DIY Wooden Blocks :: Melted Crayon on … WOOD!


DIY Wooden blocks - 3

The kids and I made these DIY wooden 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 these colorful wooden blocks!

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. 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 that we use for easy wooden sculptures. In addition to the blocks, we tried this technique on some flat pieces of wood from Lowe’s.

DIY wooden blocks - peeking

How To Make DIY Wooden Blocks

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Step #1. Draw On Heated Wood

We put our wood pieces on a cookie sheet in a 350º 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.

DIY Wooden blocks - crayon on block

*Note :: 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.

Step #2. Paint Over The Drawings

After we created our melted crayon drawings on the wood, we painted over the drawings with our liquid watercolors.

DIY Wooden Blocks - painting

The watercolor resist worked great on the wood!

DIY Wooden Blocks - sun design

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.)

DIY Wooden Blocks - grain painting

Here’s one of Daphne’s artworks on wood…

DIY Wooden Blocks - Daphne's art
…plus two more of Maia’s.

DIY Wooden Blocks -- 2 of Maia's

And here’s another view of our DIY wooden blocks.

DIY Wooden Blocks - 3 top view

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 new DIY wooden blocks.

DIY wooden blocks - Maia tower

We plan to make lots of these colorful building blocks as soon as we can get our hands on some more plain wooden ones!

DIY wooden blocks - 3 on black

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  • Reply
    Amber @ The Cardboard Collective
    June 22, 2012 at 10:05 am

    These are SO beautiful! I love the soft colors and the warmth of the wood. It makes me happy just looking at them! Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!

  • Reply
    June 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    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

  • Reply
    June 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    June 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Sure! So glad you like them!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    What a great idea!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 23, 2012 at 10:36 am

    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:
    I’m about to order some!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Ooh! I’m totally going to copy your idea for the plain wooden frame! And I may have to try the photo blocks, too… :)

  • Reply
    July 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    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

  • Reply
    August 1, 2012 at 3:50 am

    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!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    beautiful! I love this idea! I want to try it out with my 3 year old soon!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    meri cherry
    August 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    This is so inspiring. I love the way it incorporates so many techniques. So much fun. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Traci Marcotte
    August 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm

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

  • Reply
    August 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Megan @ CoffeeCupsandCrayons
    August 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Wow! These are fantastic!!!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Janis Cox
    February 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Wonderful ideas for watercolour.

  • Reply
    Karen Wood
    January 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Love your blog!

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