How to Use Color Crayons on Fabric

    by Alex Burke

    About the Author

    Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.


    Add decorative touches, draw stories or transform old sheets, towels and clothing using crayons. Yes, those sticks of colored wax called crayons can be applied to all types of surfaces, including fabric. You can create original designs and patterns or trace favorite shapes, artwork and cartoon characters onto fabric with ease with crayons to make wearable and usable art. Apply simple drawing techniques to obtain colorful designs that are then heated and permanently adhered to the fabric.

    Things You'll Need

    • Regular crayons
    • Fabric crayons
    • Paper towels
    • Stiff cardboard or thin pressboard
    • Iron
    • Ironing board
    • Black permanent marker (optional)

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    Wash any fabric to be used. Do not use fabric softener. Dry the fabric without dryer sheets or softeners.

    Find or create a design to use on the fabric. Draw designs freehand using a fabric crayon or apply them using a black and white image placed beneath the fabric. Attach the image to a hard surface for easier tracing -- try stiff cardboard or a thin sheet of press board. Trace this image with a black permanent marker (this will become part of the image on the fabric) or follow the black outline below as a guide to color the image with a crayon directly on the fabric. Press hard to make a darker color.

    Use fabric crayons for synthetic and synthetic blends. Use regular crayons on 100 percent cotton fabrics.

    Preheat an iron to the “cotton” setting. Do not use the steam setting.

    Place several layers of paper towels on the ironing board. Place the fabric on top of the towels. Make sure the colored image sits on top of the paper towels. Place a paper towel on top of the image.

    Press the iron onto the image (with the paper towel between the iron and the image) and hold for a second. Pick up the iron and move it over, pressing down again. Press the iron over the entire surface of the image. Continue until the wax has melted and the image is completely transferred.

    Darken images that appear to be too light with a second round of coloring and heating.

    • Practice on a scrap piece of fabric.
    • Wash crayon-decorated fabrics in cold water on a gentle cycle. Dry with low heat.
    • Always check the safety of a crayon product before using. Safe products are certified nontoxic.


    • Fabric Surface Design; Cheryl Rezendes