Monday, February 14, 2011

I Heart Crayon Batiks

This is one of my favorite one-class period projects.
The materials are simple, the process easy- and fun too.

You need copy paper, crayons, and shoe polish.

This time we drew hearts for Valentine's Day, but I've used the same technique with abstract compositions and other themes and ideas too.

Have the kids color, pressing hard to solidly fill the space. Lighter, brighter colors work best. Or make sure to have contrast if you use darker colors. Once the whole paper is covered, crumple the paper a few times. Smooth out with your hand, being careful not to tear the paper.

Next, roll black liquid shoe polish over the whole thing and wipe with a paper towel. (It's the kind that comes in a bottle with a sponge applicator on the top.) Once it's dry, buff again with a paper towel to give it a bit of shine.

I made an interactive sign for the display...

(I watched kids flip it open to read as they walked by to the lunchroom. That was fun to see!)

These are 6"x6", mounted on 8"x8" colored paper.
Have a Wonderful Valentine's Day!


  1. This is so fun! It brings out the child in me! I am definitely going to try this. Thanks for the instructions.
    Love your Paper Quilt display. Oh.. so inspiring!
    Happy Valentine's Day!

  2. Great project! They turned out beautifully.

  3. what a great idea!! I heard about using crayons on trace paper and then iron it to make it melt, but this I've never seen! I will do that with me kids on a rainy day! Thanks

  4. Really cute. I love the display you did with the kids art. I never heard of that process. I will have to remember that to do with my grandchildren when they are old enough. Happy Valentines day to you. Karen

  5. They turned out really well. I bet the kids loved em. jan

  6. Do you have a video? I would love to see the initial steps. Seems like something that I can do i my class. :)

  7. Hi. I just tried this on my own before trying it out with my 3rd graders. The picture has become really dark after applying the polish and the colour don't show through. I wiped it after applying it..and I don't think it was spread on to thickly. I used normal printing paper (bond paper). What could be the reason? I would love to do this in my class.

    1. I'm sorry it isn't working for you! Did you press hard when coloring? The wax of the crayon is what resists the shoe polish, so if there isn't enough crayon, the shoe polish will just soak into the paper. Or, you may have crumpled the paper too much, cracking the crayon off the paper is what you want, just not too much of it! Also, may sure you apply the shoe polish and wipe off before it dries.The polish will then only be in the cracks, not covering the crayon colors so much. I also encourage students to use the lighter and brighter colors so they have lots of contrast too. Let me know if this helps!