Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Rainbow Pumpkin Tutorial

This was such a fun project!  I'm so excited to share how we made it work!  I first shared the idea of using melted crayons to decorate a pumpkin about a week ago on Facebook, after I saw it on this blog.  Several people were curious about the process, and my daughter was very excited to try it, so today I'm posting our tutorial.  Try it out...I'd love to know how it goes!

Simple Supplies:
*  At least 6-8 crayons, not broken
*  A hair dryer
*  Tape
*  A white-ish pumpkin
*  Paper towels

Easy How-To:
1- Peel all the crayons. 
2- Prop the crayons up with tape around the pumpkin stalk.  They tape isn't completely necessary, but it makes it a little easier.  You will still need to hold the tops of the crayons so the hair dryer doesn't blow them over.  Set everything up on paper towels.
3- Set the hair dryer on medium and aim it at the base of the crayons.  After a few minutes, the crayons will be soft and bendy.

4- When the crayons are soft and bendy, lay them down on the top of the pumpkin.  
5- When the crayons begin to melt, gently press them into the pumpkin so they stay put.  Then, turn the hair dryer on high and watch the magic!  I thought this step was so cool that I'm including a short video so you can watch it.

We took the project one step farther and made individual melted crayon pumpkins on cardstock.  We also used it as a science lesson to talk about melting, solids, and liquids.  I'll share more on that in a moment.

First, though, a few cautionary notes:

1.  Little fingers get tired.  My children were all happy to peel one crayon each and then watch me either peel or "start" the other crayons for them.

2.  Melting takes a long time.  Our pumpkin took about 25 minutes before the crayons were melted enough.  If you're doing this with young preschoolers, expect them to get bored, run away, and then come back when it gets more interesting.  

3.  I'm not sure how all the hot air affected the life of the pumpkin.  Pumpkin is a squash and it does cook...that said, it seems fine today.  I'm just not sure how long it will last.

4.  Crayon wax can get hot fast.  Hair dryers are hot too.  Keep your fingers and your children's fingers safe.

5.  The drips on the paper towels are fun too!

And now, the rest of the fun:


Discuss melting and compare the process to other things the children are familiar with, like ice and cheese.

Discuss solids and liquids and go on a treasure hunt to find more solids, liquids, or both.

More Art:

Give your child a piece of cardstock with a pumpkin drawn on in permanent marker.  Let your child color it in, and then choose 2-4 pieces of crayon to melt onto their pumpkin.  Soften the crayon bits in a paper bowl, then press them onto the paper (so they don't roll away).  Let your child use the hair dryer to melt the crayons one last time!

What do you think?  I'd love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment and/or upload pictures of your own pumpkin projects to my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page here!

I may share at any of these parties!


Erin said...

Looks fun and the finished product is so cool! I think my little guy may be a little too young this year, but I'm pinning to try next year. Thanks for all the details!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Erin, it was a lot of fun! Thanks for pinning!!

Cynthia Renee' said...

This is a great idea. We are going to have to try it!

Karyn Tripp said...

Very cool! Definitely going to try this out! Pinning to remember for later.

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Cool, Cynthia!

I'm so glad you like it, Karyn!

Winnie said...

Very creative and beautifully done :)
Thanks so much for the detailed tutorial

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom said...

How stunning! I have pinned this and will put it on my To Do list with my kids next month. Thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Thanks, Winnie! I'm glad you liked the tutorial!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, Thanks for pinning! I'd love to hear back from you again next month when you try it!

Ashley said...

Very cute and much more hands on then ours (http://www.lifewithmoorebabies.blogspot.com/2012/09/melted-crayon-pumpkins.html); although I don't think my kids could patiently use a blow dryer either. Probably in a couple years!

Anu Ganesh said...

Amazing!! Love the colorful pumpkin!

Keitha said...

What a great Fall activity!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Ashley, Thanks for stopping by! It's amazing what a few years can do for a child's attention span, lol!

Thanks, Anu! It's been almost two weeks, and we're still enjoying the colors!

Thanks, Keitha! I think it will become a tradition!

Charlene@APinchofJoy said...

Fun project! You are featured this week on Busy Monday! Stop by this afternoon to grab a featured button from the button box. Pinned! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday and hope to see more great ideas soon!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Wow, Charlene!! Thanks so much--I'm so excited!!

Shaunna Evans said...

I love the setup you used to get this design! Thanks for linking up to Discover & Explore. I'm featuring this post today.