Starry Night Art Project for Kids – Melting Crayon Art

Starry Night Art Project for Kids - recreate Van Gogh’s master piece by melting grated crayons on aluminum foil!  

I’m really excited to share this cool art project  with you! We’re melting crayons create a beautiful piece of art.  Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” to be exact!

Our easy, 3-step process involves:

  • painting on aluminum foil
  • grating crayons
  • melting the crayons in a warm oven

Like so many of the things we make here, I had no idea how this would turn out until the very end of the process.  I’d been thinking about making some melted crayon art for a few days, but I wasn’t exactly sure what we’d make, or even how we we’d do it.

Starry Night created with grated and melted crayons

You’ve likely seen lots of melted crayon art on pinterest.  Dilly Dali Art made some great initial artwork for her kids’  rooms, and Juggling with Kids made the traditional crayon rainbow using a hairdryer. 

Looking through a cupboard yesterday, I came across our family’s Starry Night jigsaw puzzle, and my plan came together!

This project provided me with a opportunity to introduce a little culture into our day.  I showed the hooligans the painting on the front of the puzzle box, and we talked about Van Gogh, and examined the scene, the colours and the style of painting, and we listened to Don McLean’s version of the song “Starry Night” a couple of times.  Then we got busy…

To make our Starry Night Melted Crayon Art, you’ll need:

  • cereal box
  • aluminum foil
  • crayons, wrappers off (shades of black, blue, yellow, white, purple)
  • paint in various shades of blue, black yellow purple and white
  • cheese grater
  • oven

I gave each child a piece of cardboard (cereal box) covered with aluminum foil, and I filled a paint pallet with 4 shades of blue paint, and a shot each of yellow, black, purple and white.

blue paint on foil canvas

Some covered their canvases completely with paint, while some made only a few strokes.  There’s no right or wrong way to do this.  Allow your little one to decide when he or she is satisfied with their work.

We left our paintings to dry overnight, and we added the (gorgeous!) finishing touch today.  You’ll love how easy this is!

cheese grater and crayons

First you’re going to grate your crayons.

Older children will be able to grate their crayons themselves, but the hooligans gave it a try, and it wasn’t an easy task, so to avoid having to deal with shredded knuckles and fingertips, we agreed that I would do the grating.  I made piles of blue, purple, yellow, white and black crayon shavings for each of them.

grated crayon shavings for Starry Night art project

Next, sprinkle your crayon shavings all over your painting, leaving some space around the edges so they don’t run off the cardboard as they melt.  At this point, ours looked something like this:

art with melted crayons - shavings sprinkled over painting

To finish, pop your painting in the oven for 5 minutes at 200 degrees.  You can place it on a baking sheet or directly on the oven rack.

When you take your painting out of the oven, be sure to keep it level because your wax will be very hot and runny for a minute or two.

Watching the wax cool was really neat.  Initially, the colours are still kind of pooling and running together, but within seconds, they start to firm up and harden.

art with crayon wax melted in the oven

When ours were completely cool they looked like this!

art with broken crayons, starry night - happy hooligans

Aren’t they gorgeous?

melted crayon art fresh from the oven

Take care not to bend your painting or your wax will crack.  If this happens, don’t worry, you can just pop it back into the oven and melt it again.

I finished ours off by punching a couple of holes in the top of each painting, and adding a dark blue piece of yarn so the hooligans can hang their masterpieces at home.

art with grated crayons starry night

These are definitely something you and your child will want to display proudly!

Easy way to remove wax from a cheese grater:

I knew you’d ask!

A quick and easy way to remove the crayon wax from your cheese grater (or from any metal surface for that matter), is to pour a kettle of boiling water over your grater.  Presto!  Instantly clean grater!

Click here for more unique art ideas for kids!

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Yours in play, Jackie from Happy Hooligans

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