Melted Crayon Watercolor Paintings

Stained Glass Melts Are Melted Crayon Art at Its Best

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Melted Crayon Art for Kids to Hang in the Window using a cookie sheet technique and a watercolor wash.

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.

Young girl making melting crayon art using a warmed up cookie sheet to melt the crayons.

How to Make Easy Melted Crayon Art with Kids

Step 1: Draw a picture with pen(optional)

First Maia drew a picture on paper with a black pen.

Step 2: Warm up cookie sheet

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.

UPDATE: We’ve since had great success with melted crayon art on a warming tray. It rocks!

Step 3: Draw with Crayon on Heated Cookie Sheet

Maia carefully colored in her drawing with crayons while the paper and cookie sheet were hot. The crayon melts beautifully!

Child painting with black watercolor paint over a melted crayon artwork.

Step 4: Paint with Black Watercolors

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.

Note: We also did this project with other watercolor colors for melted crayon heart paintings. They turned out beautifully!

A collage of melted crayon art made by kids. The stained glass melts include pictures of a butterfly, mama chicken, and more.

Step 5: Hang in Window!

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

(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.)

A melted crayon artwork made by a young child of a mama hen with billions of eggs inside her.

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

8 More Melted Crayon Arts & Crafts for Kids

  1. Melted Crayon Art (and Why a Warming Tray Rocks for This Art Activity)
  2. How to Make Suncatcher Heartstrings with Melted Crayon Hearts
  3. Melted Crayon Stained Glass Art with Drawings
  4. How to Make Melted Crayon Sea Shells
  5. How to Make Melted Crayon Rocks
  6. Melted Crayon Easter Eggs
  7. Melted Crayon Salt Dough Ornaments
  8. DIY Wooden Blocks! Melted Crayon on Wood

Pin It for Later

Melted crayon art is a wonderful creative activity for kids! The crayon glides on smoothly and vibrantly as it melts and you can make stained glass melts.

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    char
    June 3, 2010 at 9:50 am

    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!)!
    Char

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    June 3, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Cool! Looks like a neat alternative for these cool spring days we’ve been having.

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle, ART IN HAND
    June 3, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Wonderful!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    June 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Foam brush, although either of the other two would work as well. I’d probably opt for paintbrush over dropper for this project, though.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    June 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks, MaryAnn! I’ve been keeping my eye out at thrift stores for warming trays. I’ll snag one one of these days.

  • Reply
    Dana
    June 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Great technique! My daughter is enjoying it this very moment!

  • Reply
    MaryAnn F. Kohl, art author
    June 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Diana (Ladybug Limited)
    June 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    viviane
    June 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    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 .

  • Reply
    Lindsay R
    June 4, 2010 at 1:26 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 4, 2010 at 7:16 am

    These are beautiful!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    June 4, 2010 at 7:16 am

    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.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    June 4, 2010 at 7:40 am

    oH, I also have Great American Artists for Kids but it’s really more for school age kids, not preschoolers.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    BookishIma
    June 6, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    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.)

  • Reply
    Craftylocks
    June 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    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
    http://www.papercraftsforchildren.com/

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    We’ve tried that! (http://artfulparent.typepad.com/artfulparent/2009/11/an-artful-day.html) It’s fun and beautiful, but you’re right about how greasy it is!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    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: http://artfulparent.typepad.com/artfulparent/2008/02/what-if-your-child-wants-you-to-draw-for-them.html
    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…

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 7, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Oh! We haven’t tried melted crayon on foil or wax paper! I love having new projects to try!

  • Reply
    our family nest
    June 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Sara
    June 9, 2010 at 10:38 am

    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!!

  • Reply
    Sara Rivka
    June 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Deb
    August 3, 2012 at 8:21 am

    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!

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