March 10, 2010

Easy Batiking!

Don't you love batik? There's an easy way of creating fun, colorful batiks with your kids that doesn't involve hot wax. I found the method on That Artist Woman and tried it out for myself. Here's how we created this fun Batik Pillow.

You'll need:
  • 2 pieces of same-sized fabric
  • gel glue (I'll explain later)
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brushes, water
1. Trace or draw your design lightly on the fabric with pencil.
I googled "elephant coloring page" and found a design I liked for my panel. For E's panel, I simply traced over one of her recent paintings. If you wanted, you could simply have your child skip this step and draw straight with glue.

2. Trace over the pencil with the glue.
Gale @ That Artist Woman used Elmers galatic glue. I couldn't find it or her other recommendation: Elmers washable school gel glue at Walmart. (I wasn't about to make a special trip.) What I did find was Clear Gel Tacky Glue. I think what's important is that the glue is not for fabric and is in gel form. I tried using good ol' school glue, but it spreads once it's on the fabric, so stick with gel glues.

3. Allow to dry overnight. 


4. Mix acrylic paint with water to make a very runny paint.


5. Paint!
The glue will not repel the paint, but don't worry, it'll wash out later.


6. Allow to dry. Again. 
This should only take a few hours.

7. Soak in the bathtub in very warm (almost hot) water for around 20 minutes.


8. Remove the glue.
At this point the glue will have softened up. Rub the fabric to loosen the paint over the glue. It will come off in flakes into the water. Then you can take a nail brush and scrub off the remaining glue.

9. Wring out and dry (in the dryer, if you'd like).

10. Sew into a pillow!

E keeps trying to convince me that we need to send the pillow to our Compassion child Aom in Thailand. I love the sentiment, but I think I'll pass on the international shipping!

An Elephant in the Backyard by Richard Sobol

An An Elephant in the BackyardI don't choose non-fiction very often, but this one is definitely worth a look. It tells the story of the elephants of Tha Klang, Thailand. The people in this village have been raising and training elephants for hundreds of years. The book introduces one special baby elephant, Wan Pen, and explains how the elephant lives with her human family and is trained.

Although written for older children, E sat through the entire reading and really enjoyed the pictures of Wan Pen with the Thai children. Even A seemed to like the full-color photography of elephants and daily life in the village.

Afterward, I got to share a few pictures of my own elephant trekking experience in Thailand! Who knows? Maybe these were elephants from Tha Klang!

Scanned Image 100690000

I'm linking up with:
- Show Off Your Stuff @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
- stART @ A Mommy's Adventures


  1. Aww, this is so cute! Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

  2. I first have to say that you have MAD elephant drawing skills! I love it! a

    And second, what a fun project!

    so cool! : )

  3. I love that your daughter wants to send it to your Compassion child- you're raising a sweet one, Mamma!

    (Oh, and I believe I will be adding this craft to our "Summer Fun Stuff" list...)

  4. We've done batiking with the same technique and it works so well! My daughter fell in love with the book "A Bad Case of Stripes" this week and I was trying to think of something fun to do with it. Maybe we'll do some pillow made me think of it. Thanks!

  5. I love batik! Thanks for explaining the technique.

  6. I am in love with that pillow!!! Of course, I absolutely adore elephants. Poor Madeline has no choice but to love them too, as I have decorated her room with them since birth. ;)

  7. That's awesome! Total summer to-do and MUCH better than tie die in my opinion

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  9. this is a project i absolutely ♥♥♥!
    your elephant is just my style...i have a thing for elephants and birds...?? :)
    i can definitely see my daughter & i doing this project together this summer.
    thanks a bunch for linking up at fireflies& glad i found you!
    going to have to follow you now...can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  10. while browsing your past posts i realized you are Beth's sister...(i ♥ her blog too!) so glad to "meet" you! i love children's literature too. i theme lesson plans and activities weekly over the summer break for my daughter. i can see your blog is going to be a great resource for inspiration!

  11. Lovely little pillow! Thank you so much for the tutorial. Definitely something I will try with my son's artwork.

  12. I've never heard of gel glue before but I shall certainly do some research now as I think this is a fantastic project. And what a great book to pair it up with!

  13. That is amazing! I love it! I have been wanting to do some batik prints but havent gotten around to it! You have inspired me! I am a new follower, and invite you to come over and check out my blog as well!

  14. Wow! Awesome craft and great pic of the elephant trekking!

  15. This is a great project and they make a great keepsake.

  16. I have never heard of batik. Thanks for sharing.

  17. That first pic looked so fancy, I doubted you at first! I thought there was no way it was simple, but yet, it is! I can't wait to try it out! I love how that elephant turned out. Great post.

  18. Wow, that really is eye-catching. What a wonderful craft. Both panels turned out beautifully.

  19. Hi!

    I love, love, LOVE this project! It's so cute! My only question is this - will the paint wash out of the fabric when it is washed?

    I really appreciate it. Thanks!

  20. Lauren -

    I haven't needed to wash the pillow, so I can't say for sure. However, I have used acrylic paint on fabric before and never had a problem with it washing out. Certain colors faded a bit, but not enough to trouble me.



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