Having fun with glue batik

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Maia and I both have a new favorite art activity! I probably say that a lot. But there really are a lot of really fun art ideas out there. And this is definitely one of them.

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We did this easy batik using Elmer's blue gel glue, white fabric (sheet remnants), and acrylic paint following a tutorial I found here on That Artist Woman. Basically, you "draw" your design on the fabric with the squeeze bottle of glue, let dry, then paint the fabric with watered down acrylics, let dry, soak in hot water to remove the glue, and dry once again. It requires waiting time (we did the whole process over the course of three days), but is very easy.

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This one is actually the back of the fabric — Maia wrote her name backwards but since all the letters in her name are fully reversible I just flipped it over.

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This was so much fun! And look what Maia made for baby Daphne…

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Something cute to wear. She says it's a heart with a stem. How sweet!

So anyway, put a bottle of Elmer's blue gel glue on your shopping list. You have to try this project!


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  1. Betsy says

    Jean,
    Any idea how well the acrylic paint holds up after multiple washings? We are making cloth napkins at preschool and this looks like a great way to do it, but I’m afraid the color would wash out eventually.

  2. says

    No idea. Sorry! I love the idea of making cloth napkins with this though. I bet the acrylic paint would hold up pretty well, but I couldn’t say for sure. Anyone else know?

  3. says

    What a great project, I bet the kids would love this. The heart with a stem is just gorgeous. My hubby had the same type problem with his monitor but it ended up being a problem with the monitor, it was going bad, sorry. Hopefully yours is a easy problem to fix.

  4. Sue says

    Did this project with my Museum Preschool Art class in the summer. It is a safe alternative to using wax. We made individual banners. All were amazing. I did wash the fabric first prior to the glueing. Not sure how they would hold up with repeated washing. Would love to send pictures but not sure how to attach. help!!
    Sue

  5. says

    We did this July last year, and the kids had great fun with it. We used ripped up cotton bed sheets from Goodwill and the end results were made into a quilt. It works pretty well to do hand prints with smaller children too. After having a lot of fun with it, we did a double paint process, where I let the kids paint a picture with the paint and then glued over that myself and once the glue was dry, let them paint again. That turned out mighty colourful and interesting. It’s a great activity, and one that’s worth doing again and again at various ages.

  6. says

    Oh, what is up with me and Typepad! I miss WordPress and being able to reply to individual comments. Comment threading I guess it’s called. I know you can do it on Typepad, because I’ve seen it on only Typepad blogs. But how?

  7. says

    I love these — especially the heart with a stem. What kind of acrylics do you guys use? I think I am going to get some new art supplies for my girl’s birthday and am having trouble deciding what things she might like but I know she loves squeezing glue…

  8. says

    I’m not sure about using white glue. How well it would work. Would be worth trying. The idea is to just create a resist so I would think white glue might work, but there must be a reason people use the blue gel glue.

  9. says

    Oh, and Molly, I didn’t use any special kind of acrylics. Just some that we already had. Some are called Basics/Liquitex and some are by Reeves. I think any would work.

  10. says

    I absolutely love your site! A friend showed me your website when I mentioned that I will be creating an Art Experience Workshop for kids of all ages in our town. I am getting lots of great ideas from you.
    Did you paint the onesie, dip it into the paint or use tie dye? I love the idea of making shirts with this technique!

  11. says

    P.S. For those wondering about using white glue That Artist Woman, where this activity is linked from said the results were disappointing with plain glue. I would imagine the gel consistency gives a better resist.

  12. says

    I am going to say acrylics hold up very well. We have a white sheet set washed at least 100 times that my daughter painted with Purple acrylics almost 2 years ago during nap time one day! The purple has not faded at ALL! Great post Jean, can’t wait to try this.

  13. Carey says

    We used white washable school glue and it turned out great. You just need to make sure it’s the washable kind, not the glue-all. We did a leaf banner and hung it on a stick. Great results.

  14. Cassie says

    This is so great! i have been trying to figure out a way to do batiks with my kids at work, but i learned to do it with hot waxes and pretty powerful dyes that stained our fingers really bad. This is wonderful for the kidos at work.

  15. Cheryl says

    I did this with my 4 grandkids, aged 4 thru 7. Each did two pieces of fabric and we made pillows out of them. They loved this project and couldn’t wait to sleep with their self-designed pillows. They got really crazy with the colors plus used spouncers and q-tips to make spots and dots. Thank you for this article! P.s. the blue gel makes it easier to see on white fabric.