warming tray + wax = wonderful

there is a day in my graduate training that sticks out for me – it’s the day i went to the studio of one of my most inspiring mentors, mimi farrelly-hansen. she showed me and a few of my colleagues a really relaxing art activity – using a warming tray to draw with crayons.

this process is great for relaxation and stress relief, as the crayons just move so freely and softly across the warming tray as they are melting… it is soooo addictive – (really, i’m warning you!) i recently bought a warming tray just for this purpose, but i got the cheapest one i could find and it does not have a setting for low or high heat. it’s always running on a pretty hot temperature, thus N can’t do this activity with me just yet. i wanted to post it for those of you with children who would be able to understand safety around using a warming tray – use your judgement about your own child, and always supervise children around a warming tray.

there are a couple of ways to engage in this activity. over the years, i’ve found that finger painting paper is my favorite paper to use because of its glossy quality, though other papers work just fine. metallic crayons are fabulous for this exercise, but any old crayons will do. here i used non-metallics primarily, with some silver and gold in there.

you can lay the paper directly onto a warming tray on low heat, and draw on it right there with peeled crayons. it’s luscious.

another thing you can do is line the tray with foil (when cool, before you turn it on) and draw on the foil.ย then do some print-making my pressing papers onto the design you’ve created.

i dragged this paper through the image on the foil for a smeared effect

the process is highly satisfying and results are always stunning with either method.

if you use the finger painting paper, the light shines through these so beautifully…

hopefully this sparks some ideas for you suncatcher and lantern makers out there

i made a few cards from some of the prints.

these really do make great sun-catchers… i made this butterfly as a gift for N, since she’s quite obsessed with chasing butterflies around our backyard (and has seriously almost gone through our screen door a few times in pursuit of the elusive yellow-swallowtail.)

simple butterfly made by filling a black construction paper cut-out with the pretty paper



printer friendly printer friendly
  • http://homeschooljournal-bergblog.blogspot.com/ Phyllis

    That does look like fun and I never have heard of a warming tray, so this was very infomative for me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  • http://theearthisourteacher.blogspot.com FroggyMama

    Lovely! I especially like those beautiful cards. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now, I may have to go out and get a warming tray sooner than expected. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • http://www.musesofmegret.com Megret

    I did this as a kid! It was one of the fun, crafty projects my mom pulled out of her sleeve. Thanks for the memory!

  • http://msjuliesartschool.blogspot.com/ Julie Moses

    I also had never heard of a warming tray! Adding that to my classroom wish list!
    Have you ever tried using wrapping paper as finger painting paper? It has a similar glossiness to it. As long as it was still a solid color I think you could still use it for sun catchers- or a design pattern may add an extra kick to the wax design. I am definitely going to give the butterfly a try-once I get a warmer that is.

  • http://happyhooligans.wordpress.com Jackie Currie

    Gorgeous! Must check and see if my warming tray has a “low” setting!

  • Pingback: 35 Kid Activities with Crayons()

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.hardywalczak Andrea Hardy-Walczak

    I am goin to try it with a microwable warming tray. I will let you know how it goes.

  • Pingback: ื’ื™ืจื™ ืฉืขื•ื•ื” (ืฆื‘ืขื™ื) ืขืœ ืžื’ืฉ ื—ืžื™ื – ื™ืฆื™ืจื” ื•ืคืขื™ืœื•ืช ืœื™ืœื“ื™ื « ื”ื–ืžื ื” ืœื™ืฆื™ืจื”()

  • Pingback: Things to do with your kids (when the weather’s horrible)()

  • http://j9sopinion.tumblr.com/ Jeanine H

    This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a warming tray and we burned our wee fingers the first time trying with just a slightly warmed baking sheet in oven ;( Almost turned LO off of melted crayon or wax crafting all together. I am ever so grateful to have found your blog & this post to do this better next time! I’m on a hunt for this “warming tray” sensation now!!!! And the FingerPaint Paper!!M

  • Jillybean

    I used a heated pizza stone, had my students wear an oven mitt on their non dominant hand, and made a tin foil built up handle to slide the crayon into so they would be close to the stone. Easy, no fail project!