So, I thought I’d try a little something out of the norm from the pictures of happy families, squishy babies, and beautiful bellies. Today’s guest post is by my sister in law Miranda from The Involuntary Housewife…. it involves lots of coffee, crayons, and this wonderful design we all love now called chevron.
Grab a cup of coffee, your favorite danish, kick your feet up and enjoy a laugh :O)
And if you’re up for more of our shenanigans…. let us know and we’ll make it a monthly craft fest of epic
failure proportions :O)
I want to thank Marissa for inviting me over today to write about this project from Pinterest. She asked if I would be interested in doing a collaborative post on it. Testing Pinterest is exactly what I do over at The Involuntary Housewife so it sounded like a great idea to me. I hope you guys enjoy our collective endeavor, we have talked about doing it once a month and would love to know what you think about the idea!
I was glad to know that someone would be working with me on this project because I have the crafting skills of a monkey. Which may not be fair to the monkey, it is very possible that they can out craft me. However, I have yet to meet a monkey that I would trust with a glue gun, so there is that. Now that I think about it, I’ve never actually *met* a monkey so I could be wrong on that count too.
In some part of my brain I thought that together Marissa and I could make this project work and I would finally have a successful craft to post about. What I neglected to consider was that when we get together we are almost a tragic comedy. I have no idea how two intelligent and capable women can turn into complete idiots just by being in the same vicinity. We once got lost in a familiar area looking for something, even though we were using a GPS. Eventually we did find a Sonic, got a nice cold drink and decided that whatever we were looking for was not worth it.
I really hope you are ready for this one!
Chevron Crayon Art
Looking at the project I was sure we could pull it off. All we needed was a canvas, a glue gun (which, by the way, will never be the same once you use a crayon in it!), tape and crayons. Michael’s had an excellent sale on most of the stuff that I needed so I think my total “investment” was around $7.
Before we got started we had to take apart and rebuild the glue gun. I pressed Joe into service for this part because if it plugs into the wall I deem it to be his responsibility. He grumbled at me for interrupting his valuable video game time but gave in and took it apart to remove the trigger mechanism.
I started out with the intention of measuring the canvas and carefully plotting out where my stripes would go. That didn’t happen, after we finished stuffing ourselves with boozy cupcakes from Baked N More, enough iced coffee to float on and some cinnamon rolls I was a little too hopped up for any kind of measuring…so I started tearing off equal(ish) strips and laying them out sort of evenly.
Making the strips manually was so time consuming! 2 1/2 hours later Marissa had the brilliant idea to lay out tape strips across the entire canvas and cut away the parts we didn’t want. SO. MUCH. EASIER. An exacto knife (or in our case a paring knife because I have 6 million of those laying around) works perfectly to lift the tape and cut from underneath to take out the unwanted portions. We had to follow up with a pair of scissors to clean up some of the edges but it only took 15 minutes or so to get the second canvas done.
Marissa modified her canvas for her daughter and used tape to lay out her name before even starting on the chevron stripes! Making sure that it was completely even and laid out correctly looked complicated and I’m glad I only had to watch that part.
We used my original painstakingly laid out canvas as a test, the stripes were still not even and it was sort of a mess already so if it didn’t turn out none of us were going to cry about it.
We started heating up the glue guns and refilled our coffee while we waited. Then we began the process of shooting FLAMING HOT melted crayon at the canvas! I cannot stress enough that protection is required on whatever surface you are using for any project that involves heat and glue/crayon/liquid projectiles. This was a huge mess and I was so grateful that I had blanketed my entire dining room table with newspaper.
You remember that we removed the triggers from the glue gun so that the crayon would fit? We had to manually push the crayon into the gun so per the original blog instructions we used a pencil. Idiocy struck once again and I used the pointy end rather than the eraser end. When the crayon is melted in the end of the glue gun and you jam in a pointy pencil, it sprays in a rather explosive manner from BOTH ENDS.
Note to self: Using the pointy end to push superheated crayon wax through a glue gun results in flying hot liquid everywhere causing much jumping, yelling and a huge mess.
We started with a red crayon and not only did the canvas look like it had been present at a murder scene, it also shot out the back and all over (I am not sure how I got elected to wield the glue gun…oh yeah, the photographer was taking pictures for posterity and giggling like a maniac!) However, I can tell you that melted crayon does not stain your skin and the horrible burning sensation fades quickly and doesn’t do much permanent damage because crayon wax cools fast.
