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Crayon Rubbings, Stencils, and Watercolors

How to make crayon rubbings with stencils on book text video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

Why do I love crayon rubbings? Is it the historical significance that brass rubbings played in medieval times?  Is it the memory of first grade making leaf rubbings? A little bit of those but the biggest reason is crayon rubbings are immediate gratification.  No waiting for anything to dry.  The only prep work is taking the paper off a crayon so this is my kind of play!

New to watercolors?  In the video, I share how coloring them in with watercolors enable me to get lights and darks of the same color by just changing the amount of water I used as I color in the crayon rubbings made with  Triangular Pathways and Trio of Thorns.

Watch Making crayon rubbings with stencils and watercolors on YouTube.

All you need is a crayon, a stencil, and a piece of paper.  I chose book text for the added pattern of the words peeking out but you can use any paper you want!  I wondered if book text would be too thick of a paper to do this, and it worked wonderfully but I imagine each paper is a little different so if you have any problems you may want to experiment around with a variety of weights of papers.

How to make crayon rubbings with stencils on book text video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

Those bargain boxes of Crayola crayons from back to school time are quite handy when it comes to making rubbings!  Here are the steps to making a crayon rubbing:

  1.  take the wrapper off the crayon
  2. put a piece of paper on top of the stencil
  3. rub the crayon on top of the paper (you can tape it all down, but I prefer to just hold it with my hands)
How to make crayon rubbings with stencils on book text video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

A big perk of using a crayon is there is zero waiting for the crayon to dry and it won’t smear if you use something like watercolor on top of it.  The crayon acts a bit like a fence and keeps the watercolor in, so it looks like I painted carefully, but you know I am not that detail oriented!

How to make crayon rubbings with stencils on book text video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

What if you don’t have watercolors?  Try substituting with a spray ink.  In the video, I used a green Dylusions spray ink to get a similar look.

How to make crayon rubbings with stencils on book text video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

Use one color or multiple colors- the choice is yours and can give you a variety of looks.

How to make crayon rubbings with stencils on book text video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

All the color variation is simply adding more water to the watercolor or less water.  The less water that was added, the stronger the color. The more water that was added, the softer the color.  Instant variation!


How to make crayon rubbings with stencils on book text video tutorial by Carolyn Dube


Here are the supplies I used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!

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  • Sheri Prest-Herman January 26, 2017, 12:30 pm

    What a creative way to make another style of coloring/painting pages! I really hadn’t thought about a crayon’s ‘fence’ capabilities, until you brought it up. (Though we used to do similar types of things with crayons in grade school art class.)

    I love your stencil patterns and would love to win them so I can try this! (I do have a couple stencils I could experiment with while I’m waiting to see if I win.) 🙂 Thank you for providing such a nice giveaway.

  • Allison CB January 26, 2017, 12:40 pm

    Very interesting approach! Thanks for sharing!

  • TFreeman January 26, 2017, 12:57 pm

    Oooo…I want to try this! Cool idea. BTW the video isn’t working…

  • Anna Friesen January 26, 2017, 1:14 pm

    HI, Carolyn! Love your new stencils and your projects you made with them! I shared two of your photos on Pinterest, linking both to my Facebook. 🙂

  • Sabrina January 26, 2017, 1:29 pm

    Never dawned on me that stencils could be used as the basis for a rubbing — thanks for sharing something new to me.

  • Elizabeth Kaplam January 26, 2017, 1:29 pm

    I would LOVE to win these stencils. Meanwhile, I’ll try this technique with your wonky eyeballs. ?

  • Micky Nuessen January 26, 2017, 1:30 pm

    Can’t wait to try it! Why haven’t I thought of this?

  • Tina Ender January 26, 2017, 2:09 pm

    Those look super fun!

  • Arianna Barbara January 26, 2017, 2:23 pm

    Wow! Great video!!! I love your watercolouring!!! Beautiful work!!!

  • stephanie January 26, 2017, 2:26 pm

    Great technique! LOVE the new stencils

  • Arianna Barbara January 26, 2017, 2:33 pm

    I’ve just shared your post on Facebook as Arianna Barbara https://www.facebook.com/arianna.barbara.1/posts/1267052163375730

    On Pinterest as Arianna Barbara https://www.pinterest.com/pin/138907969737812917/

    On Instagram as raggiodiluc3

  • Faith January 26, 2017, 2:53 pm

    What a cool idea. Off to steal my boy’s crayons.

