Sunday, July 20, 2008

How to do Batik with Kids




During the school year I needed to find a kid friendly batik idea. I had done wax batik with kids before but it can be a bit difficult using hot wax. It also is not much fun having to iron away the wax with lots of newspaper. I had heard about glue batik with white glue but the results were disappointing. I stumbled on this blue glue idea and I LOVE IT!!!


It is now the talk of the school because it is so user friendly. So lets get started:


MATERIALS REQUIRED:

- washable gel glue
- wax paper
- fabric, cotton muslin works well
- acrylic paint
- paint brushes
- sink or tub for soaking
- dryer or iron to heat set



You need this type of glue.  I first did this batik with the Sparkle version but this is better.

I also buy a no name brand at the Dollar store that works great.

I used 5 bottles for 24 kids and we were able to do 3 projects with it.





I cut my fabric to size and I have a layer of wax paper underneath.

Draw your image straight on to your fabric with your glue bottle. For the butterfly I lightly pencilled in my design first. The pencil marks come off in the wash stage.


If the kids have difficulty with squeezing the bottle pour a little in a cup and use a paintbrush.






When finished let dry completely about 12 hours.










Now you get to add color. Instead of using fabric dye which could wash out the glue prematurely I use watered down acrylic craft paint. You can almost achieve a watercolor like effect with it. I don't use fabric paint because it costs more and it only has a bit of softener in it. This works better.
















Having fun painting (Jeff age 5).

Make sure you use an art shirt to protect your clothes.






When finished painting let dry completely. Depending on the weight of your fabric this might take a few hours.










When dry you need to soak your fabric in a warm (almost hot) water bath. Depending on the fabric's weight this soak can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 1/2 an hour, (heavier fabrics take longer). I use the bathtub because it works best for a large number of pieces. Don't worry about the paint coming off you will only get a few flakes of dried color in the water.
To help it along you can also scrub it a bit with a nailbrush.

When the glue is all off the fabric wring out your piece and dry. I use the dryer because I'm impatient and with 24 pieces I wanted it done.



Sew up into your finished project. In this case Jeff wanted a pillow for his room.








This is one of the projects I did with the school for Father's Day, homemade windsocks. I used very light fabric (polyester lining material) for this one.

We also did a name sign out of heavy canvas for all the kids.

In both cases the blue glue batik worked terrific!!

Give it a try the possibilities are endless. You could make flags, banners,tote bags,custom shirts or just a nice wall hanging.

see ya later
gail

86 comments:

  1. Very nice tutorial! Thanks for doing the work to write it.

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  2. Hey Meggiecat, Thanks for the comments and the link...my first link woohoo!!
    gail

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  3. What a great idea! And you are right that this is the best time of year to pick up the school glue. I'm thinking of doing it without kids...

    Very clear instructions and I appreciate hearing your tested shortcuts! (and I got here through Meggiecat)

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  4. blue glue? hmm.. I live in Australia.. I have no idea what blue glue is. What could be equivalent to it?

    www.adelle.com.au

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    1. Hi Adelle-- I live in Perth & have been unable to source Elmers No-Run School Glue, which completely washes out. The school glue at Spotlight & Riot Art supplies washes out ok, but it is white & runny. Apparently the blue stuff is a gel, and it sits nicely without running so makes a good barrier line for batik. I'll have a look in the Reject Shop etc as I read someone found an equivalent product in a Dollar Store. Will get back to you if I can locate it. Otherwise will have to get someone to bring me a few bottles from the US.

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    2. If you are very motivated, Amazon.com sells this glue. I'm in the U.S. but often order off of Amazon's U.K. site. My d daughter and I are about to paint our pieces. So happy I found this great tutorial!

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  5. This is absolutely perfect! Thanks so much for sharing. During the summer my girls and I have been doing a project a week. This will definitely be next week's project!

    P.S. I found your site through Crafty Crow!

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  6. This is awesome. May I copy and paste (with your credits, of course) to my blog?

    I love this tutorial.

    Saludos,

    Yoli

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  7. Wonderful tutorial, I have done the wax batik, & the flour paste, but not purchased glue. I think this would be wonderful. I'm wondering what about the blue glue makes it better than plain white? Is it that it's a gel? Is it just because it's a color and you can see it better on white?

