Glue Batik

Batik is a wax-resist fabric dyeing technique that originated in Indonesia. To make batik-making more child-friendly, wax can be replaced with white glue or blue gel glue to make various exciting batik crafts and projects.
Glue Batik craft


  • Canvas or cotton fabric
  • Fabric paint or acrylic paint
  • Washable white glue or Elmer's washable blue gel glue
  • Paint brushes
  • Plastic wrap or plastic placemat

Safety Tips

  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help.. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.


Step 1a Glue Batik 1.

Prepare your fabric

Cut canvas or cotton fabric into the desired size. You can go with a small piece and later make it into a framed artwork or you can work on a larger fabric sheet that you can subsequently sew into bandanas, bags, banners, flags, pillowcases, table cloths, and other projects.
Step 1b Glue Batik Don't forget that you can also do glue batik directly onto plain and light-colored shirts, canvas bags, aprons, pillow cases, summer dresses, etc.
Step 2 Glue Batik 2.

Sketch a design (Optional)

If you are planning on making a detailed picture, you can lightly sketch your design onto the fabric. Another option you can do is to cut out a picture or template and trace around its outline onto the fabric.
Step 3 Glue Batik 3.

Make a batik design with glue

Place plastic wrap or a plastic placemat under your fabric in case the glue seeps through. Squeeze white glue or blue gel glue to make lines and designs on your fabric. You can make simple designs like flowers or geometric shapes, or do a complete picture. Young kids will surely enjoy squeezing on random lines and shapes.

If you made a sketch, you simply have to apply glue along the lines of your drawing.
Step 4 Glue Batik 4.

Allow the glue to dry

Once you are satisfied with your design, allow the glue to dry. This will take around 6 hours or more, depending on the weight of your fabric and the thickness of the glue lines. When completely dry, the glue lines will turn transparent.
Step 5 Glue Batik 5.

Prepare your paint

Prepare the colors of fabric paint or acrylic paint on your palette. Watering the down the paint can create a nice watercolor-like wash. Although be careful with adding too much water because your batik might look old and too washed-out.

On the other hand, adding just a little bit of water can give beautiful deep hues but thick acrylic paint sometimes chips off from the fabric. The best way to find the right balance is to try it out for yourself on a spare swatch of fabric.
Step 6a Glue Batik 6.

Paint the fabric

Classic batik usually makes use of 1 or 2 colors - this puts the emphasis more on the lines rather than the colors, although multiple colors are not uncommon. When using 2 or more colors, you can paint random splotches of color or paint an ordered pattern (e.g. stripes).
Step 6b Glue Batik A variation you can do is to use the glue lines as the borders for the colors, quite similar to painting any picture.
Step 7 Glue Batik 7.

Allow the paint to dry

When you have covered the entire fabric with colors, let the paint dry completely.

*To find out if the glue has effectively resisted the paint, check the flip side of your fabric. The areas with glue should not absorb any of the colors.
Step 8a Glue Batik Ask for an adult's help.8.

Remove the glue

Soak the fabric in warm water for 15 to 30 minutes. You can do this in a basin or directly inside a sink or bathtub. The glue will soften as it soaks longer. You can speed up the process by rubbing on the areas with glue. After all the glue has been removed, hang the fabric to dry.
Step 8b Glue Batik Another method I've tried that does not involve soaking in water is to peel off the dry glue lines directly from the fabric. This does not work for certain types of fabric. It worked well on my canvas batik but didn't on my cotton tank top.
Step 9 Glue Batik 9.

Finishing touches

Once your batik has dried, iron it and it's ready to be framed or displayed as an artwork or perhaps you can hem the edges to turn it into a placemat, napkin or bandana. If you worked on a large piece of batik, you can sew and transform it into a bag, pillowcase, tablecloth, and other projects.

More Ideas

Glue Batik Flag craft Make batik banners and flags. Glue has been applied into star shapes and large stripes to make this batik American flag - A great craft idea for the 4th of July.

*When applying glue to large sections such as the stripes on this flag, squeeze the glue within the intended area and use a paint brush to spread it more evenly.
Glue Batik-geometric patterns Geometric shapes and random lines are quite easy to make and they are perfect for making batik bandanas, placemats and pillowcases.
Glue Batik-bird design Picture batiks look gorgeous on a frame or you can make them into wall hangings or sew them onto the front of canvas bags or fabric tote bags.
Glue Batik Tanktop I'm quite happy with how my tank top batik turned out. I painted on the color with washes of acrylic paint but a quicker way to apply color is to load fabric dye into spray bottles and spray on the color.
Aboriginal Art-Inspired Glue Batik Instead of lines make glue dots to define an image. This would be a project that you can make for a pointillism or Australian aboriginal art-inspired batik.