How to Make Crayon Etchings


Crayon etchings are like magic to elementary school children. From a scribbled start all of a sudden a piece of colorful art emerges. This project is inexpensive to do and introduces children to etching.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 piece of white cardstock paper per person
  • 1 box crayons per person
  • Toothpicks
  • 1 piece of newsprint for each person
  • Explain that a crayon etching is a project that takes several steps to complete. The first step is to plan what your final picture will portray. It can be as complex or as simple as you want. It can be a geometric pattern or design or it can be a landscape, a portrait, or a still life. It can be realistic or abstract. Use the newsprint to sketch your idea. Then decide what colors you want to let show through the etching, understanding that the background will be dark black.

  • Pass out a piece of white cardstock to each person who is making a crayon etching. The second step involves completely covering this piece of paper with color. Press quite hard on the crayons and use regular strokes to fill in the page. You can choose to use one color for the entire page. Alternatively, you may decide to make a patchwork of several colors or even to make a random rainbow of colors. The colors that you use will show through the black to form the lines of your final etching.

  • Color the entire page black. Yes, that's right, coat the whole piece of paper that you just finished coloring with assorted crayons with dark black crayon markings. Try to make it so that no color other than black shows through. This will create the background for your crayon etching.

  • Drag a toothpick through the black coating to form the lines of your etching. The point of the toothpick will remove the black and allow the under-coating of colored crayon to show through. Keep working until you have completed your etching.

  • Display your crayon etching in a prominent location. This makes a great display for the corridor outside of a classroom wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a sample to show your students before they begin their own crayon etchings.
  • Smaller crayon etchings can be used on the outside of greeting cards.
  • Stencils are very easy to use and can help everyone come up with a beautiful result.
  • Experiment with other tools like blunt pencils, knitting needles, forks etc. to make different kinds of etched lines and textures.

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