    Thanks again for a lovely tutorial!

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  8. This is so great!! I'm so excited to try this in my preschool class!!! Thank you soso much for sharing!!

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  9. This is AWESOME!! I can't wait to try it! What kind of fabric did you use? Regular muslin? Doe sit need to be 100% cotton? THANKS!!!!!!

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  10. This is great! We tried it out yesterday with my two daughters. Thank you! I'm going to have eight kids between 2 and 4 years old trying this out next week too.

    http://filthwizardry.blogspot.com/2008/07/kiddie-glue-batik.html

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  11. This looks like SOOO much fun! I can't wait. Thank you! (Like I needed one more thing to do...)

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  12. I am excited to do this with my kids during art week before they go back to school!
    Thanks for the great instructions!

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  13. So, does the glue 'crackle' like wax when you crumple it, so you get the crackle-lines of dye coming through?

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  14. Thanks for all the comments, I can't believe the response I've gotten to this tutorial. Sorry I haven't answered sooner but I just got the laptop setup in the cabin today (we're on vacation)
    sacred snatch: you have my permission to copy and paste
    Tab: the blue glue works better because it is a gel and dissloves completely in water. It helps that it is blue so you can see it on white fabric especially for the younger kids. White glue leaves a residue and I have ripped fabric trying to get it off.
    me:): I have used this on muslin,canvas, and polyester. I suspect it would work well on all fabric types.
    anonymous: Unfortunately you will not get the crackle that you get with wax. With kids though, I found that because they can apply the glue unevenly you still get a really nice look.
    Thanks for visiting.
    gail

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  15. Can't wait to try this with our grandkids. They will love it. Thanks for writing out such excellent instructions, too. Enjoy your tomatoes. They look like a painting ready to happen.

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  16. My daughters did a similar project at an art camp and I loved the soft, watercolor-ish feel! I would like to do with my second grade class...we are going to decorate handkercheifs to donate to patients at the local Cancer Center. I wanted to use 100% cotton for softness, but wondered if the paint ended up making it scratchy. My daughter said they used something "Like paste" in place of the glue or wax, and then "special dyes". I'm not comfortable using the hot wax and the chemicals involved with the other method with 22 seven year olds!! Thanks for your help.

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  17. Thank you! I am going to be doing this with my 2 year old! I love batik and did it all the time in high school and college. I am glad I can share the artistic live without the hot wax!

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  18. Just gave this a "trial run" and it worked great!! I used the non-glitter gel glue and it worked fine. I worried that the color of the paint might fade while washing off the glue, but it did not. At first I followed the directions on the glue bottle and was using cold water to wash it off, but then switched to warm and the warm worked much better (faster) with no adverse reactions! Can't wait to do this with my class!

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  19. Hi,
    Can this fabric be washed after being batiked? I want to use your method to make "flower garden" squares for a special quilt with students. I just want to make sure the whole quilt can be washed.

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  20. Hello! I will definitely try this out with my daughter. Thanks !!

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  21. This sounds great, but I'm concerned: I'm thinking of doing it for my daughter's 8th birthday in two weeks. She wants a Bali-themed party and it could be just the thing. But do you think it's okay as a party activity? Wouldn't it take too long for the art to dry? What do you think would dry quickly? Please advise!

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  22. Thanks for the great site. I am hoping to use some of your words to make an instruction sheet for teachers attending a camp I participate in if you don't mind.Gratefully yours, Dale (doddson@msn.com)

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  23. Thank you oh so much for this idea. I needed an 'easy' batik lesson. Didn't want to mess with the wax, iron, etc.... can't wait to try it! Here i go!

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  24. Can you batik on canvas with the glue?

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  25. I love your site, it is so good!!
    We did Batik today in my textiles class and we used hot wax, this was v. difficult and made big blobs over the material. I think the glue you used would work much better. Great photos!♥

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  26. This is SO great! I'm going to try this with my daughter today. We need to make some curtains for our puppet theater to try it out. I love that I don't hae to go buy a hole bunch of new stuff to do this...just a bottle of blue glue for 90 cents at Michaels (with a coupon). I've put a link to this project on my blog in the "Projects to Try" section and will post another link when I put of pictures of our finished project. I love to quilt too...and this seems like a great way to involve the kids. Thanks Polly @ http://helpinglittlehands.blogspot.com/

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  27. Hi! love this craft, I posted it on my site and linked to your tutorial. See the post here:
    http://momovertheedge2009.blogspot.com/2009/10/glue-batik-fun-simple-project.html

    Thank you!

