Friday, December 30, 2011

Tutorial, Tutorial, My FIRST Tutorial!!!

I saw this photo somewhere, and I'm honestly not sure where. I think I re-pinned it on Pinterest, but I'm not sure who started it...? Anyway, I saw the photo and fell in love with the project and KNEW I could do that! I used to dabble in acrylic painting (would like to again, one of these days), beading, scrapbooking (long ago), crochet, and I do more quilting than anything. But I've been getting into the "blogger world" over the past couple/few months, then Pinterest, Etsy (viewing, not selling), and some Twitter, too. In all of these forms of media, I have been SO inspired to do things I've never done before! My goal, however, is to stick to things where I can buy only the supplies I need for "that" project. I don't want to need another closet, or another drawer for yet another hobby. I don't want to build a "stash" of anything unrelated to quilting... So, that leads me to why I was so excited about this particular project. Supplies = project! Almost nothing left over - just a few crayons to give to my cousin's kids.

So, I've never done a tutorial before. Stick with me, ok? And please - feel free to offer constructive feedback if there is something I could do differently to make the tutorial go better, be more smooth, etc...

Here's what we're making - I'll call it "Crayola Rainbow Art":

(please bear with my crummy lighting... It's quite bright "in real life," and I'll try to update photos over the weekend sometime!)

Supplies Needed:
- 18x24" canvas
- Crayola Crayons - 96 count box
- glue gun - I used 3 glue sticks
- hair dryer
- foil wrapped cookie sheet to lay glue gun down on when not in use - I was very aware of not wanting to burn anything else...
- protective paper or plastic to cover work space (under & behind project, and to the sides - blowdryers can make melted crayon wax fly everywhere!)

And here is how to make it:

~ I started with an 18x24 canvas and a box of 96 Crayola Crayons.

~Then, I lined up all of the crayons in somewhat rainbow order, nicely messing up where purple goes. Technically, the color order of the rainbow is: ROY-G-BIV, or: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, Indigo, violet. I left out the browns, black, white, and a few other strange colors. As you can see, there are too many crayons - they go beyond each side of the canvas:

~ Since I had more crayons than would fit across the 24"side of the canvas, I took out the specialty "gel" and "glitter" crayons, and one color that I detested (group shown in front), ending up with a total of 70 crayons. I tried to go from dark to light within each color, but crayons trick you sometimes and I found that how they look in "crayon form," is not exactly what you get when they melt, but that's OK:

~ Next, you need to glue the crayons onto your canvas - flat edges at the top of the canvas, and pointed end toward the bottom of the canvas (makes a nice "tip" for the melted wax to drip from). I lined mine up starting with blue on the left (after starting with the silver crayon) and red to the far right. Next time, I'll have red on the left and blue on the right.
The hot glue dries FAST as it cools, so I only glued 2 crayons on at a time. I was careful to make sure the "Crayola" wording was pointed out as I laid the crayon down on the thick line of hot glue so that it looked nice & purposeful, not sloppy. I also made sure the glue wasn't actually going to be on the wax part of the crayon, because I wasn't sure if that would melt the glue as the wax got hot:

~ Keep gluing down crayons until you're done. If you start exactly at one edge and place your crayons tightly together on the canvas, the 70 crayons will fit perfectly! When done gluing, unplug glue gun & turn your crayoned-canvas right side up so the pointed edges of the crayons are pointed down.

~ Now here is where the real fun of "creating" begins!!! Depending on how you hold the blowdryer, you may get drips that are blown onto other areas of your canvas, or they might drip directly beneath the crayon. You're bound to have colors that mix together - some you'll like, and some you won't. Go with it! As my husband said, "the ugly colors help you appreciate the good colors." The crayons melt faster or slower depending on how close you hold the blow dryer. I became quite bold toward the end, but I started out holding it 2-3" from the crayons, moving my entire arm slowly from side to side among only 1 or 2 sets of colors. As more drips accrue, you can quickly run the blow dryer down the canvas to help the drip "run" down. Otherwise, you'll get a big "glop" of wax just a few inches below your crayons (ask me how I know). Big glops turn into ugly colors... As I was getting closer to being done, I was holding the dryer about 1" or less from the crayons (only got one nice big glob of wax on my blow dryer). I took a few breaks, because I could feel the dryer getting a little over-warm when I did this.

*see the big green glop?*

Here is the finished product (in fairly bad lighting):

Here's what I think went well:
Most of the project!

Here is what I would do differently next time:
~ I would take out a few more of the "muddy" colors, replacing them with more oranges, yellows (normal bright colors). I will probably have to buy another smaller pack of Crayolas for that, however.
~ I will also, now that I know, use the blow dryer to help prevent the glopping (wax drying before it drips all the way down the canvas)

Let me know if you decide to make one of these! My husband and I like a lot of bright & bold colors in art, so I think this will be quite fun. I might, however, make a new one to fix the problem areas, but that won't be for awhile. Another thing I might consider would be to take the paper off entirely, however, I think that could make a pretty big mess depending on how you were moving the blow dryer around. If I do that, I think I'll prop the canvas up within a cardboard box or something in order to keep the wax from flying all over my quilting room...


Julie said...

This is awesome Brandy! Love it! Great tutorial and I love the finished product. I wonder how it would work if you just used a cotton fabric taped to a heat proof base?

lollynoses said...

Love this! Definitely want to make this someday, and your tutorial was great!
Molly A.

Melissa @ Sew BitterSweet Designs said...

When Anne is a little older this looks like a project we will be making together! Love it and thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Great work! Looks like a lot of fun without much expense and a wonderful, bright and cherry piece of art when you are done!

Bright Angel said...

I LOVE it!! This would be a great project with kids. Definitely going to do this!! Thank you for the great idea and tutorial! :)

LindaH said...

Great idea and tutorial, Brandy. I have a heat gun for stamping that would probably work good.

Mary said...

This just looks like fun! I think your box idea is a good one, kinda like a light box.

Joanie's Quilts said...

What a fun project! Great tutorial too!

Joanie's Quilts said...

Great tutorial for a fun project!

Joanie's Quilts said...

Great tutorial for a fun project.

@pril said...

Totally Freakin' Kool! I'm gonna have to try this!


Pieces to Love said...

That is super cool. If you got crayon wax anywhere you don't want it in your house, WD-40 works miracles. I had a budding artist on my kitchen tile a few years ago...

Michelle said...

You must have a hotter blow dryer than I do! My daughter saw a similar project on Pinterest and tried it twice. Turns out that Crayons that aren't Crayolas don't melt well.