My girls and I tried something new over the weekend. They are twelve and fifteen, and it takes a lot of convincing for them to sit at the table and make art these days. But when they saw there was an iron involved, they did not hesitate, ha! This project was so fun. They did it for two hours, I am not kidding. It’s messy and there are slight hazards involved so, therefore…it was a hit!!
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Supply list for melted crayon butterflies:
~ crayons (the best method to take off the paper is to soak them for a few hours in water, then the paper comes off easily, and by the way…BEST activity for little kids)
~ iron (lowest setting)
~ paper (I used sulphite paper cut into 8.5 x 11 to fit through printer)
~ tempera paint (optional)
Steps to making melted crayon butterflies:
1. Print out your templates.
2. Fold the paper in half, then unfold. It’s helpful to have that fold line there before you start.
3. Start shaving crayon bits. We found that a limited palette worked best. Try and pick colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. For example: blue-purple-pink, or red-orange-yellow, or green-turquoise-blue. This way, you will avoid all of the crayons melting together and making brown.
4. When your butterfly looks filled in, fold over the paper in half.
5. Place a piece of parchment paper over the folded butterfly and iron in two-second motions. It won’t take more than 15 seconds for the crayons to be melted.
6. Open it up! Fill in with tempera paint if you’d like to.
6. Once completely dry, cut out the butterflies with scissors.
Note about technique: We used a few techniques. One of my daughters liked to fill up the entire butterfly with crayon shavings in a gradient, ombre pattern. The other daughter was a bit more sparse with her shavings and left some white paper to paint afterwards. The fun part about this craft is that you can try a million different ways because they are really fast and easy (and awesome) to make.
I made a short movie if you want to see the technique in action.
When they are all dry, hang them up with some washi tape, which becomes the butterfly’s head!
I hope I’ve convinced you to try. If you do it with little kids, make sure to set the iron far away from their little elbows. But let them help you melt the crayons, it’s part of the fun!
I just melted along the table just like the butterflies. this is gorgeous Bar.
thank you Meri! I love your comment, ha!
What kind of crayons did u use???
hi rosalyn – just regular crayola! took the wrappers off first.
Is sulphite paper necessary? What would you recommend if you don’t have it? Thanks, looks so fun!
hi jane, no – sulphite paper is not necessary. it’s a nicer version of construction paper, but you can just use regular white paper. any paper will do! good luck! xo bar
I love you idea and am doing this for our yearly art auction class project! Couple of questions: I’d like to make this a more permanent piece so what paper do you suggest that can handle the weight of the melted crayons? It’s OK if I have to hand draw each butterfly. Maybe something archival?
Also I want to mount them maybe with pins to they are raised off the page and in a shadow box. Do you think pins would work in this case?
hi monique, thanks for stopping by and asking such great questions! the paper I used, which is suplphite paper, would be a great weight for mounting with pins. I don’t think it’s archival, I’m not really too familiar with archival paper. I love the idea of the shadow box, that would be brilliant! pins would work really well. good luck and send me a photo if you can! xo bar
The project came out beautifully! Would love to share a photo but can you send me your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org? I don’t see how I can upload a photo on this blog.
monique, I just sent you an email. Can’t wait to see! xo bar
How fun!!! Thanks for all the ideas!!!
A 120# watercolor or heavier, would be great. Then they could be shaped & pinned. I’d go to an art supply store and check out different art pages that are archival (usually these are in books for smaller sizes you’ll need, although they also available in full sheets ay artist shops, Dick Blick and other stores.
Oh, this will be a perfect process-art activity for my preschool class this spring! Thank you!
If I wanna do a different shape (so I don’t want to fold the paper in half) will that affect the outcome?
hi Marca, well you can do any shape but you have to fold it in half so that you can put the iron on top and melt the crayons. there’s no other way to do it – unless you use a hairdryer, but then it’s a different craft. still fun though. good luck! xx bar
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Just half, then fold over and iron. there is a video that you can watch!
I’ve done this in the past and keep searching for answer. Maybe you have it! Do you know how to prevent the crayons from cracking once it has dried? I’ve tried folding and stacking the wax paper and it cracks every time. Either down the middle if it’s folded or will crack when we cut the shapes out.
Hey! Is there something we can use instead of a iron?
hi Pipa, you could try a hairdryer! You definitely need heat.
This looks so fun!
can’t you just use paint
Hi Samantha, of course you can use paint! This is just a different, fun way to make some smush art. ~ Bar
Will this get Crayon on your iron?
No! My iron didn’t get any crayon on it.
I loved this project it was so much fun