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  28. using the glue batik method, I would like to make some fun mermaid bed sheets for my daughter (with her help). Is the acrylic paint permanent once it's dried? I (of course) would want to be able to wash the sheets. Let me know, as I don't think that I've worked with acrylic paints since high school art class. thanks!

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  29. Wow just when you think this post has lost steam it gets another burst of popularity!
    Thanks everyone for your interest. In response to the last comment left...the acrylic paint is permanent..it will last through repeated washing with only minimal fading. Sheets!!!Wow I'm impressed with your ambitious project...please send me a picture of your finished project I would love to place it in the gallery.
    Thanks

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  30. You are AWESOME!!!

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  31. Hej!
    I'm reading this post... it's a very nice idea but, as I'm in Italy I'm a bit uncertain about the glue I have to use. What kind of glue is it, precisely: maybe I'd be able to find some of the same sort.

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  32. Hi Gail
    Love this idea...I am so going to try this with my kids! Do you have a type of fabric you use most often?
    thanks - you have awesome art ideas here!

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  33. I was looking for a way to batik with my after school,school aged child care program (SACC). Last year I did this batik project with white Elmer's glue and it was too hard and very difficult to wash out. This blue gel glue sounds like it'll work better and faster.
    I'm also planning on doing this with a bunch of kids at a beach campsite. I'm so excited as this method is nice and cleaner and can be done in the sun and sand! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I shared you blog with my fellow SACC teachers giving you lots of credit! Your the greatest

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  34. Thank you so much for this. My sister sent me the link, she knew this would be right up my alley. As a stay at home mom with little ones I am always looking for new craft ideas. THANK YOU!!!

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  35. Oh my goodness. Thanks so much for posting this! I gave it a try and fell in love with it!
    http://noggintoppers.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/batik-phase-three/

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  36. I want to do this with my students seeing that we are doing a topic on Indonesia. But... I live in Australia, so what is the equivalent to blue glue....

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  37. Hey Anonymous,
    Any washable gel type glue would work just don't use white school glue.

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  38. Hey!
    i am wanting to do some reverse batiking and was wondering if you thought that spraying on the bleach solution would prematurely wash away the glue? thanks for your tips about which type of glue that is so helpful.

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  39. My kids love to do batik wax every week end. It just that the wax is hot and I am lazy to boil it for them.I only gave them the pre ready batik hand draw and they mix the colour and hand paint it. The gel glue is something new to me actually and will helps a lot

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  40. This is a great project! I'll be featuring it on my Kid's Craft Along for the month of June. (With proper credit and links of course!) http://simpleanalogy.typepad.com/simple_analogy/2010/05/june-kids-craft-along-safe-batik-in-other-words-no-wax.html.html
    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  41. This is a great project!

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  42. We just made some glue batik t-shirts using this tutorial. So much fun! Thank you for all of the great ideas!!

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  43. this is 10 out of 10.
    our readers would love to be able to find their way to your blog and this great project idea.

    would you please link it up in our weekly linky party, here:
    http://www.finecraftguild.com/diy-tutorial-linky-party-5/

    each wednesday, we're opening another party -- for future reference and to share more tutorials at a later stage...

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  44. I am making some projects right now. Thanks for the post. I painted then will tye-dye next. Making scarfs and Challah (bread) covers.
    Tikva.

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  45. Hi There,
    I just found this post while looking for some info on doing batik in my classroom. I'm wondering what kind of acrylic paint you use...is it regular acrylic paint watered down? WHat's the difference with acrylic craft paint?
    Thanks!
    Ann

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  46. This is a great blog with excellent posts and links.
    Thanks for sharing .Keep posting articles like this.A good example of content presentation.A piece of information from you every now and then is really great.Great article post.I appreciate your writing skills.

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  47. I love when I have the opportunity to read blogs as interesting as this. really thanks and congratulations.