The first and second stripes we did with the glue gun, eventually Marissa took a turn to make sure that it wasn’t going so badly because of my lack of skill. (I think she is still trying to get all of the crayon wax out of her hair, so obviously it wasn’t just me!). We used 2 crayons for each stripe and we were still a bit short. Not to mention that it did not look anything like what it was supposed to.
Joe wandered over to see what the yelling was all about and to make sure that no one was seriously injured. He had a suggestion about how to make it work. His method involved using string as a wick and turning a crayon into a candle then using it to drip wax down the canvas. I know, I promise that we were not so far gone that we even considered it. Open flame next to a canvas sounded like a disaster in the making. Unfortunately, our refusal to use his method disgusted Joe and he stomped back over the couch and grumbled about just wanting to play his game anyway.
We finally decided that the glue gun was not going to work. We went back to Pinterest looking for inspiration and a way to salvage our project. We found this and thought it would be the perfect solution.
We grabbed the second canvas that we tested the full tape strip method on. I stole Joe’s blow dryer and he had sort of a meltdown. He was concerned that I was going to ruin it somehow. I asked him what damage I could possibly do to a blow dryer. He took an exaggerated glance around the dining room and said “have you seen what you did to the glue gun?” I chose to ignore him and we moved right along.
One of us had to hold the crayon and the other had to aim the blow dryer. It didn’t work well either, possibly because his blow dryer has a diffuser on the end? I tried to get him to help me take it off but he was ignoring me and periodically telling me it would be easier just to light a crayon on fire. Fine, we just had to come up with something else.
I dragged Joe upstairs to help me unearth my old embossing gun. I noticed that he didn’t grumble about his game being interrupted and he had sort of a death grip on his blow dryer. We had to move a bunch of stuff around to find the bin that holds my crafting stuff and then dig it out of the box but, y’all it was totally worth it. It worked!
We handed the embossing gun to my niece and used a pair of pliers to hold the crayon against the canvas. If you can get the right angle on it and move in tandem it turns out exactly how it should! VICTORY!
We all took turns testing it on the second canvas to make sure that we had it down before we started on the one for Marissa’s daughter. The first 2 canvases were disasters, I briefly considered putting them up on ebay to see if anyone would actually buy them. Hey, they were totally “art”, then I thought about how horrified I would be if anyone actually bought them and decided that the garbage can was a more appropriate resting place. Maybe it will give my garbage men something to laugh about when they pick up the trash.
Marissa and I did the last one together, I wielded the embossing gun and she handled the crayon. We used 2 colors for each of the chevron stripes and I have to admit that it turned out amazing. It was hard to find the perfect angle to make sure the crayon melted in the right direction. I needed to be pretty close to the crayon and the canvas while attempting not to give Marissa 3rd degree burns. Somehow we managed to walk away with no lasting scars and we even had a sense of accomplishment, we did it!
In the end we spend 7 hours, melted 30 crayons and destroyed 2 glue guns. Then there were the untold number of disasters both great and small before we managed to turn out a single useable canvas. I admit that we may not be the best crafters around (understatement anyone?) but we managed to pull it off and apparently my niece is already looking for another crafting project for us to take on next month! I will be sure to check my homeowners policy to make sure that crafting accidents are covered…and maybe invest in some protective gear.
Well, that was not the end…
You see, I (Marissa) suffer from what my husband calls ohhh shiney disease. Honestly, I think it’s a polite way to say I have ADHD but I enjoy life and it’s little distractions. Especially glitter :O)
I mean, whats not to love about glitter…. well except for the clean up?? Which is precisely why Miranda said any project involving glitter would not take place at her house.
I had this golden idea that we should take Ivy’s name that was looking rather bare after the tape was removed and coat it with modge podge and glitter. Of course Ivy was all over it like white on rice (I wonder where she gets it from)
So in my hasty excitement to mix glitter and glue with Ivy (and forgetting any kind of newpaper portection in the kitchen in the process) we happily spread a copy cat modge podge (I only bought it becuase it said you can use it on canvas, lol) and then proceeded to sprinkle glitter over the latters.
In the end, despite hours trying to put tape on a canvas only to yank it off and start over, the projectile vomiting of melted crayon on us from a hot glue gun, the multiple change of decisions in the how-to (not) create a Crayola Melted Crayon Canvas (say that 5 times fast after 5 cups of coffee) I would say we did pretty good.
But, I’m pretty sure the next time you pick up a hot glue gun from the craft store it will come with a warning notice courtesy of some engineer who read this blog post….
~~Crayons should not be forcibly shoved into any hole in the hot glue gun for the purpose of creating art~~
See ya next month… I hope