Beautiful Art Blocks: Melted Crayon on… WOOD!

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The kids and I made these colorful wooden art blocks yesterday. We all agreed they are wonderful and want to make a whole bunch of them, both for the chance to make some more (they were a lot of fun!) and so we can have a set of artful building blocks for stacking towers and building castles.


I have my artist friend Meg to thank for this idea. She said she saw my post on melted crayon rocks and wanted to make some with her daughter. But instead of rocks, which she didn't have, she used her plentiful supply of wood blocks. (She's the one who painted these lovely blocks for me.) As soon as she told me about her melted crayon blocks, I had to try them!

Meg orders her wood blocks online (and we used three of hers), but you could probably also make your own from hardware store wood, find some at a craft store, or get this kind of wood. In addition to the blocks, we tried this technique on some flat pieces of wood from Lowes.

First, we put our wood pieces on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree F oven to heat up. Once the blocks were hot, we set them on the towel-protected table and we each drew on ours with crayons. The crayon melted as we drew, just as it did with the melted crayon rocks, although not quite as dramatically just because the wood didn't get as hot as the rocks did.
While I didn't feel that working with the hot rocks was safe for my two year old, she safely drew on the hot wooden block and wood pieces alongside Maia and me. The wood didn't hold the heat like the rocks did and the risk of burning was much lower.
After we did our melted crayon drawings on the wood, we got out our liquid watercolors and painted over the drawings.
The watercolor resist worked great on the wood!
Here's an art piece Maia made by tracing the grain of the wood with her melted crayon drawing. (See how the watercolor pools a bit over the thick crayon lines? We used a paper towel to blot it off before it dried.)
Here's one of Daphne's artworks on wood…
…plus two more of Maia's.
And here are a few more views of our wooden art blocks.
We all LOVED this project! We loved the melted crayon drawings (as always), loved the watercolor resist, loved working on wood, and really love our art blocks. We plan to make lots of these colorful building blocks as soon as we can get our hands on some more plain wooden ones!
P.S. My computer is broken and this is my first attempt to draft a blog post on my iPad (using the Blogsy app). I'm still figuring my way around Blogsy, my iPad, and the photo editing software apps available and am hoping it all works okay. Please excuse any formatting and other inconsistencies.

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Comments

  1. says

    I LOVE LOVE this! I bet this would make great gifts to folks too. I am thinking of having Aria do this and then I can drill a small hole into one side and put a bent wire into it to make photo blocks! :D

  2. nancy says

    These are beautiful. What kind of crayons did you use and where did Meg order these blocks from? Do you think oil pastels would work too?

  3. says

    Wow…the typos in my comment are bad. Must have responded before I had any coffee. ;) Anyhow, thank you for the inspiration! I am seriously going to have Aria decorate some blocks so I can make the photo blocks as Christmas gifts. I also have a wood frame that I bought that I might try to warm up and have Aria decorate as well. :D

  4. says

    We used both wax-based crayons and soy-based crayons this time. And, for the melted crayon rocks we also used regular crayola crayons (petroleum based) so I imagine they would work just fine on wood as well.
    As for oil pastels, I’m not sure how well they would work. Would you use them on heated wood? If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes.
    Meg ordered her blocks from a company in Maine. I just added the link above and here it is as well:
    http://www.caseyswood.com/shoppingcart/zen-cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=94
    I’m about to order some!

  5. says

    Jean!!! These are gorgeous! Just lovely– so glad they were as fun for y’all as they were for us. Yep, gift sets. Look out, Christmas… xoxo

  6. says

    I love these. I made melty crayon birds with a blue watercolor background (at my son’s suggestion). Right now, I’m using an iron on the wood and having so much fun!!!! I wish that I could get my son as enthused. Maybe tomorrow! micheleyoungstone.com micheleyoung-stone.blogspot.com

  7. says

    What a great idea! I have a bunch of large wooden beads that I’ve been thinking that my daughter and I could paint and then make into necklaces – but I think we’ll try this technique instead! Thanks!

  8. Traci Marcotte says

    I love Maia’s piece following the wood grain. Very cool! And then BEANandEYE’s idea about beads…hmmm, there goes the smoke…

  9. Vianetta says

    You have some very creative ideas. I can’t wait to try some of them. I do after school care for a first grader and a 6th grader. Althogh I have ideas for the first grader not so for the 6th. I think your projects might work for him too. Thank you so much.

  10. brendan says

    hello would this work the other way round where u applied the crayons first do u think, i work with a range of people with a range of learning differences and abilities, i would like to get this affect but without any danger of heat burning someone or even scaring a client with the heat.