Need a way to use up all your broken crayon bits? Why not try making melted crayon art. To kick off my teen summer reading programs this year I started with a little melted crayon art and the results were impressive. The teens were given a 4×6 canvas, votive candle(s), and a pile of crayon bits – the rest was up to them. Some drew out designs while others just got straight to melting crayons over their canvases – one even took out her smart phone and copied a van Gogh.
The activity was intended to be “sciency” to go with this year’s summer reading theme, but as the teens were really into the creating aspect, I failed to incorporate any science lessons into our program. The most technical we got was when some of the teens noticed that some of the crayons melted faster than others. Having used the leftover crayons from the children’s department there were different brands in the mix and their compositions vary, making melting time and color vibrancy noticeable. I could have made more of a science lesson by simply asking more pointed questions about melting time, pigments, and wax, but in the end we were having a good time and I chose not to school them on their first week of summer.
There are different ways to make melted crayon art but I wanted to keep things as simple and clean as possible. I chose the dot method, which is very easy to do with teens and younger kids as well. Simply light a votive candle and hold the crayon over it until its starts to melt, then tap or drip the crayon on the canvas. The teens took between 30 minutes to an hour to finish their projects and when they finished, for good measure we brushed a layer of Modge Podge over their finished projects in hopes of keeping their art work sealed and preserved for a little longer.