How to make Melted Crayon Art & “The Day the Crayons Quit”

"The Day the Crayons Quit" book, melted crayon art, crayons & hot glue gun

A Unique Book (Series) & Melted Crayon Art!

After reading Drew Daywalt’s “The Day the Crayons Quit” we decided to try out something new, melted crayon art! We used a hot glue gun with crayons inside to create this art. I can’t wait to tell you about it, so let’s get started…

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Summary of “The Day the Crayon’s Quit”

The Day the Crayons Quit” written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers is a unique book about a box of crayons and their feelings. On each page of the book there is a different colored crayon, each expressing themselves, in a letter to their owner, Duncan, written in that color. Therefore, color identification comes naturally with these beautiful illustrations.

yellow sunflower melted crayon art

Each crayon also has a face, quite an expressive one, which is impressive given the fact that its made up of two dots for eyes, squiggle eyebrows (if they even have them) and a mouth. Its such a fun read, with cute messages indirectly reminding kids to not peel the crayon wrappers off and that its okay to use different colors than you would typically use, thus reinforcing creativity. I highly recommend this book!

How We Made Melted Crayon Art…

orange sun melted crayon art

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity my daughter decided she wanted to make space art. After plugging in the hot glue gun, she chose the colors she wanted and I chose mine. I kept it simple and only chose yellow and black not knowing how well this was going to work.

Next we peeled the wrappers off the crayon and kept them on the tray. Once the hot glue gun was hot, she asked me to go first so she could see how it was all going to work. I chose to put the yellow crayon into the hot glue gun and squeezed all the extra glue stick that had been in the gun out onto a different paper to discard.

blue and green earth with orange and purple dots around it

Once I began seeing yellow coming out of the gun, I began drawing a large sunflower on my cardstock paper. It worked very well but lost its squeezability several times as the hot glue gun needed time to heat up again. It only took a minute or two and I was back at squeezing the remainder of the yellow out onto my paper with the black crayon trailing behind.

grey swirly moon

When the black began melting out of the hot glue gun I took a different approach trying to replicate the look of seeds in the center of the flower. I made small dots one at a time letting just a little melted crayon out at a time.

My experience with melted crayon has taught me that less is more, and when its too thick it tends to fall off once it cools. Happily this did not happen with this art at all.

How did it work out for my daughter?

orange sun

My daughter was eager to go next, she carefully took the hot glue gun (which she has had previous experience with) and drew what she wanted with the remaining black crayon. The challenge here is figuring out what colors you want to use in which order, as once they are in the hot glue gun, that’s the color you must use. Also, once it runs out; its out. This was a great lesson in problem solving.

universe melted crayon art

She made a green and blue earth, orange sun (because I had already used the yellow), and a white moon that came out swirly black, white, and grey because the hot glue gun holds a bit of the melted colors so they tend to blend together. Then she added some colorful dotted stars.

Lastly, we used the scraps of crayon wrappers as a sort of “confetti” around my sunflower melted crayon art. I used a stick glue for this. It really added another pop of color to my art and was a great way to not waste the wrappers!

Wait?!? Am I Supposed To Be Making One Too?

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined. Maybe its what they imagined. Also, its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

yellow sunflower melted crayon art with crayon wrapper confetti around it

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each art has its own identity. I would suggest Melted Crayon Art if you’re looking for a different and creative art activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Crayons
  3. White Cardstock paper
  4. Hot glue gun
  5. Stick glue
  6. A tray
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Melted Crayon Art?

  1. Plug the hot glue gun in to allow time for it to heat up.
  2. Lay the white cardstock paper on the tray.
  3. Unwrap the crayons you plan on melting (save the peeled wrapper scraps).
  4. Think about what you want to create and what colors you will need.
  5. Think about what order you will draw each item so you know which color crayon to melt next (perhaps make a list, or line the crayons up in that order, or keep it very simple and only do 1-3 colors).
  6. After adding your first crayon into the gun where the glue sticks usually go, carefully squeeze any extra glue out of the hot glue gun onto a piece of scrap paper to discard.
  7. Once you see the color of the crayon coming out, carefully begin using the hot glue gun to draw your design with the melted crayon that is coming out of the hot glue gun.
    *Keep in mind that the hot glue gun is hot and you are probably drawing your design faster than you would use glue from the hot glue gun, so give it time to heat up again if you feel its becoming hard to squeeze or you’re squeezing but do not see anything happening. Once it heats up it will begin to come out again.
  8. Continue adding your crayons one by one until your design is complete.
    **Also keep in mind that the colors may be darker or lighter or become blended with the other colors that have passed through the gun.
  9. You can embellish your melted crayon drawing by using stick glue to glue on the crayon wrapper scraps.
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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