as the summer comes around i shall try that.And for you warm weather people i would try putting spare/broken crayons on a canvas (wrapper off) in the sun and let it melt.

  69. I absolutely fell in love with your idea so I did one myself of my bf and I. Thank you so much and God Bless you for giving me one of my favorite and most fabulous art projects to do!! I took a pic of our sillhouette on a camera timer on my web cam and photoshopped the outline of our bodies and made it a black sillhouette with a white background. Then I printed it out and cut the sillhouette with very small scissors I found in the beading section at Hobby Lobby for 2.99. I placed a regular white sheet of paper of the sillhouette and traced and cut the area around which I didnt want the crayon. Then I taped it on and painted over it. I used a small hot glue gun like yall did and tested with the colors I wasnt using…and almost gave up on the crayons because it was very hard to control. I decided I just needed to be patient and let the crayons melt for 5-10 min. each. Whala! it worked!! I just pused the crayons through with the next. I bought 5 small crayon boxes from Hobby Lobby for 1.99 each and used almost all of the different color blues, 2 purples, 2blacks, and 2 greys. I then removed the taped paper and replaced that white area with the black sillhouette with very light glue because it starts to warp with big blobs. Next i used Scribbles black fabric outline paint, from Hobby Lobby for .99 cents, to make the sillhouette pop more. Lastly, for the hearts and initials I used a red permanent marker because I didnt feel like going to the store just to get red paint. I am in LOVE with the results!! So much better than I thought it would turn out for me. Thank you again for the idea!! You are lovely :)
    ~Tawni Y.

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  72. i attempted to try this project like the way you did but i blew a socket and killed two hot-glue guns lol what brand did you use, a specific size, a specific temp? HELP PLEASE!!

    • Hi Kristi,

      Ouch. I don’t know what would have caused a blown fuse, but our first gun did go out in flames. But… that MIGHT have been because I was shoving the end of an Xacto knife into it. Oops. I’ve since been using chopsticks to push out the remaining crayon!

      As for size and brand… We use high-temp guns, and they’re the super cheap $3 or $4 guns from Michaels. We have to take these apart and remove part of the mechanism that advances the glue stick/crayon through, otherwise the crayon doesn’t fit. The first one worked like a dream, but I can’t find it anymore. It was a little more expensive and/because it had a pretty design on it. Would LOVE to find more of that kind!

  73. What a brilliant project! I love how it turned out, I can’t wait to see more.

  74. Just so you know, this is my very favorite of all the “melted crayon art” pieces bouncing around pinterest. I love how the silhouette is actually you two. Would love a print of it!

  75. Thank you for the inspiration. I did my own little version of this craft and I’m loving it.

    The kids want me to make big ones to hang in their room.

  76. I bought a 3 dollar glue gun at Wally World but can’ t get it to feed through the gun smoothly at all – it just wants to drip out the front … gonna try a little different gun and see if it’s what we need. My co-teacher thought I was crazy when I suggested this so I’m glad to find other “crazies” like me!

    • Oh, ours definitely drips! It’s not going to come out like hot glue, rather it’s going to be very runny. So there’s a chance you’re actually doing it right! Maybe a low-temp gun would be different? I think all of ours have been high-temp.

    • I had a small cheap gun as well…it took a lot of frustration to figure out just to be patient and let each crayon melt for at least 5 minutes to get runy enough. I pushed the crayon through gently with another crayon to get the semi-straight line…it gets a little spotty too but you’ll need lots of crayons. If it breaks while you push it through just push the melted part in the chamber through and let the other piece of the crayon melt a while too. Here’s how my turned out…mine is a little thicker on the crayons than the original.. but it worked!!
      Source: Uploaded by user via Tawni on Pinterest

  77. LOVE this. Are you still willing to make and sell them? I’d love to have one for my house.

  78. Do you think it would work with foam core? And can you please post the picture of your silhoutte you used? I’m making it for a newly married couple! Thank you so much and your work is AMAZING!

  79. Hey! Thanks for posting this. I used this idea for a gift and it turned out wonderful. Please check it out :)

    http://jayminakay.blogspot.com/2012/02/crayon-art.html

  80. Thanks for this wonderful idea! Looking forward to trying it tomorrow.

  81. You’re art is absolutely adorable and I love how you made it personal by making the people you and Jeff. I will be trying this out.. I also heard of using a hot blowdryer.. Does anyone have any advice as to which way would work better?

