I have seen quite a few projects lately of different makers using crayons and resin to add an extra pop of style to their woodworking pieces. Since I have never used crayons as a medium to make things with, I wanted to do a little experimenting to make a small piece of table top art out of crayons and resin. My son gave me the fantastic idea to create a little coral reef sea scape.
Step 1 – Getting started
To get prepared for the project I gathered as many crayons as possible, preferably broken ones or ones that no one is using any more. Then to make sure I melted the crayons in a somewhat controlled manner, I decided to work with some silicone molds, which also work well for adding the resin later. Lastly, to melt the crayons I grabbed my Wagner FURNO 700 heat gun.
Step 2 – Preparing the crayons
Preparing the crayons to work with is pretty simple, just a bit tedious. I peeled the paper off of the crayons and then created two different sizes. I created a pile of very small pieces of crayon that I would use to lay down a base layer of crayon in the mold. The second pile I made was much longer pieces in order to create a coral reef sea scape of sea sponges and anemones.
Step 3 – Melting the crayons, part 1
After several trial and error attempts, I learned what the perfect settings are for the FURNO 700 heat gun to melt the crayons in a controlled manner with limited splashing. You will want to set the temperature somewhere between 300- and 350-Degrees Fahrenheit and set the fan speed at just 1 or 2 bars. These settings give you a very even melt. To start, since I was working with a spherical mold to create the initial sea sponges, I melted the small pieces of crayon to create a base pool. Then, I placed the longer segments of crayon into the hot base in a pattern that I liked. After the longer segments were placed, I used the heat gun to melt the tall crayons just enough to get more of a sea sponge shape and less of a crayon shape. I let the whole thing cool and solidify before moving on.
Step 4 – Melting the crayons, part 2
To create the full sea scape, I moved on to using a square silicone mold. I used my FURNO 700 heat gun set at 400 Degrees Fahrenheit with the fan only at one bar, to heat up some utensils to slice the half sphere in half, well close to it. Then I placed those pieces in the square mold, added some more very small pieces of crayon, set the heat gun to the settings listed in step 3, and worked with the crayons until I got the desired look of an under the sea coral reef. Again, I let the whole thing cool and solidify before moving on.
Step 5 – Adding detail
To get a more realistic look to my coral reef I decided I wanted to add a little texture to the crayons. I again used the heat gun set at 400 and fan on low to heat up small carving tools to add some detailed texture to the crayons.
Step 7 – Resin & Glow Powder
Once the crayons were all cooled down again, it was time to pour in the resin. I used a two-part epoxy resin, mixing per the instructions, and poured it into the mold, making sure to cover all of the crayon. I added 3 drops of blue alcohol ink to create that bright blue look of the tropical ocean. Lastly, I added in some glow powder to simulate the bioluminescent of some tropical sea creatures at night. During the cure process, there were a few minor surface blemishes that I fixed after the resin fully cured and I poured on a very thin top coat of resin.
There was a lot of trial and error and learning to get to the last final result of the desktop sea scape art, but I love it. In the end this is a pretty simple project that you could have a lot of fun with and do almost any kind of art work with.
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