No craft box is complete without paint - but if your kid is anything like mine and they love to paint, you'd be bankrupt trying to keep up with demand.
But we've found an easy way to make use of those old crayons that get ignored. Did you know you could paint with melted crayons? Us neither, until we tried it!
Kids will love this activity especially if you get them involved with the actual melted crayon part too. Once the crayons have been turned into paint the kids can make their own crayon painting art using the wax colours. Not only will you get a unique texture with this form of painting but you also get the satisfaction of clearing out unloved crayons and giving them a second life! We recommend using cheap brushes for this because crayon painting will leave your brushes looking less than lovely. Give them a clean as soon as the kids are finished painting - stand them in a jar of boiling water, give them a thorough swirl and then dab dry with paper towels before leaving them to air dry. If they still have pieces of crayons stuck to them they should pick off easily once fully dried out.
We used a silicone muffin tray because it can handle the heat better - metal bun tins will stay hotter for longer so you'll need to be more cautious with younger children. Regardless, you should still remind kids that the silicone tray can still be hot. And it goes without saying that this tin should remain firmly in your craft collection and not be used for any food cooking.
Finally, remember that the melted crayon will also make your paper more brittle and stiff so don't attempt to roll it or be too rough with it. It will need about 30 minutes for the wax to fully harden, then their artwork is ready to be displayed.
Are you ready to make paint from crayons? Grab your paper, a fistful of old crayons and try this easy technique.
You will need:
- Old crayons
- Silicone muffin tin
- Paintbrushes - the cheaper the better
- Paper or canvas
- Access to an oven
1: Preheat the oven to 140C ( 275F/120C fan or gas mark 1).
2: Collect all of those odd ends of crayons together. You can get the kids involved by asking them to sort them into colour groups. You could also challenge older kids to group together individual colours to make new shades - such as blue and yellow for green.
3: Next you need to pick off the crayon wrappers and break the crayons up into smaller pieces. Pop each colour group into a separate section of your muffin tin.
4: Place your silicon tin carefully into the oven - it will take around 15-20 minutes for the heat to completely melt the. If they're not quite melted then leave them for a little longer but do keep checking on them.
5: Remove from the oven and set aside for a minute to allow the tin to cool. Now they can have fun with the painting - the wax liquid should stay useable for around 15 minutes, but after this, the melted crayon mix will start to cool and harden. Get them to sweep the colours across their paper for an easy artwork that they'll love to show off.
Older children will also be able to use a glue gun to create a unique crayon painting. Do bear in mind that you will need a dedicated glue gun so it may be worth investing in a cheap one just for this activity. All you need to do is insert unwrapped crayons instead of the glue sticks and then paint directly on to the paper.
Another great idea which will allow kids more control over what their finished art looks like is to pop a baking tray in the oven and heat to a high temperature. When it's ready (5 minutes, if the oven is pre-heated, should be enough) place a piece of tin foil on top of it and let kids draw directly on to it with their crayons. The heat will gently melt them giving a paint-like quality to the finished piece. It's best to ensure arms are well covered for this and that children are well supervised.
The final crayon painting will have raised sections of coloured waxy substance on - you could have more fun with this activity by showing children how to 'pop' off the crayon paint which will reveal a pretty translucent colour behind.
If toddlers want to join in then give them a variety of tools to paint with - look for items that are easy for them to grasp such as sponges. Do make sure that little fingers are kept away from the hot crayons.
If you want something more long-lasting why not switch your paper for canvas which can be displayed at home to show off artwork?