Tangent No. 5 – Beach Umbrella

Another DaisyYellow.com tangent. This one is called Beach Umbrella. It was to create stripes on the page to journal inside of.

The idea was to work with Neocolors, however, I don’t own any of these, nor could I find any today when I was out looking. C’est la vie.

So, I improvised. 🙂

I used crayons. But I grated & melted them instead of coloring & painting. It worked. Sort of.


In case you are wondering about the process, I have a few pictures. I unfortunately forgot to take any pictures while I was ironing the wax, but you can take a look at my other melted wax post for more info.

I taped off the book with painter’s masking tape that was torn lengthwise so that it would have a fun edge. Then I grated the crayons, trying to keep the individual colors contained between the lines.

grated crayons

Then I ironed the grated crayons under a sheet of wax paper. Unfortunately, this meant that the masking tape ALSO got ironed, which caused a couple of tears, but overall it worked well. Nothing a spot or two of glue couldn’t fix.

After I had the crayon like I wanted it, I peeled the tape off.

peeling-tapeI actually preferred it before the tape was peeled off. I may need to do another melted crayon page with stripes. 🙂

meltedIt was a risk using wax crayons, as they don’t like to let other things adhere to the page, but I hoped that the tape would keep it from absorbing into the paper. Fortunately, it appears to have worked!

I decided that I wanted to put song lyrics inside, but what song? It’s a fairly colorful page (for me) so it needed to be a fun song. I was going through a pinboard I have that is all lyrics, and came across “I May Be Crazy” by Billy Joel. It just seemed to fit.

crazy-1 crazy-2
Now if I could just get the wax to stop flaking off…

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I’m Melting

… crayons.

I was looking at all of those lovely canvases with the crayons glued across the top or in a pattern, and I wanted to play with the colored wax… but in a small art journal, there really isn’t space to glue full-sized crayons on the page.

So I improvised. And I loved it.

I started out with a gesso covered page, selected a few colors, unwrapped them, and ran them over a grater.

grated crayons

Yes, I bought a dollar store grater just for this purpose. Don’t worry, the cheese won’t be tasting like crayons!

graterOnce I had the grated wax about where I wanted it on the page, I covered it with a sheet of waxed paper & ironed it.

iron-waxed-paperYes, I know. The baby iron is adorbs. I think I picked it up at Joann’s or Wal-mart ages ago. It really is the perfect size for this though! (unlike the costumes I was originally trying to iron with it. Don’t ask, it’s too painful to remember)

You can use the edge of the iron to push the wax around a little bit, but not much.

melted-wax-pageAs you can see, the wax fuses to the paper fairly well. There are a few ‘white spaces’ where I used the edge of the iron to scrape the wax around, but it had to be pretty warm before it would move like that.

I added a 2nd & 3rd layer on top of the 1st layer as well, but the colors started to run together.

While I liked the combinations of the colors, the white of the paper still felt a little bright to me. So, I decided to see how much black paint I could get to stick to the paper…

black-washedKeep in mind that wax-resist is a technique that is used to keep paint off of paper. And in melting & spreading the wax, it created a very nice seal on the paper.

The black didn’t stick to very much, however it bubbled up on the wax nicely. I let it dry for a bit to see if the paint would stay.

OK, so maybe I helped it along with a heat gun here or there. Patience is a virtue that I am sorely lacking in. What can I say?

While the paint was drying on that side, I decided to hit the opposite page with black paint BEFORE attacking it with wax. I may have helped that dry a bit too.

Then I decided to modify the glued crayon idea, and held the crayons along the edges & middle of the page while hitting them with a heat gun. I learned that the page really needs to be sitting at a fairly steep angle for it to stay true to the crayon color & not fade while it spreads, which means that the wax is going to run.

There aren’t any pictures of this process, as it took two hands just to accomplish it. But here is a picture after it was done:
melted-crayon-pagesPersonally, I prefer the look of the grated & ironed crayon. I think it would make some really fun impressionistic floral pages! My daughter, however, preferred the look of the heat gun-melted crayons. To each their own. I also plan to experiment with doing a thicker layer and etching it with a toothpick or other sharp object.

I would love to treat crayons like encaustics and paint with them, but I don’t currently have the tools to try that theory out. I suspect they will work similarly, but I don’t think they will have the heat resistance that true encaustics have.

All in all, I think that melted crayons create a fun, bright page. I will be experimenting with this idea more in the future.




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