Stained Glass Melts :: Melted Crayon Art at Its Best

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Crayon Melts - Melted Crayon Watercolor Resist

This post contains affiliate links.Maia and I made some melted crayon art yesterday, following the stained glass melts project from MaryAnn Kohl’s Preschool Art book.

I swear we’d be set for life with just the projects in her books. There are so many good ones!

These stained glass melts were fun to make and the result is beautiful! I love how the light shines through, especially with the lighter colors.

(Note: The butterfly above was a joint effort between Maia and me. She asked me to draw the butterfly outline and also wanted me to work with her on the color so I added some of the yellow. As a rule, I don’t draw on Maia’s art, or draw something for her, but she said she wanted to make a butterfly together and I was up for trying a collaboration.)

Crayon Melts - Melted Crayon Watercolor Resist

Here’s how we made the melted crayon art

First Maia drew a picture on paper with a black pen. Then I placed the drawing on a cookie sheet in a warm oven (250 degrees F.). The book says to use a warming tray, but we don’t have one, and we had used the cookie sheet method with success before. Maia carefully colored in her drawing with crayons while the paper and cookie sheet were hot. The crayon melts beautifully!

Crayon Melts - Melted Crayon Watercolor Resist

After filling in the drawing with melted crayon, Maia did a black watercolor wash over the drawing. This isn’t part of the project in MaryAnn’s book, but seemed like a good way to make the stained glass pop out even more. We used lightweight paper rather than watercolor paper, since we weren’t planning on using watercolors. But also I think the stained glass effect is more effective with lighter weight paper.

Crayon Melts - Melted Crayon Watercolor Resist

We hung our melted crayon art in the window and I love how they turned out!

This picture (since I’m sure you’re wondering) is of a mama hen with billions of eggs inside her.

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  1. char says

    This looks like so much fun–my son (4 yrs old) is here with me, enjoying your photos, and we wondered if Maia used a paintbrush or an eye-dropper to put the black paint wash on…
    Thank you for all of your beautiful and inspiring projects (and help!)!

  2. MaryAnn F. Kohl, art author says

    I have always wondered what a good alternative would be to the warming tray. You’ve finally solved it! (But keep an eye on thrift stories and garage sales for a warming tray…you will LOVE it! So safe and easy to use.) Thanks for sharing the results. I love the watercolor wash over the crayon melt.
    ~ MaryAnn Kohl, art author
    PS You can cover an electric frying pan with foil and keep the setting very low, for a one-on-one alternative to the warming tray. Supervised!

  3. says

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been wanting to do this project but hadn’t figured out how to get around the warming tray — I was thinking about it the other way (putting the artwork into the oven), but watching the crayon melt as you use it is more fun!

  4. viviane says

    i loved this one . will be doing ti with my tina tomorrow and of course baby brother who thinks at 20 months old he is his sister twin brother and wants to do the same .jean i have mryAnn first art book and wonder which other books you would recommend if one cannot buy all her books . tina is 4 years old . they all look good but of course cannot afford buying them all .
    another question that might not fit here but i don’t know how to send you a direct email : and it is a question to MaryAnn too , how do you feel about books that teach drawing like draw write now , many home school parents recommend them but wonder when is the right age to help kids with drawing instructions and if we should really do it .

  5. says

    i think we’d be set for life with just your blog to refer to!!! such a great gathering of ideas from so many awesome sources. i’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately…these 3 little ones sure keep me hopping, but tomorrow is art group, so we’ll get a project in! been loving all your garden art, too!

  6. says

    I only have three of her books myself: First Art, Scribble Art, and Preschool Art. I get a couple others from the library on occasion. My vote would be get Scribble Art next. And if you want another, get Preschool Art.
    Re: your 20 month old and this project, my guess is he might burn himself and that he might not be able to control himself well enough to draw on the hot cookie sheet safely.
    I don’t know the book you mention (Draw Right Now) but have seen Mona Brooks drawing book. I’m not sure. The copying exercises in Mona Brooks method don’t sit right with me, especially for preschoolers, but I don’t really know a lot about it.
    Camp Creek Press has some great posts/lessons on observational drawing, contour drawing, etc that are developmentally appropriate. Maybe start with those. And we could ask MaryAnn what she thinks.

  7. [email protected] says

    It’s funny that you did this today – I was just thinking about doing something similar…when I taught preschool we used a griddle and let the kids color very carefully with crayons on a piece of foil or wax paper. That obviously takes a lot of supervision, but the final product is beautiful!
    Keep the great ideas coming – I check daily to see what you are up to!

  8. BookishIma says

    Hi Jean, this is my first comment here, so first of all, I wanted to say how much I enjoy using the ideas here with my 2-year-old son. I’m so grateful to have this resource!
    I also wanted to ask if you could expand a bit about adult-child collaboration in making art (whenever you might have the chance). I love drawing and painting myself, so from the beginning I’ve made a point of showing my son that art is not just something that children do, but grownups too. I’m afraid that this has had a negative effect on his views of his own art, though. He seems so much more interested in watching me use the materials than experimenting on his own. (I also won’t draw on his art, but he’s still riveted by whatever I’m doing.)

  9. says

    I think that your cookie tray option works really well and I look forward to trying it. Another technique to get the stained glass effect without the heat, perhaps for younger children, is to paint over their crayoned picture with cooking oil. It makes the paper translucent and is beautiful against the light. However it is also a pain as the artwork is then all greasy and you have to be careful where you put it. So this cookie sheet method sounds much better – thanks for sharing it!
    Sarah Craftylocks

  10. says

    I’m not really sure of the best answer. We don’t often collaborate and, while Maia will sometimes ask me to draw something for her, I usually try to find a way to redirect her. Occasionally we will work on something together. For example, she’ll say she wants to draw with me at the easel and wants us to take turns drawing. Or the butterfly above. We sometimes draw side by side and usually she shows no sign of being influenced by what I am doing, but then other times she decides to draw what I’m drawing, sometimes even trying to copy it. I don’t want that! But at the same time, I don’t want to stop drawing side by side. Since its not happening all the time and she still shows lots of interest and initiative in creating her own unique art, I haven’t been that worried.
    I’m not sure what the solution is in your son’s case. Perhaps bring in another child to do art with your son. Have an art play date or even a toddler art group. So he sees art done by a peer and sees it done the way another two year old would do it (messy, fun, etc).
    And, in case this would help, here’s a post I did a couple years ago when I asked Susan Striker a similar (but not quite the same) question:
    Hope all this helps! If I think of any other ideas, I’ll let you know! And perhaps another reader will have an idea for you…

  11. our family nest says

    we do this alot but we do it opposite we melt the crayons in the oven and paint on our drawings with qtips. its tons of fun (and nope no one has ever gotten burned) i got the idea for the crayola bus tour years ago.

  12. says

    I love this idea, but I have a question we are trying to do it right now and the pan seems to cool really quick so then it doesnt work how long did you leave it in the oven? Thanks!!

  13. says

    Hi Jean, great to see you again at Craft Schooling Sunday! Hoping to try this project with my little artists soon, and hope to see you again this week! All the best, Sara

  14. Deb says

    Fabulous! Thanks for sharing. The black surround was a great idea. Also, the warmed cookie sheet! Art project for the day with my Lilli, DONE!