Art Week DIY: Jerry-Rigged Crayon Art

Before I start talking about the DIY project I did for Art Week, let me first say: I actually am a pretty good artist. I’m a photographer, I’ve been drawing with about a medium level of seriousness since I was a kid, and I’ve done a lot of header image art for The Frisky, including this hilarious illustration of Chuck C. Johnson with poop on his head. I used to make glorious-looking cakes for a living. I’m confident in my ability to turn out decent art.

That being said, I will not call the end result of my jerry-rigged DIY crayon art project an unmitigated success. I think that, really, what happened when I tried to jerry-rig crayon art is that I learned a lot, and sometimes that’s even better than actually making art.

So, what happened is that I mashed together three different Pinterest-acquired DIY projects. First, there’s crayon art made with a hair blow-dryer. Second, there’s crayon art made with a hot glue gun. Thirdly, and I don’t know why I thought this would work, and I think the whole thing would have been 10 times improved if I had omitted this, but I saw this pin that I learned after the fact links to a tutorial about embossing and watercoloring a card but suggests that instead of embossing, you just outline your drawing with Elmer’s glue and then paint in the spaces. That would probably work, on white paper; on a mass of wax, well, you’ll see.

My idea was to make a wax background that had a few bright colors that would then be filled over with shades of blue, and then white. The design I wanted to make over the wax, which I wanted to fill in with gold paint and then gold crayon, was this:


If you get the reference, comment below and you’ll win a hundred points redeemable in pride. I’m not going to say, because it’ll make me sound like even more of a douche.

So I gathered my supplies. If you actually wish to replicate my mess, they are as follows:

  • A hair blow-dryer
  • A hot glue gun
  • A box of 120 crayons, with desired colors unwrapped
  • A canvas
  • A protractor
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Gold paint


Step 1


I attempted to apply the crayon to the canvas with the blow dryer. No dice. It took too long. My excuse for my impatience is that I was completing the project with the help of a ten-year-old. Sure, sure. It has nothing to do with my own inability to deal.

Anyway, I took to using the hot glue gun straight away instead. I applied the crayon in drips. This started looking like it was going to take forever despite skipping the blow-dryer.

Step 2


I started getting impatient. The problem with the drips is that they take up a lot of the wax without taking up a lot of space, and every time you insert a crayon into the glue gun, you have to wait two or three minutes before it’s really melty. I started thinking that there had to be a better way.

Step 3


I found a better way! To apply the crayon over a large space, you just have to put the tip of the gun to the surface of the canvas and pull the trigger really, really slowly and gently. That way, you can direct the flow of the wax over a large area and fill in with the tip of the gun.

Step 4

Before I could apply the final, white crayon to the “painting,” the outlet surged and the glue gun popped, smoked, and died. I’m not kidding.

This, um… This definitely isn’t what I thought it’d look like. But I’m committed, so, onward!

Step 5


Next, I engraved a circle in the wax with a protractor…

Step 6


…Then outlined the circle with the Elmer’s glue…

Step 7


….Then filled in the circle with gold paint. I had wanted to then make dots on the inside with a melted gold crayon, but, see Step Four. Now it was just an issue of waiting for everything to dry!

Step 8


Tah-dah! It’s… um… It’s a pile of wax that looks like someone did something obscene to it.


You can’t get better at anything without failing a few times, so I guess that the way to look at this is that I’ve definitely learned from my crayon-melting mistakes. Hopefully, if you try this, you’ll remember to use a healthy outlet, you won’t try to jam two or three projects together, and you’ll come up with something that doesn’t look vaguely disturbing.


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