Before I get started on this super easy, fun, & addicting craft/art technique, I am going to list the a definition of the encaustic process. Don't let it scare you because you know I always have a "99 cent" solution!
Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface — usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used.
The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used — some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be purchased and used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment.
Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to adhere it to the surface.
Yeah, who has time for that, or for the mess? I know I don't, so lets get this party started, shall we?
Materials and supplies.
Natural Bees wax: You can find this at Michaels or Joanns in the candle section. Make sure you get clear, and because I like to save my "skrilla" use a coupon. They are always putting out weekly coupons.
Crayons: Here is where I don't skimp out. Crayola shoves in lots of pigment in their crayons. They are not that much more expensive than a generic brand. Trust me, they make a difference.
Quilting Iron: Again, use a coupon people! These run around 30.00. They are so worth it too, because they get super hot and they are small and great for small projects. Oh, and you can use them for quilting too.
Newspaper: Great for absorbing drips and cleaning your tool
Gift Wrap Tissue Paper: You know, the kind you dress up your gift bags with. Dollar store carries it, and so does the rest of america.
Gift Car, Collage, painting,tag,: anything you want to seal up. I sealed wood, paper, and canvas. For demonstration purposes, I am using a Christmas card.
Step 1: I like to get my iron nice and hot, and I set it on high. Be very careful, you can easily burn yourself. After it is nice and hot, I apply the iron directly on my slab of wax, till it starts dripping on my card. I let it drip all over
See the drips? Kinda looks nasty, but I won't even go there......
After you have a fair amount of wax on your card, start rubbing your iron all around your card to melt and smooth out your wax droppings. Have fun, this is the most theraputic part, I can swirl around for hours. If you get to much on one side, you can remelt it and move it around.
Wanna be daring and add some color? Get your crayon and apply it to your iron the same way you did with your bees wax. Use your crayon sparingly! Crayolas put out lots of color and you depending on the size of your piece, you may only need one or two drops. Again, if you have too much color, you can always move it around by melting it and spreading it elsewhere
Here, I added about 4 different colors.
After your piece cools a bit, it is ready to buff out. Using your tissue paper,(thanks for the tip, Krissi, I agree this works best!) bunch it up and rub gently a few times over your piece, and you will notice a nice sheen. You don't have to do this step if you don't want too, but since I like my stuff shiny, I buff away. :-)
Here are three pieces that I sealed in wax. They are going to be part of my RAK Swap challenge that I blogged about previously. (click on link and join my RAK flickr group)
How easy was that? Oh, and you could really go crazy with this technique. try embedding small objects, glitter, tissue papers, anything! I swear, this is so much fun, you will be dreaming about sealing up anything. I may even seal my bills! haha. (I wish)
Anyhoo, if you enjoyed this tutorial, do tell a friend!
Whoops, lemme tell you about clean up. EAZY! While your iron is still hot, wipe off excess wax on newspaper, It will come right off and be just like new. I think this is way easier than cleaning out a crock pot full of wax and having those brushes full of wax.