Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Glue Batik Skirts

This was an impromptu project I did with the girls back at the end of August.  There was a Back-to-School church activity that included a fashion show for the girls to show off their new school clothes.  We'd been given so many cute, stylish hand-me-downs a month of so before that I saw no reason to take the girls back-to-school shopping...but I wanted them to have something fun and "new" they were excited about at the fashion show.

I really wish I'd taken process pictures of this project because these skirts have been a huge hit with the girls and they've gotten many compliments from strangers and friends.  I've even been asked where they can be bought.
(Katie's also wearing her favorite necklace here.  Her Mandelbrot: Julia Set Necklace from Boutique Academia.)

They are really easy to make, so I'll describe the process as best I can.  You can also see directions with pictures for glue batik at That Artist Woman...which is where I got the idea.  I've used her method for several different projects and every one is a success.

I started with a piece of white muslin (basically white cotton fabric) about the size they would need for the skirt.   I measured how far it was from their waist to where we wanted the hem to be and added about an inch.  Then I cut a piece of fabric that long and 45 inches wide (the width of most fabric).

Then I had the girls draw their pictures with pencil.  Becca just drew squiggles, and Katie drew actual pictures.  I encouraged them to fill in the entire piece of fabric that they had.

I went over their pencil lines with Elmer's washable glue.  I've used both the clear kind and the white kind and either one works.  You could have your child do this too, but I found the glue balled up on the a lot.  I found it worked best if I applied the glue with the tip of the glue touching the fabric, so it really stuck on the fabric.  Then we let the glue dry thoroughly.

Next I pulled out a muffin tin that I just use for art projects.  I let the girls choose several different colors of regular acrylic craft paint and then added a teaspoon or two of water to make it a little thinner.

Then I put the girls to work painting their fabric.  I encouraged them to vary the colors and fill in the entire piece of fabric so there was no white left.  Then we let it dry thoroughly again.

Once it's completely dry, I soaked the fabric in our sink in warm water.  It doesn't take long.  After 5-10 minutes the glue starts to loosen.  Then I rub the fabric against itself to take most of the glue off.  Then I run the fabric through the washing machine to get off any last traces of glue and loosen up the fabric, so it's no longer stiff.   Then I run it through the dryer as well.

At this point, you've got beautiful, unique fabric to sew into a skirt or any other project.  I just sewed the fabric into a circle and sewed some elastic to the top.

These are favorites of both my girls and they wear them as soon as they can every time they come out of the wash.

Also, while you're here, be sure to enter the giveaway an Usborne book, open until Nov. 19th. 

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Christmas Sticker Book - From Lisa @ Usborne Books
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  1. WOW. These are really great. I LOVE that Katie drew pictures of herself on her skirt - brown hair, glasses, tan skin, and all! So, so wonderful.

  2. Oh my goodness, this is too cute! I just sent the link to a friend of mine that is always looking for fun crafts to do with his little boy. This fabric would make a fun Christmas present for Grandma from him. Thanks so much!

  3. So cute! I wonder if this would work with men's ties, or if the silk (well, polyester more likely for this project!) would react weird to all the glue/paint/water. Sounds like an adorable father's day gift. Or you could make a scarf for grandma.

    1. I've painted on ties a couple times using freezer paper stencilling. I've never tried batik on it though because you have to wash the glue out.

  4. Those are so cute! Katie is really good at drawing. I'm so bad at drawing people haha.

  5. Those look great. I love the face. I am going to have to try it on some white knit and make a pair of pants for Ash.

  6. I love this idea! So unique and the results look great! I also love that the kids can showcase their own work on their clothing. I have to give this a try! Pinning... :-)

  7. Visiting from take a look tuesday. these are amazing. I love the face

  8. these are so fun! i've been planning on trying this technique for ages, thanks for the reminder. what a great way include kids in making their own clothes.

  9. What a fabulous idea! The skirts came out so cute. I'll have to try this with my niece when she is bigger!

  10. I love this idea!!! The fabric the girls have created is awesome. Hope you don't mind, but i'm pinning this...


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