  • Gill January 26, 2017, 3:12 pm

    What fun – I’d love to try this!

  • Gill January 26, 2017, 3:14 pm

    I shared this on my facebook page (Gill Watson)

  • Denise Bryant January 26, 2017, 3:16 pm

    Love the crayon rubbing idea! Have to try that technique!

  • jay welker January 26, 2017, 3:18 pm

    What a great idea, Thank You.
    I just bought a bag of broken crayons at a yard sale that will be perfect for this.

  • Celeste January 26, 2017, 3:20 pm

    What a fabulous use for all the crayons my grandkids just left naked after peeling all the wrappers! I can’t wait to try this. And show it yo the little ones – maybe it will distract them from fine glitter stash:-)

  • Christy Essen January 26, 2017, 3:28 pm

    I do love this technique, so fun, so simple, yet wonderful results.♡ all 7 new stencils? How great would that be to win……:)

  • linda schiffer January 26, 2017, 4:46 pm

    I always thought it would be wonderful to take a brass rubbing tour of England and historic churches, manors, etc. Instead, could make beautiful rubbings right here at home!

    🙂 Linda

  • Mandy Fariello January 26, 2017, 4:57 pm

    Thanks for the chance to win! I love playing with stencils!

  • Corrine January 26, 2017, 5:04 pm

    Nice new stencils. Really great patterns Carolyn. Who doesn’t love crayons, I used one today making samples for a kids class. xox

  • Hazel Viagedor January 26, 2017, 5:42 pm

    Thanks for giving us a chance to win those very nice stencils…and for sharing your talent. I will definitely try this crayon rubbings.?

  • Yvette Farrell January 26, 2017, 6:10 pm

    Love this technique! Looks like stained glass.

  • Yvette Farrell January 26, 2017, 6:17 pm

    I shared on facebook

  • Yvette Farrell January 26, 2017, 6:18 pm

    I shared on Pinterest

  • Cassandra Williams January 26, 2017, 6:25 pm

    Wow, stencils and crayons I love the whole idea.

  • Susan January 26, 2017, 6:45 pm

    Yes, crayon rubbings are a favorite activity for the kids in the preschool and for their teachers! Going home to try this tonight! Love the new designs.

  • Susan Schultheis January 26, 2017, 6:56 pm

    Looks like so much fun with the crayons and stencils. Now I really want all 7 new ones!!

  • Gayle January 26, 2017, 7:00 pm

    Ok, what a great idea! Gonna try one of those crayon rubbings now!

  • Nicola January 26, 2017, 7:07 pm

    Such an amazing idea! Can’t wait to try it. I love crayolas because of the smell and the colour names 🙂

  • Jean Marmo January 26, 2017, 8:16 pm

    Shared on fb!

  • Jean Marmo January 26, 2017, 8:16 pm

    What a fun idea!!

  • Connie Livingston-Dunn January 26, 2017, 8:16 pm

    Yes, I love crayon rubs too! Thanks.

  • Lori H January 26, 2017, 8:26 pm

    Well that was cool, Carolyn! I’ve never used the rubbing technique before, but you sold me on it. I love how the designs came out. Guess I’m going to have to buy some crayons. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Michele January 26, 2017, 8:56 pm

    Rub me the right way and color me happy if I win these fabulous stencils.

  • ALICIA MARQUEZ January 26, 2017, 10:58 pm

    This is such an awesome technique! I can’t wait to try it!
    My young brother watched this video with me and loved this technique, as well. He’s ready for some stencils of his own!

  • Barbara January 26, 2017, 10:59 pm

    I’m always happy to see your posts! Your creative thinking inspires me to keep playing!

  • Barbara January 26, 2017, 11:02 pm

    Carolyn, I was happy to share this link on Pinterest and on my Facebook page. I have also sent it to several friends via email. My friend, Sandi, and I played this week — using only the three primary colors (and blends of those three) in our creations, something I learned in your journaling workshop. Keep on inspiring us, and thank you!

