Invisible ink with crayon resist
Drawing Kids Arts and Crafts Activities Painting Watercolors

Invisible ink with crayon resist



This version of invisible ink was so much easier and more rewarding than our lemon juice flop.

Although I realize we ought to give the lemon juice another try now that everyone’s suggested we iron the paper or pop it in the oven (rather than burning holes through each letter in the attempt to get them to show up). We actually did this the next day, even though I’m just getting around to posting it now.


First Maia and I used white crayon on white paper to make top secret notes and drawings for each other. Once we swapped, we each exposed the drawing/note by painting over it with liquid watercolors. So yes, okay, it’s simply crayon resist which we’ve so done many times before.


But the secret note aspect made it lots of fun!




After making several for each other, Maia made a couple to send to her pen pal and to a friend. Which are, um, still sitting in their envelopes waiting to be sent. I’ll get on that…


  • Reply
    July 6, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Such a fun idea! What is the black background that she’s using behind the paper she’s painting on?

  • Reply
    MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author
    July 6, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Speaking of flops: One thing I love about flops is that they are so memorable, always a great story to REtell, and the kids learn so much from them! (as do we all) This project is always successful, so a good follow-up to the burning paper. I wonder: Which one will she remember the best when she is 21 — painting over white crayon or burning her secret message?

  • Reply
    Rashmie @ MommyLabs
    July 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Lovely experiment!
    And, what an insightful comment from MaryAnn. Her last point really makes me ponder – “Which one will she remember the best when she is 21 — painting over white crayon or burning her secret message?”

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    July 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    It’s a mat board remnant from a frame shop. This particular one is black and fuzzy.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    July 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Yep! Some of the best learning experiences come from flops!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    July 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I agree. I think I need to keep that in mind more — what parts of our days and activities are likely to be the most memorable?

  • Reply
    July 7, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Such a fun idea. Just FYI we didn’t have watercolors so I tried with tempera paint. It only worked if we thinned them quite a bit with water. Otherwise the crayon marks didn’t show.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 8:48 am

    we have just done the other version but I love this one,too.Definitely give it another go by popping it in the oven. I suppose it’s difficult to burn it eveny using a candle.
    I will try this version with my daughter, I’m sure she’ll love this.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Thank you for sharing both versions. We tried the white crayon resist yesterday – and it flopped! I wrote the message and had my boys paint over it, you could hardly see the writing/drawing. Is it the paper I used? We painted on printer paper – maybe I needed a toothier surface?

  • Reply
    July 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    If you want to go more “sciencey” you can make a baking soda and water solution (around equal parts) paint a picture with that and let it dry. (use white paper) The following day paint the paper with grape juice. The baking soda parts will turn brown because of an acid (grape juice) base (baking soda) reaction.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I had been trying to figure out a way to draw “fireflies” with my daughter (without using glow in the dark paint) and was inspired by your post to use the crayon relief method :
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Jean – I just discovered your blog and though I’ve only taken a few moments to look around, I love it. It’s just beautiful! So many fabulous ideas! Oh, I can’t wait to get started with my kiddos! They love art projects, experiments, etc so much…we are going to have a blast. Thank you, thank you! I am sooooooo excited!!

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