How to make wax paper/crayon ‘stained glass’ hearts and a little bit about books

When I did the wax paper window stars post in December, David asked if I was going to do a ‘stained glass’ star. Apparently ironing crayon shavings between sheets of wax paper was part of both our childhoods. I thought I would indulge in a bit of nostalgia today and show you how to make ‘stained glass’ hearts.

To make the ‘stained glass’ all you need are some crayons, a pencil sharpener, wax paper, an iron, old newspapers, and a flat surface to iron on.

I was working on my kitchen counter which is relatively heat-resistant, but I put a cookie sheet under the bottom layers of newspaper just in case.

Peel some of the paper off your selected crayons. (This is easier if you slit the wrappers with a knife first.) Sharpen the crayons over a piece of wax paper. When you have the colours you want distributed over the wax paper —I did a fairly random distribution— cover the shavings with another piece of wax paper.

Lay some sheets of newspaper over the top —I started with two, but added a third sheet when the wax started to come through— and iron the stack with your iron on its lowest setting. Check frequently to see how the melting is progressing. I started by just resting the iron in one spot then moving it to another after a few seconds, but this trapped some air bubbles, so I would suggest ironing from one side to the other or out from the middle in smooth strokes.

Your ‘stained glass’ will be ready when all the crayon shavings have been completely melted. Time to cut it into shapes. With Valentine’s Day approaching, hearts seem appropriate. You can find a printable template with outlines of hearts here. Print out the pdf on card stock, then cut out the heart(s) you want to use.

I started with the third smallest heart and then cut it down to the second smallest heart. I drew the first outlines with a sharpie but it didn’t show up all that well against the darker colours so I switched to a mechanical pencil with a 2H lead for the last hearts. (The sharpie lines show up better in the photo, but in real life the pencil outlines were easier to follow when cutting.)

You now have lots of hearts (or perhaps just one big one) and you need to display them.

They look more impressive with light behind them, so mounting them in a window is best. You can just stick them to the window glass with a dab of glue stick, like the window stars, or you can make bunting. I chose the latter.

I laid out my hearts in a pleasing order along the edge of the kitchen counter, then laid a white sewing thread over them and taped down the ends.

The hearts were then taped to the thread with small pieces of invisible tape. The only window large enough to accommodate my bunting is in my downstairs studio, so I hung them there.

In case you think all that had nothing to do with book arts, take a look at one of Haley Nagy’s works.

You can see more of her book Illuminations here.

Making hearts did not occupy all of my week. The Swap books that I and others have been making will not be exchanged until mid-February. I had not planned covers for my panel book, but since I have all that extra time I decided to add a wrap-around protective sleeve. Here’s the layout at this point.

The structure will be made to the plan below.

The single fold at the left goes over the edges of the projecting panels, the centre double fold is at the spine, the narrower double fold at the right goes over the first single fold, and the tab end fits into the slot to hold the cover closed. It’s like the 3D envelope, but without the side flaps.

The description will undoubtedly make more sense when I can eventually reveal all after the book swap!

In other book arts news:

This definitely falls into the category of things I would attend if I lived closer — BookArtsLA will be hosting The Historic Japanese Book: From Waste Pulp to Woodblocks, with Anne Covell on February 10 – 11, 2018.

In addition to the workshop, BookArtsLA has published an article covering some of content of the workshop. You can read the article here. It also contains a link to registration forms for the workshop.

From the website text:

This project is a continuation of a binding project that was made possible by a very generous gift from Janine Vangool, the publisher of Uppercase magazine and the editor and publisher of Stitch•illo – Creative Expressions through Thread and Fiber. Ms. Vangool shared fifteen unbound copies of the book with binders who were tasked with creating unique covers inspired by the contents.

This website showcases the one-of-a-kind bindings created for the project. Here’s one example by Tara O’Brien.

You can get a closer look at all fifteen books here, as well as follow a link to the previous 15 bindings produced for the Feed Sacks binding project.

In knitting news:

Not much in the way of knitting news this week. I have been working on another shawl, but it doesn’t look like much yet. I did a bit of seasonal crocheting though. I made a heart-shaped coaster.

I made the pattern up as I went, starting with a basic granny square. I did find something similar on Pinterest. This pattern was uploaded by Araceli Oliva.

I handled the point a little differently, and my version has an extra row of single crochet/chain stitches around the outside. I also ironed it to make it flatter!

If you want to crochet a Valentine, there are lots of free patterns out there. This is the start of the Ravelry results for a ‘heart coaster’ pattern search.

There are even more on the rest of the web. I might try this one,

or this one.

The second one looks like it might be flatter and therefor more functional as a coaster.


About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, crochet, DIY, free printable, instructions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How to make wax paper/crayon ‘stained glass’ hearts and a little bit about books

  1. Seeing your hearts makes me happy. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for such a wealth of ideas and instructions to follow.
    I miss book swaps…


  3. Pingback: Play Days | Byopia Press

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