  • Tina January 27, 2017, 1:07 am

    Wow. 7 stencils think of all the new projects. Live all the great ideas and projects full of inspirations. Crayons what a great new idea for making beautiful cards!!

  • titbelsoeur January 27, 2017, 2:23 am

    so clever ! as always !
    I have shared the post on facebook https://www.facebook.com/tit.belsoeur for another chance to win your fabulous stencils !
    Thanks for all you share !

  • Sandra McGuire January 27, 2017, 2:48 am

    Love the idea of doing a brass rubbing. And love the idea of winning these fantastic stencils

  • Cheri Hins January 27, 2017, 4:56 am

    How fun. I remember making crayon rubbings of leaves when I was little. I love the text peeking out on these pages. Thank you for sharing this technique Carolyn.

  • Kristiina January 27, 2017, 5:17 am

    Lovely designs, I saw these in your previous post and wondered how they had been done!

  • Nancy Sartanowicz January 27, 2017, 7:09 am

    I am a newbie to stenciling. You make it look easy, colorful, and fun. I can’t wait to get started. I like to make original cards for my family — especially for my teenage and older grandchildren. My drawing skills are minimal — my love of personal art is strong. Stenciling cards presents an opportunity to make creative, original cards for showing my love (and enjoying myself)

  • Marsha Layman January 27, 2017, 8:45 am

    I love these, too, and will be making some pages this weekend! Thanks!

  • Trish Gutuskey January 27, 2017, 9:14 am

    Love love the news stencils, tons of posibilities. Can see those become my go to favs

  • KATHI STACK January 27, 2017, 9:22 am

    What a fun way to create–crayons from our past! I need to try this…

  • Kathy Gledsdale January 27, 2017, 10:01 am

    How lovely and loving the new stencils x

  • Diana January 27, 2017, 10:04 am

    I’m so glad I found you on youtube! I’ve been wanting to explore and develop my ‘creative’ side but haven’t been brave enough because of my inner perfectionist critic. I’ve just recently started art journaling and am enjoying it so far… I found your videos and have subscribed to your blog as I’ve loved watching your videos and you’ve inspired me to just ‘play’ with my supplies a bit more and I’m loving your playful approach to art. That’s what I’m needing and it’s so great to see so many ideas! I’m having fun so far and am looking forward to working through your permission to play course! Thanks for your art-spiration!!

  • Jo hanson January 27, 2017, 11:26 am

    going upstairs to try this right now!

  • loey January 27, 2017, 11:31 am

    Sooo fun! The triangular pathways papers look like stained glass! Must buy crayons today! thanks for inspiring!

  • Glenda Lovchik January 27, 2017, 11:49 am

    That was fun! I grabbed a few of your stencils and tried it while watching the basketball game. Totally forgot the game. Needed more pigmented paint than what I used. Think I’ll try my Pebeos. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Michelle January 27, 2017, 1:49 pm

    I love your new stencils.

  • Melinda D. January 27, 2017, 2:29 pm

    Would it be terribly selfish and immature if I was a no-show at the team buildng retreat I’m supposed to go to this weekend so that I could stay home and do crayon rubbings? Great new, must-have stencils!

  • Ellen Coppell January 27, 2017, 2:46 pm

    I really like the ideas & technique you’ve presented here, Carolyn. Even if I don’t win, I think I’ll try the technique with stencils I already have. Just need to buy more crayons! ❤ Thanks for sharing, Carolyn!

  • Ashley Findlow January 27, 2017, 5:04 pm

    Beautiful work, as always!!

  • TracyAnn January 27, 2017, 5:19 pm

    Your ideas never cease to amaze! Thanks for sharing them and just being you!

  • Klara January 27, 2017, 5:23 pm

    I think this is my favorite of the new stencils!

  • Catherine Lenoci January 27, 2017, 5:48 pm

    I LOVE those new stencils!

  • Sandy January 27, 2017, 5:53 pm

    I had never thought of using a stencil for a rubbing. Thanks so much for all the great ideas you share with us. Especially since most of them involve using supplies we already have!! I would love to win your giveaway. 🙂

  • Barbara Anderson January 27, 2017, 6:07 pm

    Love the new stencils to add to my collection of your stencils I now have. I’llshare this on Facebook & Instagram.

