I love arts and crafts. There’s something about making something with your hands that is so satisfying, even when it ends up looking not so great. Which is a lot in my case. The problem is people don’t really build stuff with their hands anymore. Why bother when they can build it on an ipad or whatever. This makes me sad. Making stuff with your hands is really fun, and my friends and I wanted to remind people of how fun crayons and a piece of paper was. Operation Crayate.
Wow. Crayons and a piece of paper. You must be so inspired. Well what if you did something different with the crayons, other than merely drawing with it? There’s so much you can do, when you simply look at it differently. How about using them as chopsticks? No? Too toxic. Let’s see, how about making an airplane out of them? Is that too wasteful? How about using crayon for imitation sand art? This time I’m totally serious. Don’t worry I’m not crazy, at least not that crazy.
Making crayon into imitation sand art is really easy, and depending on how you merely create yours supplies, you can create numerous outcomes.
- Grate or shave crayons. Separate by color.
- Add glue until there is a little more glue than crayon.
- Draw a picture.
- Add your mixture.
- Boom. You have imitation sand art.
My friends and I created a whole batch of these, enough for forty kids. Then we went to an event my different friend was hosting, got the kids to do our new art. Sound simple enough right/ Well that’s until I get into detail of the horror of grating/shaving crayons.
First of all, to make enough for 40 kids, you’ll need a ton of crayons. To have a decent amount you need around 6 crayons per color. And that’s barely passable. Maybe that doesn’t sound a lot to you., wait until the next step.Here comes the really hard part: grating/shaving.
I preferred using a grater, because the resulting crayon pieces was almost powder like. Now depending on what kind of art you’re going for you might prefer different sizes. My friends liked shaving it with a scissor, but I thought that doing it was much longer. Well first you should probably know that unless you are super meticulous with cleaning, that you are sacrificing your grater. But you can just buy a real cheap grater for a couple bucks, or use scissors, which is a thousand times easier to clean. Fortunately for me, my mom let me use the grater. Unfortunately i told her it would be easy to clean, and lets just say her face wasn’t pretty when she saw the grater after I “cleaned” it.
If you are making enough for yourself, this probably won’t be as much of nuisance as having to repeat it again and again for forty kids. First of all, you have to have a big enough grater so that the crayon can actually pass through the holes. Now here’s the first mistake we made. Cheap is always better. We bought crayola crayons, and lets just say they don’t like it when you shred them into pieces. I wonder why? We used three boxes of cheaper crayons, and it was so much easier, it made me cry to look at the pile of crayola I had to work with. I believe the problem was the type of wax crayola was. Maybe it’s more waxy? Well crayola was constantly clogging up the holes in the grater, not because it was too big. It simply liked to clump together in the holes. This forced you to clear and shake the grater every few minutes. It also got stuck all over the other side of the grater. When you use cheap crayons, for some reason it doesn’t clog up the hole, and the outcome of your imitation sand art has no idea if you used a cheap crayon or not. The second, possibly more annoying thing was the resulting powder you get from grating. Now let me attempt to explain this, but it’ll most likely make no sense. Imagine a pile of confetti. Now pretend you blew on it, and it exploded everywhere. Now imagine you poked it, and it exploded everywhere. That’s exactly what happened with crayola. After I grated, and I gently poked with a piece of paper to push it into a pile, it exploded into the air, creating a very big mess. Oh yeah, not the smartest thing to do on your kitchen table(which of course I didn’t do…). i can’t explain how this happens. the thing was it never exploded with regular not-crayola crayons. Crayola powder also sticks to your hand and is almost impossible to brush off. I think that has something to do with static. Again this was not a problem with cheap crayons. I had to repeat this process so many times, my hand aches just thinking about it. and cleaning the crayon is a nightmare I don’t want to go back to. Let’s just say you need a lot of soap and water.
The next part is, what are the kids supposed to put the crayon on? as you probably know putting too much glue on paper is not so good. So why not cardboard? It was a wonderful idea, but cutting cardboard is extremely tiring. I had to cut out a enough pieces and a little extra in case anyone wanted more. That on top of grating? Don’t be surprise to see my hand permanently swollen.
The first time I used scissors, just to test what the out come would be. The picture is below. Now let me just say it was my first time, and I had no idea what I was doing, so it turned out much better near the end. First of all, I am extremely impatient, and the crayon mixture glue was with hideous before it dried. So I decided to add more shavings on top of the glue mixture. The result wan’t terrible, and the texture was quite fun to touch.Do you know that weird spongy blue carpet thingy on some playgrounds? That is very similar to what it looked like. Later I stuck to the original method of just glue and crayon mixed together, the outcome was quite nice.
Now to the actual event. We worked with a different group called Project Playday. They were also group that hung out with kids, and we were in charge of the arts and crafts. The problem was that the same day their was also a much bigger event that day. Usually they the organization that Project Playday worked with had a turnout of a hundred people. The turn out we had was probably…ten families. Half of them was under five so they couldn’t do the imitation sand art anyways. All those pieces of cardboard…for forty kids…But it didn’t go to a total waste. we had a total of around twenty volunteers from our school. They were all really excited to do the imitation sand art.
So our Operation Crayate was a success more or less, the age group was just a little off. But to have teenagers interested in crayons and glue, made us more than a little proud.
Here’s the link to a slideshow with more pictures.