How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

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How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

The kids and I recently revisited one of our favorite fabric decorating techniques.

Glue batik

We used this fabric decorating technique to make some lavender eye pillows as Mother’s Day gifts for the grandmas as well as to sell as a preschool fundraiser. The glue batik seemed perfect for the small eye pillows (we’ve done it on curtains before and it was just too much).

I’ll share the instructions for the lavender eye pillows tomorrow or the next day, but today I wanted to show the step-by-step instructions for glue batik.

How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

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*A note about the acrylic paint :: We’ve always used the thick stuff from a tube before and watered it down really well. This time, we used more of a liquid acrylic paint like this, and it was easier to work with. Go with what you have, but if you’re going to buy some paint specifically for this project, I’d go for the liquid acrylics.

INSTRUCTIONS

Glue batik on fabric

1.  “Draw” your design on the fabric with the squeeze bottle of Elmer’s Blue Gel Glue. 

Glue batik on fabric

And yes, it’s gotta be the blue gel. We tried doing this with the clear gel kind once and it didn’t work nearly as well.

Glue batik on fabric

2. Let dry completely. We let ours dry overnight.

How to do glue batik on fabric

3. Paint over the fabric and dried glue designs with watered-down acrylic paint. 

If you’re interested in those little pots of acrylic paint, I bought them from Stubby Pencil Studio. We used those as well as some other liquid acrylics I bought at a local craft store.

How to do glue batik on fabric

Here’s one of Daphne’s bigger glue batik pieces (for a neck pillow rather than an eye pillow).

How to do glue batik on fabric

And here are some of my smaller eye pillow fabric pieces.

4. Let the paint dry.

How to do glue batik on fabric

5. Soak the glue batik fabric pieces in warm/hot water for one hour to soften the glue. 

(Yes, we have a peach-colored bathtub.)

How to do glue batik on fabric

6. Scrub the softened glue off with a nail brush or scrub brush.

how to make glue batik with kids

7. Dry once again. You can let them air dry or pop them in the dryer with an old towel. Iron if desired.

How to do glue batik

As you can tell, there are a fair number of steps to decorating fabric this way but it’s all easy. And worth it!

Update :: Here’s my post on how to Make Lavender Eye Pillows with Glue Batik Art

Have you tried glue batik yet? If not, I highly recommend giving it a try!

Some ideas for what to make with this technique…

Pin It for Later ::

How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Brigitte
    May 16, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I LOVE the sound of this! It’s a very rainy day here in Perth, Australia and we’re without a car as we’re a one car house so I’m going to have to make do with the glue I’ve got. It’s the white kind (like Aquadhere) … Craft glue. I think I’ll try the marbling too … If I can find some marbles otherwise something else will have to suffice. Thank you! I love your blog!

    • Reply
      Trish
      April 18, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      Hi Brigitte,

      How did the PVA glue (Aquadhere) go?

      I’m in Australia too, so not sure if I can get a hold of the Elmer’s blue gel type glue.

      Thanks,

      Trish

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 12, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    How washable is the fabric? I was thinking it would be fun to make a quilt and have the children decorate larger squares for it using this technique.

  • Reply
    Teresa
    February 8, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Very cool! Is the fabric soft when you complete the process or is it a bit stiff from acrylic? These are very neat and looks very doable even with preschoolers… we’ll see ;)

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      February 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      It’s a bit stiffer than usual, Teresa.

      • Reply
        Teresa
        February 16, 2016 at 9:20 pm

        Thank you! I was just trying to think of how we will best use the fabric we decorate :)

  • Reply
    Maureen
    December 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Oops, I tried to do this from memory (I had checked out your book from our library) & put the pillowcases in the tub BEFORE we had tie-dyed them. So I’m assuming, probably correctly, that the kids’ original glue designs are gone & washed down the tub? Oh well, glad I found you online…batik project: take two!

  • Reply
    Francisca Francis
    March 8, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Am so impress of the glue batik I will definitely use the glue when am having a project with my grand children. Thanks for the info .

  • Reply
    Francisca Francis
    March 8, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Can I use fabric bye to colour my fabric when using the glue

  • Reply
    MJ
    March 17, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Is it possible to use watercolor paints?

    • Reply
      Melissa Garrett
      March 22, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Hi MJ. This is Melissa, the Artful Parent Project Manager. Watercolor paints are great for a multitude of projects, but they wouldn’t work for the glue batik technique since it involves washing the fabric to remove the glue; watercolor would wash out. Jean has tried batik with acrylic paint and with fabric paint with lovely results. Hope that helps; happy artful parenting!

  • Reply
    Susan
    May 11, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Hi
    I was wondering if you can use this on 100% polyester fabric.
    thanks
    Susan

  • Reply
    Emily
    May 16, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Does this technique work with tie dye?

  • Reply
    Zibby Miles
    September 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you for this idea. We’re going to use it in our beginner art class at a wellness clinic and I can’t wait to see what people come up with!

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