  • Diane Powell January 27, 2017, 6:14 pm

    this looks live fun! I’d love to try this stencil

  • Barbara January 27, 2017, 6:23 pm

    Thanks for reminding me how simple play can be! And I love your shirt in this video!

  • Jakki January 27, 2017, 6:25 pm

    Carolyn: these are really amazing! I am going to get out my crayons and go to it! Thank heavens I have lots of crayons and a pile of old books. Looks like I have lots of play in my future.

  • Krista R. January 27, 2017, 6:26 pm

    I first saw pictures of these crayon rubbing pictures on another blog – I think it was on StencilGirl’s blog, and I was trying to figure out how you did it. I thought maybe you had photocopied the stencil. I never thought of crayons, which are way more fun and low tech! 🙂

  • Melody January 27, 2017, 6:27 pm

    Great idea Carolyn! I’d forgot about that technique and look forward to using it again. It would be so much fun to win your new stencils. ??

  • Anne January 27, 2017, 7:25 pm

    I’d love to win the stencils. That looks like fun!

  • Laura M January 27, 2017, 7:34 pm

    I love this idea!

  • Sharon Field January 27, 2017, 7:34 pm

    I remember doing this when I was a young girl (MANY, MANY years ago), so why didn’t I think of this before seeing you do it????(maybe the MANY, MANY years have something to do with it:)). Such an easy way to make some very interesting design papers…………thank you for sharing.

  • Michele January 27, 2017, 7:53 pm

    The way you demonstrate your imagination is endlessly entertaining. Your newest stencils knock it out of the park – what a fun way to color up a blah day!

  • Sybil Grieco January 27, 2017, 8:03 pm

    OH, that looks like so much fun! Your stencils seem perfect for this technique. would love to get theses.

  • Diane January 27, 2017, 8:30 pm

    Loved the idea of crayon rubbings on stencils!
    Particularly love your new triangle stencil.

  • Joy Guthrie January 27, 2017, 10:06 pm

    Love these. Thank for sharing.

  • Jodi January 27, 2017, 10:56 pm

    What a great idea. I can’t wait to try this.

  • Judith Clarke January 27, 2017, 11:25 pm

    I knew I didn’t want to give my daughter the Storm Trooper tin with a box of 64 Crayolas that I bought for her. Now I know why! Thanks for the lovely reminder of how much fun rubbings are. Off to the Great Crayola Hunt of 2017!

  • Amanda Walden January 27, 2017, 11:51 pm

    This idea is genius!!! I want to try it out tomorrow with my stencils!! And I love the idea of combining it with watercolor since the crayon wax acts as a resist.

  • PAMELA DANIEL January 28, 2017, 12:31 am

    once again I am amazed at your talent and imagination!

  • Jane Christensen January 28, 2017, 12:33 am

    such a neat idea! love the results with these great new stencils.

  • Wendy Wolfe January 28, 2017, 1:53 am

    I love this! When I was a kid, fifty years ago, my mom used to take us to cemeteries to do rubbings. I loved it. It was like magic. Using stencils brings me back to my childhood. So many good memories. Now I am having fun creating new paper/backgrounds/ephemera.

    Thank you as always for inspiring me.

  • Virginia January 28, 2017, 2:10 am

    I love the new stencils, especially the geometric ones!

  • Safia Button January 28, 2017, 4:03 am

    LOVE this idea and one I will be using myself to add pretty papers to my stash but will also be doing with the kids. Thank you! (and, yes, am also hoping to win the lovely pretties too … hey, you never know, right?) lol

  • gloria January 28, 2017, 5:35 am

    Love these new designs and now I know what to do with that big box of crayolas I’ve been hoarding…..

  • Edie Lesslie January 28, 2017, 6:20 am

    I just watched your crayon rubbing videio and I think it would be so much fun. I would love to win a set of the stencils you are giving away. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Joan January 28, 2017, 6:59 am

    Love your stencils. Thanks for the tutorials.

