Crayon tinting is a fun and easy way to add permanent color to the background fabric of your embroidery. This is a simple technique with endless possibilities, in just a few minutes you can add a whole new dimension and a rainbow of colors to your stitching projects. Get out your crayons and have fun coloring!

This Mountain Rainbow design I’m using is a pattern from my book, Doodle Stitching: Embroidery Art! This book is full of lots more fun embroidery patterns and techniques for creating your own artwork with embroidery.

Let’s get started crayon tinting! First, gather your supplies. You’ll need: White cotton fabric, a lead pencil, wax crayons in your favorite colors, a sheet of white paper, and an iron and ironing board, or a flat surface and a towel.

Begin by tracing or drawing an embroidery pattern onto your fabric with pencil.

Use the crayons to begin filling in the design lightly with color. Don’t press too hard. You can always add another layer of color after ironing if you want it to be more saturated. Blend colors by adding more strokes or strokes in a darker color to the edges of each shape and lightening them as you move outward. 

Place the fabric on a towel or ironing board and the white paper on top of the fabric. Iron over the paper on the hottest setting for a few minutes, until there isn’t any more wax being released onto the paper. The paper will absorb the excess wax and the heat will set the color into the fabric permanently. Let the fabric cool for a few minutes, then you can add more color if you like, and iron again. 

Once you have the background color the way you want it, embroider the lines however you like! Try some different variations: You can use floss colors to match the crayon, or darker shades, or try using all one color of floss over your multi-colored background for a unique look. There’s no end to the beautiful, original works of embroidery art you can create with a box of crayons!

Here’s another design I used crayon tinting on. I call him Grandfather Mushroom. You can download this pattern from the Free Downloads Vault and try out this technique for yourself!

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