Artsy Things How to Paint with Crayons

Published on April 3rd, 2015 | by Julie Finn

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How to Paint with Crayons

How to Paint with Crayons

How would you like to paint with crayons?

Encaustic painting is loads of fun, and you can use it to achieve a lot of really cool effects, but unless you want to shell out for a pricey encaustic painting set-up, then your techniques are limited:

1. You can drip crayons onto canvas using a candle as the heat source.

2. You can drip crayons down an angled canvas using a blow dryer as the heat source.

3. You can melt a puddle of crayon onto canvas, then make an impression.

And that’s about it… UNLESS you have this cheap, genius little tool called a kitska.

A kistka is basically a little metal funnel wired into a wooden stylus. It’s meant for making Pysanky eggs: you insert beeswax into the funnel, heat it over a candle flame, and then paint with the melted wax.

But you know what else you can melt and paint with?

CRAYONS!!!!!!!

Here’s how to do it:

How to Paint with Crayons1. Use a knife to chop down a crayon stub into smaller pieces. Although you may have to help kids with this part, it isn’t hard, since crayons are already similar in size to the kistka’s funnel.

2. Insert a few crayon bits into the funnel. Be mindful if you’re doing this in the middle of your painting, because the funnel will heat up.

3. Heat. A candle flame is the simplest heat source for this. With kids, it’s a bit of a negotiation to get it into a spot that’s convenient for the continual re-heating that the kistka will need, but not so near at hand that the kid will stick her elbow into the flame.

Full disclosure: my kid totally stuck her elbow into the flame once! That’s why you keep an aloe plant in your kitchen. Anyway, we’re pretty blase about minor injuries over here, so she was handed some ice and aloe, she declined my polite invitation to go rub some dirt on it, and she got back to work.

How to Paint with Crayons4. Paint! You’ll want to repeatedly reheat your kistka’s funnel and repeatedly refill it with crayon bits, but other than that, you can fly free and be creative.

Wipe the kistka clean with an old towel between colors, and you’ve got the means to paint with crayon wax in any color, on any surface.

So far, the kids and I have painted with crayons onto paper, dyed Easter eggs, and stretched canvas. We’ve done watercolor resist over some of the surfaces, with good results. The crayon does re-solidify quickly once it’s on the surface, but there is time to add embellishments, such as glitter, or other 3D components, such as beads and buttons and other bits of found art.

And now you have one more way to recycle your old crayons!

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



One Response to How to Paint with Crayons

  1. DMC says:

    This would be more “eco” friendly if using actual beeswax rather than crayons made with paraffin (a petroleum by-product; takes decades to biodegrade). Love ideas for crafting a green world with environmentally friendly materials. They are now soy crayons widely available on the market too that would make this more of a green project. Happy Easter!

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