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  84. Look remarkably similar to these… http://www.simensky.com/paintings.asp#

  85. Thanks for the inspiration! My girlfriend and I made our own using almost the same technique you outlined here.

  86. I absolutely adore this. I plan on making something similar. I hope it comes out as good as yours did.

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  88. Superb! I have a question! Do you gesso the canvas before melting the crayon?

    • Nope–we don’t do anything to the canvas, which is just the cheap, “econo” two-packs from art stores. Some canvases are better than others in terms of coloring in the silhouette, but as far as the crayon goes, it sticks just fine to anything it touches. Anything. Including the walls. Oops.

  89. Welp, we tried this tonight, the glue gun shorted out and set on fire in my daughter’s hands. It was a close call. Luckily she was not burnt, and was able to put it down on something that didn’t start a massive house fire. I guess there’s a reason why they don’t say crayon melting gun on the packaging.

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  92. I’m dying to try this! I’ll have to get all the supplies up soon. In the mean time I would like to link this back to my Favorite Finds Fridays post. With your permission of course :)

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  95. I just ‘stumbled upon’ this post. I love the idea of using a glue gun for crayons. I have seen a hair dryer used but this would allow a little more control. Your project turned out great!
    : 0 ) Theresa

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  97. Hey there! Just wanted to let you know we featured you in our Favorite Find Fridays post over at Whimsically Homemade. We used one of your pictures. If that’s a problem let us know and we’ll removed it immediately. Thanks for you great inspiration!

    • Hello! So, so sorry for the lack of response. We are happy to be featured in your blog! Thank you so much for your support!

  98. This is amazing! I’d really love this design on a shower curtain! Haha, It loks really beautiful!

  99. I am wanting to make one for my cousin is who is getting married to her girlfriend, where can i get a silhouette of 2 females?

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  101. Beautiful!

  102. WOW! You have our attention!

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  105. Where did you find the the silhouette and how did you get it on there?

    • Katie, the silhouette is of us. We took a photo against a light background and used Photoshop to create the silhouette. Then we printed it out, used tracing paper to transfer it to the canvas, and colored it in with marker.

  106. I would really like one r u selling them?

  107. That is honestly one of the coolest things I have ever seen! I’m really impressed!

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  110. I just finished my first melted crayon project, which was inspired by this piece. I absolutely love it and just wanted to thank you for the idea and instructions! They were so helpful to someone who isn’t very crafty.

  111. How do I make one so that the crayon goes behind my silhouette? Hope that makes sense.

  112. Pingback: Crayon Silhouette Art « Bread in a Circle

  113. Cool idea with the hot glue gun! I love it :)

  114. I would love to do this project! just one question, do the crayons ruin the hot glue gun?

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  116. I just did this with a photo of my brother and sister in law as a wedding gift. it was hard getting my crayons through my hot glue gun, so I used my heat gun that I use for crafts. It came out amazing!!! I can’t wait to see their faces!

    QUESTION: Is there any way to seal this piece of art? I didn’t know if I should use anything special to seal it. Thanks!

  117. I love this. I love the use of the blues and the umbrella idea…very clever!!

    Terri

  118. you can also take card stock and glue the crayons on the card stock then stick the poster board under the taped crayons and use a blow dryer to melt the crayons onto the poster board…. its a fun easy project for kids to do too

  119. That is so cool! I love the silhouettes!!

  120. I’ve noticed that no one has mentioned what brand of crayons everyone has used. I just tried this with some cheap ones from the dollar store and it definitely did not work. They seemed to be way too waxy and melted in clumps. I followed the same instructions as everyone else so maybe it does make a difference. Let me know.

  121. I used Crayola crayons. They were like $3 for a 64 pack at Staples. I think I bought 3 packs of them. It was enough to do a lot of practice and then the real thing. make sure you pick the blues you like though, some look purplish and others are too bright. it’s all up to you based on your preferences :)

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  124. Do you have to use anything to preserve the crayon after you’re finished? It doesn’t dry out or flake off or anything like that?

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  127. My friend and I used a hair dryer and got the same affect. Thanks for the tips on the silhouette. I wasn’t sure what to do to protect it.

  128. Gave this a try. Blew up a glue gun. May try again with a different gun. I also had ‘triangle, easy grip crayons’ and I think that because their not a circle that the gap lets the pressure out of the opening and doesnt push it through the gun. Might try a smaller gun with round crayons.

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  130. Wow, I just tried it on a much smaller scale and it didn’t really come out as amazing as this one. Truly beautiful!

  131. lol we blew a socket and also blew up 2 glue guns! Ahhhh! are there any glue guns that wont blowup? just wondering.. dont want a fire…. ;)

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