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  48. Thanks so much for the tutorial! Quick question - do you know if the clear gel school glue from Elmer's will work??? Our local store doesn't carry blue gel glue. Thanks!

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  49. I love when I have the opportunity to read blogs as interesting as this. really thanks and congratulations.

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  50. Wow! Thank you so much for this. I am an art teacher at a school in Trinidad in the Caribbean and I was looking for an easy way to do batik with my kids this term. I have about 29 kids per class..so hot wax is OUT of the question! Love this. I have done paper batik drawing designs on with candle and then washing over with watercolour, but this looks like so much fun. Will let you know how it goes!

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  51. Wow I never know that glue can be used instead of wax to create beautiful batik. Thanks for sharing!

    Kuboje from www.batik-fabric-arts.com

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  52. Hi Gail, I don't remember how I found your site AND I tried this with my granddaughter. It worked really great as you already know. The glue does take some time to wash out. Much better than bleach or wax.

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  53. I have been making personalized pillowcases for my kids using old white ones and making them new again. Everything comes out looking so great! I just slip waxed paper inside of the pillow case and it keeps the paint and glue from coming through to the back side. Thanks for the great tutorial!

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  54. I remember making something like this when I was much younger. This will come in handy for a rainy day weekend project with the kids. Thanks for the great ideas.

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  55. Great tips, I would like to join your blog anyway

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  56. Jeg elsker når jeg har mulighed for at læse blogs så interessant som denne. virkelig tak og tillykke.

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  57. I just did a test run of this project, and it turned out great! I'll be doing it with 5th graders tomorrow. I used clear elmers glue gel (worked great) and lightweight muslin. I tried heavier weight muslin as well, but it didn't turn out as well. Thanks for a great project!

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  58. Has anyone tried this with t-shirts? Does the material stay soft enough to wear comfortably? Please reply soon, as I would love to make 4th of July designs! Thx, from Arizona

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  59. I did this craft project with my 8th graders but we had to use washable craft paint (my kids spill everything). Will I have issues with this paint bleeding into the glue? I'm scared to wash the paint off!

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  60. Hey anonymous,
    was it washable acrylic paint? As long as it's acrylic it should be fine as long as you let it dry first. If it was tempera/poster paint it is going to wash away, might leave some residual color.

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  61. I feel good to be here.
    keep it up and thanks for sharing.
    flyer printing miami
    vehicle wrap miami

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  62. How cool! I was wondering what an easier way for my PrePrimary school children was, to do their batik cushion covers. Now this I am going to try. Thanks for the great ideas. Most appreciated! :o)

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  63. I love this idea. I made a t-shirt this weekend, and will now be doing this as an art project with my history class (4th graders). Thank you for the great ideas.

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  64. Bren - Little Learners Preschool - HawaiiDecember 7, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Thanks for the great idea. I am making pillows for our preschoolers to nap with. Today, we did the gluing, on one side I traced their handprints & wrote their name, then on the other side they designed their own. It will be their Christmas present when it is all done. Can't wait to see the finished product.

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  65. When the artist we had booked to run our Batik art day rang in sick the week before I began to think we wouldn't get to do Batik. The idea of hot wax with 60 10 year olds and no one to show me how worried me but then I found this article and I am soooo glad. The children loved their batik mornings (lunch wasn't long enough for the glue to dry) and produced beautiful work! Thank you so much for your fantastic clear instructions and this wonderful idea. If you want to see their fabulous work by go post http://bpsyr5.primaryblogger.co.uk/ and please leave a comment.

    I do have a couple of tips though:

    1) In the uk I couldn't find this glue but found a few that worked well:
    -Pritt clear washable PVA (cheapest we found was Wilkos)
    - Pritt clear all purpose glue (V expensive!)
    - Staples washable glue pen (not actually a pen more of a pad like the post ofice used to use to wet stamps)
    We also didn't need anything like as much as we thought we would for 60 children we prob got through 4/5 large bottles of Pritt clear washable PVA for 60 kids.

    2) We found that for the more detailed batik using a very sharp pencil to draw on the glue to the design worked much better than a paint brush.

