I found a drum hand grater in the cabinet that we don’t really use anymore and thought it would be fun to use for this project. It’s a project that you might do a bunch in your house or could make you nostalgic for your nursery school days.
It’s a classic project with quick set up and easy cleanup. You might ruin a couple towels, but get rid of a few crayon nubs. You likely don’t need the instructions.
Classic Melted Crayon Sun Catchers
- Old towels – one to protect the surface you are working on from heat and wax, and one to protect your iron from getting ruined. You can use foil or a foil lined cookie sheet if you want to melt crayons in the oven.
- Waxed paper
- Iron or oven
- A tool for getting crayons into small bits – any sort of cheese grater or pencil sharpener will work, but you could also do something like pound them up with a hammer.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees or set your iron to somewhere between polyester and cotton with no steam. According to Crayola, their crayons melt between 128-147 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to adjust the temperature depending on your iron, the thickness of the layer you use to protect your iron, and the thickness of the crayon layer you make.
- Set out a towel your table, with a piece of waxed paper on top.
- Peel the paper off the crayons, if necessary.
- Crush, grate, shave, mash, chew up and spit out, or whatever you need to do to get your crayons into small bits onto your waxed paper. Actually, please don’t do that chewing and spitting option. You don’t need to use a lot of crayon. The less crayon you use and thinner layer you make, the more the end product will catch the sun. Experiment with color mixing, highlights or stick to monochromatic schemes. It would be fun to try to make a picture- a rainbow, an earth (blue with green splotches), or something like a heart within a color. We decided on blobs of a similar color with mixing on the borders.
- Cover the crayon with another sheet of waxed paper.
- If you are using the oven, carefully put the waxed paper sandwich onto foil/a cookie sheet and into the preheated oven for a few minutes, or until the crayon has melted. Pull out your design and gently push on the waxed paper to seal. You may need to use a towel, paper towels or a hot mitt to protect your hands when pushing down if it’s hot. Throw it back in the oven if you want it melted more.
If you are using an iron, cover the waxed paper sandwich with a rag or old towel, and begin to iron, peeking at your progress and adjusting the iron temperature if necessary, until you get the desired melt. Be careful, depending on how much crayon you used and how hard you pressed, it may squirt out the ends of the waxed paper.
- Trace and cut out shapes if you would like, then give the shapes one more zap of your heating method to seal the edges. We thought about making bubble letters to spell out names or a message, but stuck to shapes.
- Tape to a window, punch holes to hang with string, hang from a tree, use in a cut out card, be happy with the process and throw in the trash when the kids aren’t looking, or whatever you like!