Monday, July 7, 2014

{Think Outside the Toy Box} Wax Paper: Shredded Crayon Canvas Art

Hi all, hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! It was almost too hot to go outside here, but we did get in on some BBQ action and an awesome fireworks show! Now that it is Monday again, it's time for the Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Fun Series!
If you are here for the first time or want to check out all the details again, take a look at the post introducing the Think Outside the Toy Box summer fun series. Also if you have missed any previous weeks, here are the projects we have done so far:
Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling (and bath)
Plastic Bottle Waterfall
Astronaut/Alien Costume
 Foamy Bathtub Paint
Edible Sensory Bin 
Marble Drop/Race

Now on to this week's fun with:


This item was a little hard to get creative with. I thought about putting together some noise makers perfect for the 4th of July using paper towel/toilet paper rolls and wax paper, but the post would be late by 3 days. I still think it would be fun for New Years or birthday parties though. Other than that, I could only think of the typical crayon melting with wax paper crafts. Although the shapes and ideas for that are endless, I was really hoping to think of something different. Unfortunately, the big idea never came to me, so I did the melted crayons, but with slight variation. We are in the process of moving this weekend, so I found this to be the perfect time to change Myles' still nursery into his big boy room. I decided on a dinosaur theme and am pretty excited to start decorating it. I figured I would do double duty and use this week's project to make the first piece of art for Myles' new room. So here is:

 Shredded Crayon Canvas Art

What You Will Need: 

Stretched fabric canvas(es)
(I used two, but use as many as needed)
Painters/Electrical/Masking Tape (all depends on the size you want the letters)
Crayons (I used certain colors from 3 boxes)
Cheese Grater
Wax Paper


1. Start by sorting your crayons. You will want certain colors in certain areas on the canvas(es), so the crayons need to be sorted before you shred them. I used three 48 count boxes from the Dollar Tree.

2. Choose the colors you want to use and remove the labels from the crayons. I started doing them all, before I realized I was only going to need specific ones for the colors I wanted to use. I ended up choosing 4 colors based on the room decor. This was pretty tedious, but I did it while watching a movie with my son!

3. Use the cheese grater to shred the crayons; putting each set of colors into their own bowl. This is also very tedious. I grated one color a day, and worked on them throughout the day. I laid the crayons flat along the grater and that worked fine, but my fingers were getting tore up a bit. Then when I only had a few left, I accidentally discovered a way that is so much easier and less painful on the fingers:
Keep the crayon upright and grate it from the bottom to the top.

4.  Next, get your canvas(es). Use the tape to mark out the word(s) or pattern you want to have left white on the canvas. I stuck with the dinosaur theme and spelled out 'ROAR'. 

 5. Time to get the kid(s) involved. Lay out the canvas(es) and have them sprinkle the shredded crayons all over. 

I thought it would be cool to mix and swirl the colors a bit, but it didn't stay that way after I ironed it. The colors mostly ended up melting together and becoming one brownish color. 

The better way to do this would be to keep the colors separated in lines. That way when it is melted, each color will have enough room to spread but not mix with the others.

6. Once the canvas(es) are covered, place the wax paper over them. Make sure the wax side is DOWN. I made the mistake of not realizing which side was which and I had a mini-disaster on my hands! Since all my colors were already mixed, I just ironed in whatever direction was easiest. 

 If you do the colors in rows, make sure to only iron in the direction of the rows. That should help keep the colors from mixing too much. Also make sure that if you have a lot of shredded crayon on the canvas(es) that you move the melted excess off of the canvas by pushing it over the edges with the iron so that it doesn't pool on the canvas(es). If it is too thick, it will still dry, but it won't stick to the canvas(es) and will easily flake off. 
Once the crayon is melted, wait about 30 seconds-1 minute for it to settle a bit, and then remove the wax paper.   

7. Peel the tape off of the canvas(es) to reveal the (mostly) white letters/pattern.

And that was our week six of the Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Fun Series is complete! Also don't forget to check out what all of the other ladies put together for this week's item in the link-up below. 
  And if you have a post (new or old) that you created showcasing wax paper in a kid's project, craft, game, experiment, etc., submit it below as well. No post this week? No problem; join us next Monday when we will be using Puzzle Pieces! 
 And in case you want to get a head start, here is the complete list for the coming weeks:
July 14 - Puzzle Pieces
July 21 - Paper Cups
July 28 - Plastic Milk Jugs


  1. Cute idea! I'll have to save this for when I start decorating the play room! Happy Monday!

  2. Julia, I love this! What a great way to get kids involved in making art for their rooms!

  3. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesJuly 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    What an awesome idea! This would be great for a Father's Day, Grandparents Day, etc. gift!!

  4. Great idea Julia! They look amazing and the brown color totally adds to the dinosaur experience! Now I'm thinking of all the ways I can try this out :)

  5. very cool- looks like so much fun!

  6. I was thinking about playroom decor too. That would be cool because it's bad by the kids and it's playful decor. I can't wait to put it up in his new room when we move! Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Thanks! I thought why not make the art, that makes it way more meaningful then something we buy. And then I can show him the pictures of him helping me when he is older. I'm not sure how long it will hold up though. I wonder if there is something I can spray it with to help it last longer?

  8. I love homemade gifts for presents! That would be such a good idea. It was a pain to make, but I like it so much I want to do more! I would want to buy the crayons already shaved though.. that was a pain to do!

  9. Yea in the end, the brown wasn't so bad because of the theme we were going for. It was all worked out, but it would be cool to try again and keep the colors separate. I think it would look cool. It would be cool to somehow get hand prints on it or a cool design. I want to try more too!

  10. Thanks so much! We had a lot of fun and I love how it turned out... although the clean-up was a little rough! I would say it was worth it though :)

  11. I love the concept of a mom/son art project that actually comes out cute enough to hang (is that mean? I don't mean to be!) but that grating business...oh man. I grate that same way and figured it out by mistake but with all those crayons I might throw them in a you think that would work or will my husband kill might be worth it if I can get a picture like the one you made with Myles!

  12. De Yarrison, CPCCJuly 20, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Love this. This is something I think my older kids would like to do too (pre-teen age). And they can help shred all those crayons!

  13. I love this idea. I am going to pin it and create one with my son sometime. Thanks for the great idea. Even as an art teacher I had never thought of doing this on canvas before. Love it!

  14. I totally should have done the blender.. it killed me doing all of those! My fingers hurt so bad, but I did get a good arm workout! It would have been worth it to ruin the blender, I definitely ruined our iron by getting the melted crayon on it! Oops! Good thing Mark doesn't use it!

  15. YES get help! That shredding crayon business is for the birds! My fingers were so sore after all that! I want to do more and try different ideas, but I am not shredding anymore crayons! I wish you could buy them already shredded lol! I think older kids would definitely like it too! Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Thanks so much! such an awesome compliment from an art teacher. I am so not the artsy type. I love crafts but I just at art, so this was a stretch for me! I hope you guys have fun doing it, I can't wait to display it in his new room!


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