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  66. I tried this at school with my HS students. I work in a behavioral setting and have small class sizes (8-12 students). I only have Elmer's school glue, so that is what I used. I was nervous because so many people said the white glue was a pain, but I tried a sample and it came out beautiful. To get the glue out, I soaked the finished products in HOT soapy water for about 20 minutes, then "scrubbed" them gently to get out the extra glue.

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  67. I am trying this for the first time tonight with the Elmer's clear washable glue. Hoping... that it will work. I will try to find this site again and let everyone know if it did. I would of bought the blue gel, but my walmart wasn't carrying it currently so I settled for what they had without dragging my 3 year old around that had to "potty" to different stores... I hope it works!!!

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  68. I'm thrilled to discover this technique, I work with 2 4yr olds with speech/sensory special needs and this would work really nicely. I have to though, let it dry/sit for 2 days because I'm only in their home 2X week. At least I'd know it was dry!
    I'll try it at home first.
    Thanks!

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  69. This is a brilliant project that I have done several times with the kids at my school. The Elmer's clear gel glue works really well too, and the washing machine is a great alternative to getting the glue out by hand! Especially when you have a large piece of fabric. I generally put a batik through 2 cool washes, pull it out and hang dry. No scrubbing with a nail brush and breaking your back over the bathtub!
    Thanks for the idea, I love it.

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  70. My kids and I had the best time with this project the other day!!! I put a link to this post on my blog. Thanks for all your great ideas!!!
    Have a great weekend
    Lisa

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  71. Thank you for this information. I am a batik artist and teaching a batik workshop in a few weeks. I've learned that they opened the workshop to children.. YIKES and panic. I googled "batik without using wax" and found your website. Just what I was looking for. and will use this idea for the kids table. Perfect and inexpensive.

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  72. I just did this today with my 4 yr old daughter! We couldn't find Elmer's blue gel glue anywhere so we used clear. She wouldn't relinquish the bottle so I did my shirt (we did t-shirts) with regular white school glue. Both types of glue did the job and came out easily in warm water. I will say, however, that the white glue was much easier to use than the gel because it came out thicker and without air bubbles. The gel had bubbles all throughout and it made messy lines for us. I also discovered that putting the white glue bottle in the fridge for five minutes before using it helped it sit up on the fabric nicer and it came out of the bottle in a uniform fashion. Thanks for this awesome method! We 'saved' many of her stained tees by painting beautiful batiks on the front. Next, we will make throw pillows and wall hangings with a friend of hers this weekend. EXCITING!! :)

    Peace & happiness,
    Amy

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  73. Hi,

    THANK YOU, this looks so much fun and I will be trying it tomorrow with my class of 6 and 7 year olds. For those Australian readers, I have just found Elmer's Glue at Officeworks (Penrith, NSW) at $5 a bottle.

    Thank you so much for this wonderful idea!

    Megan

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  74. I am super excited to have a group of students use this method to make Japanese Windsocks!!

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    Replies
    1. would love to get directions for Japanese windsocks...an art project with my students i've always wanted to do!

      thx!

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    2. Hi mm truscott
      The directions for the windsocks are here
      http://www.thatartistwoman.org/2009/05/childrens-day-koinobori-windsocks.html

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  75. This was really helpful. My son was researching batik techniques and this turned out so well. The local art shop was able to supply the glue for £6. We used cotton sheeting which washed well and after drying had an even better finish. Thanks, this was great.

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  76. Did this with 20 3rd graders after talking about Ghana and adinkra symbols. Yay!

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  77. I plan on doing this in a summer camp. Do you know if a 50/50 poly cotton napkin will work or does the fabric need to be a cotton muslin?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it should be fine with a 50/50 poly cotton blend. Good luck with your summer camp.

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  78. I can't find the gel glue anywhere (in Canada) but really want to try this project. Will white school glue really ruin the project?

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    Replies
    1. I'm in Canada as well. You can use the Elmer's clear school glue, that works well. I also tend to find the gel glue at the dollar store. You can try the white school glue, I have used it in the past it just takes longer at the soaking stage and you can sometimes have bits that won't release. Good luck with the project!

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  79. Wow! I live in Indonesia and I've always wanted to try batik with my young kids but was afraid of the hot wax and the intricate process. I never realized you could do batik with other materials.. am excited to try this with the kids as soon as I can get some glue! Thanks a lot!

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