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Lately, thanks a lot to Pinterest.com, I have been inspired to do a few projects that I have been putting off for awhile. A few years back, I found these fantastic mats for frames on Potterybarn Kids. They were on clearance and I loved them. Each of them had a letter cut out of the mat. I bought one mat for each of my little creatures (D, J, and Z) and had big plans to do something simple. I thought I would buy some simple black frames, stick some fun scrapbooking paper behind the mats, and hang them quickly in the playroom. Zip, Bam, Boom-Done, right?? Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans, right? No…neither do I. I do know, however, that mine never seem to go as I planned. This one was to be no exception. It turned out the mats were 18″x18″. Believe it or not, frames this size aren’t easy to find. I had a few options. I could have frames custom made with my handy-dandy 40% off coupon at Michaels, cut the mats down to an easier size to fit a normal size frame, buy the frames from Potterybarn which (shockingly) were way more than I really wanted to pay, or stick them in a closet to deal with later. Can you guess which one I went with??

You guessed it! The mats went into a closet and stayed there for a few years. Well, truthfully, they went into a box and moved from Arizona to Texas with us and then made it back into another closet in the new house. Yes, I know that’s just sad and lazy. Whatever…

Anyway, the art teacher at the school I teach at did a crayon and canvas project with one of the grade levels this fall. It was an idea she found on Pinterest, and she suggested I could do it with the boys for fun over this Christmas break. Here’s the gist of what she was suggesting:

Cute and fun, right? On our school’s project, Sarah painted the words Faith, Hope, and Love in the middle. It is beautiful, and I loved it. I didn’t want to do the same thing though…and then inspiration struck. What about those mats?? I went and bought 3 canvases which were bigger than the mats. I also bought 3 96-count boxes of crayons. After painting the canvases different colors and the mats different colors, I hot glued the mats onto the canvases. It took 3 coats of paint on the canvases and 3 coats on the mats to get the depth of color I wanted, so during the wait time between coats, the creatures and I unwrapped crayons.

Now, there is a quick tip to make this go a little faster so, of course, I’m going to share it with you! There must be a parent or an older kid helping with this. I took an exacto knife and sliced down the paper of the crayon. My boys sat there waiting for each crayon and would then rip the already cut paper off. Once we started this, it went MUCH faster and we didn’t have any broken crayons to contend with. Once the crayons were naked, I hot glued them onto the bottom and the top of the canvas. I didn’t do the sides although I could have. Once I got the tops and bottoms glued on and cooled, it was time for the really fun part to begin.

I let each boy melt their own canvas. We used a blowdryer and that was it! This part of the project is the easiest part. We tilted the canvas different ways while we heated the crayons and tried to do cool patterns. We also did not put the crayons in rainbow order. We just put them come-what-may and let the crayons drip where they wanted. So…here is the finished products. They are hanging in our playroom, and we love the result we got from them. It was a night of lots of fun with my little creatures, and I love that everytime I walk by them I think back to the memories we made.

The D Canvas

The J Canvas

The Z Canvas

All 3 canvases on the wall!

I hope this has inspired you to get out there and try something new too!

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