I’ve been wracking my brains, trying to come up with an easy, fun and social dorm activity that everyone can do AND that results in a product that will leave the common spaces much, much prettier than they are right now. They’re rather barren and no fun to hang out in. Then I read about how to do batik with kids.
Traditionally, batik is a method of dying fabric that utilizes hot wax on fabric to create a design that remains white once the fabric is dyed and the wax is removed. It’s a beautiful technique but hard to do because of the hot wax, hot dye and large amount of time and skill that is required…
Until you replace hot wax with washable Elmer’s glue and dye with watered down acrylic paint. Then it’s a fast, easy and immensely teachable technique! I got the idea from Craftzine who got the idea from the blog This Artist Woman. I got enough materials for everyone in the dorm (21 people) to make two murals, one per floor. At less than $20 this wound up being a really easy and inexpensive way to get everyone together. Now, we haven’t done it yet but I did do my own test swatch so that I have something to show everybody when we do start to roll up our sleeves and get cracking. This is the example of batik on Craftzine that caught my eye in the first place:
This is a really pretty example. All of the white lines were created by drawing that pattern out with glue on the fabric, letting it dry, painting acrylic paint on, letting that dry, washing the glue off and then voila! It’s done! So I gave it a try…
This is a small swatch of fabric, about five inches wide and two feet long. I’ve applied the glue and the paint here and I’m waiting for it to dry before I wash the glue out.
And here is the finished piece! The white areas really glow when the fabric is held up to the light and I think this would be a great way to make some curtains later on down the road.
I would really recommend this project and the tutorial over at The Artist Woman. It’s concise, easy to follow and the process is easy enough for school children to do. Plus the finished product looks so good, it’s hard not to get excited about the whole idea.
I can’t wait to see what the dorm winds up painting on their fabric murals. I’ll be posting pictures as soon as they get going!