Experimenting: Melted Crayons

Do you remember our version of melted crayon art?
It's my most popular post
a lot of people have been giving it a try
which is GREAT!
I've been getting a lot of questions about it
especially about the oily residue that seems to seep underneath the tape
leaves a ring around the wax
like this:
It's pretty undesirable for those making the melted crayon art to be displayed on their walls
we decided to experiment with different colored crayons 
different types of paper to see which would give us the smallest and biggest oil ring

We started with foamcore board
which is what we used as the base for our melted crayon art
You can't tell from a distance that our crayon art has the oil around the edges where the tape was
but if you look closely you will see it
You can't see it very well in these images either
but what you can see is that the apricot color on the left
has left a white-ish color on top of the red
and on the right you can see the red pigment separating from the wax
All the crayons I used were Crayola
They use paraffin wax and powdered pigment to make their crayons.
From what I gather about paraffin wax is that the liquid version is mineral oil
which would explain why there is an oily residue when you melt it
The sketch paper soaked up the oil well creating big oil rings
There was a bigger ring around the apricot color than the red
From the back you can see the oil seeping through
The vellum paper performed the best
it's made from plasticized cotton and therefore resisted the oil like a plastic would
it didn't soak any up and the crayon edges were very clean
If you are making crayon art to be displayed on your walls
I would recommend having a sheet of vellum backed by foamcore board
so you get the vellum quality but the sturdiness of the board
I would also recommend using masking tape with vellum instead of painters tape
I think it would stick better to the paper with no gaps for melted wax to get under
No oily residue seeping through the back
We tried foam sheets
which I don't think anyone should try
they were too floppy and the tape didn't stick worth a darn
Though there was no oil ring and the lines were very clean
The construction paper soaked up the oil like the sketch paper did
leaving big rings of oil
The cardboard soaked it up a bit
I think the fact that the cardboard fibers are tighter than paper like construction paper helps the oil to not spread
You can sorta see in the green wax that it kinda looks grainy around the edges from the pigment
The first picture in this post is from the watercolor paper
There was a larger ring of oil around the yellow was than there was around the brown
but you can see on the back that it soaked through under the brown
The glossy fingerpaint paper surprised me the most I think
It soaked the oil up well but the oil didn't spread much away from the wax
For some reason though the glossy paper made the wax and pigment separate quite a bit
You can clearly see the pigment particles floating in the clear wax

Overall from the experiment we found that the paper with bigger fibers soak the oil up more leaving a bigger ring.
The darker colors seem to separate pigment and wax more than the lighter colors. 
I was looking for whether or not lighter colors or darker colors left a bigger ring of oil but the results for that were pretty inconsistent.

We didn't try stretched canvas because we didn't have any on hand but from what I can tell with the paper is that the fiber will soak up the oil pretty well. I would suggest using a canvas that's been primed first, that way the oil can't soak into the fibers

Have you done melted crayon art?
What has your experience been with the oil ring?
Linked to:

{Easy} Yarn Spider Webs

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays
I like the creepy decorations best
what's more creepy than the thought of
gigantic spiders!?
Here is an easy way to make spider webs with yarn
We made one last year before I started the blog
it was so fun I decided to make them every year
Here's how I make them:
Find the location where you want to place the web
Figure out the length of yarn you need for the base strings
decide how many strings you want to use
(in the above picture I used 9 strings)
Tie a knot at the end of the strings
Secure your base strings to your location
We've used tape, tying off, and staples
I like to start my spiral in the middle
(my hubby started the black web from the outside)
Tie off a length of yarn in the middle 
 just start weaving a sprial
Go over and then under
Tighten the yarn around your base strings
Keep going until you have your desired spiral
This is on our back porch
The web is about 6' tall and 9' wide
We made another one with white yarn
Tied it off onto our stairs out front
 and created an asymmetrical web
I like the webs with off-center middles
a lot of angles
Look at the cool shadow it makes!
 A simple way to get into the holiday spirit!

Here is another (FANTASTIC) variation of a simple yarn spider web
by Dana at Made
(which is an amazing blog)

Negative Art and Cotton Swab Bones

We made negative art by spraying paint on top of our hands!
Now, I know that this has been done many times before
in fact
that's the reason we did it!

While studying about Argentina
we came across
Cueva de las Manos
(cave of the hands)
which has hundreds of negative stencils on the wall
over 800 of them
(I read that only about 30 of them are right hands)
At first the girls sprayed each other's hands with watered down paint
I decided to let them try it the way it was originally done at Cueva de las Manos
with paint (mineral pigments) blown through straws (bones)

They had fun sucking up the paint
(there was a hole cut into the top to keep them from sucking all the way up)
and then blowing it out
but it was a pretty big fail as far as getting handprints
the paint seeped under their fingers into a big blob
So we moved back to spraying with the bottle

We sprayed with white paint on black foam core board
to recreate the wall at Cueva de las Manos
I like it!
 I wanted to use the black foam core board to make something spooky for Halloween
but I liked the results so much I decided to keep it the way it was
so we did more spraying!
 I got out our anatomy book and we examined the placement of bones in the hand
 and used cotton swabs as bones to fill in our negative hand prints
 I think they turned out perfectly spooky and just right for Halloween

This activity is linked to these awesome linky parties:

TP Roll Mummies

October is upon us!
Time for scary ghouls and goblins
ghosties and witches
vampires and zombies

My mom just bought a book for the girls called
by Michael Rex
He writes parodies of popular children's stories
this one is a parody of The Runaway Bunny
 Since we were reading about mummies we decided we wanted to make some
 You need toilet paper rolls
 Then we decided to make prints with them
So I set out some black paper and white paint

When the prints were dry I cut them out
C glued googly eyes to them
Then colored over them with oil pastels to "age" them
Waiting for their eyes to dry
We punched two holes into each mummy and strung them up with yarn
My husband says they look like the Mini Wheats characters
 The toilet paper roll mummies became all stiff and kooky looking 
because the way the paint dried on the gauze
So C rubbed the oil pastels on them as well
glued on googly eyes
I think they look really neat!
Our first Halloween decorations of the season!

These mummies are scaring over at these linky parties
Rainbows Within Reach
(all submissions are monster related!)
hosted by
Art for Little Hands and Let Kids Create