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How to Make Oil Pastel

how to make oil pastel

Oil pastels are a wonderful medium for artists of any age. They make it easy to mix colors, erase mistakes and create beautiful pieces of art. While they can be expensive in stores, you can make oil pastels at home with some familiar ingredients.

This blog post will show you how to make your own oil pastel using some everyday household items that you may already have on hand.

How to Make Oil Pastel?

Making oil pastel is easy, as long as you prepare the right items. In this guide, you will find out how to make your oil pastels from scratch in just four simple steps that anyone can follow.

Whether you are an experienced artist or someone who has never worked with oil before, the following tutorial should be handy for you.

What to Prepare:

  • oil (olive, canola, etc.)
  • wax (beeswax or paraffin)
  • pigment powder of your choice
  • Jars to store and use the pastels afterward
  • A small pot
  • A cup and a stick
  • A pair of rubber gloves and a mask
  • Molds to hold finish oil pastels – You can use aluminum foil and fold the piece to make various molds for this purpose. Or an available wooden or glass box with multiple compartments would be nice

First, Wear Gloves and a Mask

This step is important when you handle melting substances later on. You do not want to inhale or directly touch the stuff that might be harmful.

Second, Melt the Oil

Pour the prepared solid oil into the pot, then melt the whole thing into liquid form. It will take about three to four minutes for the oil to completely melt.

Once this is done make sure not to set anything else on fire by adding a flammable substance into this mixture!

Third, mix Beeswax and Melt oil Together

Continue the task by pouring one part of beeswax with three parts of melted oil.

Use a clean stick to stir until all lumps are gone before removing them from the heat source.

Then, you can leave the mixture there to cool down overnight.

Next, add the Pigment Powder

Now get out that jar filled with pigment powder you purchased earlier to proceed with making your oil pastel.

Add enough powder so the mixture becomes a thick paste, and then spoon it into small molds or an ice cube tray. Be sure to make each color in its own mold for easier identification later on.

Note: The color in an oil pastel comes from the pigment, which is ground very finely then combined with a wax or oil. The more pigment that is used, the darker the color will be.

Less pigment will give you a paler hue.

Finally, Let the Oil Pastels Set

what oil are oil pastels made of

Allow the oil pastels to set by leaving them at room temperature overnight. Or, if you’re feeling impatient, put them in the fridge for a couple of hours.

You have now created your very own oil pastel set that can be used for any project you might have in mind.


Just make sure not to use too much pressure when applying these as they are quite fragile and tend to break easily.

Like most other things in life, making your own oils entails trial and error, so make sure not to get frustrated when something goes wrong. Just try again until everything works as expected.

You may also need a bit of patience since these types of materials cannot always be made on-demand but instead require some time to dry.

Ensure to store your oil pastels in a safe place where children cannot reach them, as they are quite harmful if ingested.

What Oil are Oil Pastels Made of?

The most common oils used to make oil pastels are linseed, poppy, and safflower. These three oils have different drying times, affecting how long it takes for your artwork to be “dry” or ready to be handled without smudging the colors.

Oil pastel also can be made with many different types of oil such as olive, sunflower, safflower, soybean, peanut, and vegetable oils.


In this blog post, we’ve explored how you can make your own homemade version. As you can see, oil pastels are not as hard to make as they seem.

All the ingredients and materials needed for this project cost less than $10! You can easily use these supplies on other projects if desired.

If you’re looking for more creative inspiration or want to learn other DIY crafting projects, please let me know.

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