  • Terri Young January 28, 2017, 7:43 am

    Carolyn, What a great tutorial! I love using all the left over art supplies my kids brought home at the end of each school year. Your techniques are fun to play with and I use them all the time with my great niece and nephew when we have Art Class. I would love to win the stencils since I am really getting into geli plates and mono-printing. Thanks ever so much for the opportunity to OOPS all over the place!

  • Gill K January 28, 2017, 9:36 am

    These look so effective, yet appear to be quite quick to do. The finished sheets would make great backgrounds or collage papers. I have a pack of those crayons as yet unopened, so I will give this a go with one of the stencils I already have. Thank you for the opportunity to win your new stencils – gorgeous giveaway.

  • Donna C January 28, 2017, 10:44 am

    What fun! And for people who want to play with it and don’t want to use watercolors for some reason, these are perfect designs for the current coloring craze. Or get the effect of both by using Inktense pencils for the coloring and then doing the water to activate it later. It’s time to head to the Art Cave to play!

  • Toni W. January 28, 2017, 11:36 am

    What a fun and interesting way to use my stencils, crayons (which sit idle most of the time!) and watercolors, thank you! I love your stencils and would be thrilled to win!

  • Rebecca Tilinski January 28, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Was there anything more exciting in my childhood that a new, pure book of paper? Yes…a box of Crayons! Led to my love of all art, especially anything with stencils because I don’t have a natural ability to draw…and now in my dotage, love of watercolor. Thanks for using all of these in this wonderful presentation! Love the new stencils!!!!

  • Monica January 28, 2017, 12:49 pm

    Oooh, this is SO FUN!!! I’m pulling out my crayons now!!

  • Lindy January 28, 2017, 2:17 pm

    WHat a great idea for using stencils! Love this. Thanks Carolyn!

  • Diane P January 28, 2017, 2:46 pm

    Aaaaa..the smell and feel of new crayons. Instant youth!

  • Diane Powell January 28, 2017, 4:19 pm

    There are such great ideas! Very fun stencils.

  • Kimberly M. January 28, 2017, 6:00 pm

    Lovely techniques for all ages and skill levels. Thank you for sharing another way to enjoy stencils!

  • Janice Weiser January 28, 2017, 6:16 pm

    Fun technique! Thanks!

  • Joy Taves January 28, 2017, 7:41 pm

    Love this technique and your new stencils! Thanks for sharing…..

  • Phyllis Y January 28, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Good thing I saved those crayons!

  • Joan Gosnell January 28, 2017, 8:56 pm

    Wow! So Ron! So fast! The only problem is that I might feel sorry for my naked crayola!

  • Barb Browne January 28, 2017, 9:32 pm

    That was fun! I’m going to try that…had no idea it would be so simple. At least YOU made it look easy. Thanks!!

  • stacy January 29, 2017, 12:46 am

    love the colors

  • Becky Partan January 29, 2017, 9:48 am

    Beautiful rubbings. I can’t wait to try this.

  • Maurene McQuestion January 29, 2017, 5:10 pm

    Love this technique with the crayons. You are so creative in your ideas.

  • Susan Hahaj January 29, 2017, 5:41 pm

    Thanks for a chance to win!

  • Beverley January 30, 2017, 6:09 am

    Fab-u-lous – just love the end results on book pages.

  • Helen Gullett January 30, 2017, 11:12 am

    AH-HA! Now I know what to do with the crayons that my pre-schooler has peeled the wrap off them! LOL! This is just super fantastic idea, Thanks Carolyn for sharing it!

  • Helen Gullett January 30, 2017, 11:13 am
  • Elizabeth Motyka January 30, 2017, 10:14 pm

    Love the stencils- thanks for sharing

  • Elizabeth Motyka January 30, 2017, 10:22 pm

    I shared this to my Pinterest in my free time board- now if I just had free time?

  • Virginia Michelini January 31, 2017, 10:47 am

    I see so many uses for this stencil. Such as tags in my journals with letters forming words of love or encouragement.

  • Virginia Michelini January 31, 2017, 10:50 am

    Shared on Pinterest.

  • DeBorah Beatty January 31, 2017, 1:52 pm

    Intriguing. Definitely a must try. Love the stencils and can see so many possibilities.

  • Dottie Lou Crisp January 31, 2017, 2:51 pm

    You constantly amaze me with your wit, and wonderful ideas!