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Example crayon batik
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Friday Fun

Crayon Batik

What you will make:

In this project, you will learn how to imitate on paper the fabric decorating technique from Java called batik. The process uses crayons (broken ones are fine) to draw and color a design on white paper, that is then wadded and painted with black to make the cracks that are typical to batiks. You can use the resulting pictures to make cards, decorate notebook covers, or hang on the wall.

What is batik? Batik is the process of dyeing fabric after liquid wax has been applied. The wax resists the dye, so the part of the fabric covered with wax is not dyed. This process is usually repeated with more wax and different colors of dye. During the dyeing process some of the wax becomes cracked. Dye seeps into the cracks giving batik its characteristic look. Crayon batik imitates this cracked look.

This project is great for family, classroom or group craft time. With a little preparation by the adults or teen leaders, this project is fast and fun.

Related crafts: Checkout other Decorative Crafts crafts and Surface Design Techniques. For another craft from Java, make shadow puppets as described in the Stick Puppets craft project.

Here's what you need:
  • White computer paper or construction paper
  • Crayons
  • Black poster paint or acrylic paint
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Compass, or small plate to trace around
  • Kitchen sponge (new)
  • Plastic lid or plate
  • Paper towels and newspapers
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Optional: Foam brush, black construction or craft paper, colored paper for matting

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make a Crayon Batik

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Project Preparation

Gather the materials needed for making crayon batiks. Cut the white paper into 4" to 6" squares. Lay out the newspapers to cover your work area. Prepare a place to iron the batiks. Each child will need a square of paper and crayons. For younger children, draw the circles on the paper in advance or print papers from your computer with pre-drawn circles.

Cut the sponge into suitable size pieces. You might cut a standard kitchen sponge in half and cut one of those pieces in half again. Use the smaller pieces for applying paint and the larger piece for wiping excess paint away.  Tip: The sponge will be easier to cut if it is damp.

Step 2: Draw Design

On the paper square, use the pencil to draw a circle that nearly fills the paper. Use a compass to draw the circle or trace around a plate or lid. Use the pencil and ruler to divide the circle into smaller spaces. Do this any way you like, but keep the spaces no smaller than about 1" to ½" square. Make your drawing abstract or draw a picture.

Tip: Images printed from your computer can also be turned into crayon batiks. Draw an image on your computer using simple shapes and lines or simple clip-art. Be sure the picture is just lines, like a coloring book picture. The printable designs in the Stained Glass Christmas Decorations craft project work well.

Step 3: Color with Crayons

Color the picture with crayons, using colors that go together. Make each color solid with no paper showing through. When all the colors are completely solid, go over the pencil lines with a thick line of black crayon.

Step 4: Apply Paint

Wad the paper into a tight ball. This makes the batik-like cracks. Carefully flatten out the paper and place it on newspaper.

Thin black paint or other dark color of paint. Use the sponge to apply the paint all over your drawing. Do not let it dry! Wipe the excess paint away with a damp sponge.

Step 5: Iron

You will need an adult to do this step. It requires the use of an iron.

Place the drawing between two paper towels on an ironing board. Iron to flatten and dry your drawing.

Step 6: Finish Up

You can use your completed crayon batik in several ways:

  • To admire it as a picture, mount it on a piece of construction paper or put it in a frame.
  • To make a card, cut and fold colored paper or cardstock to the size card you want. Use glue or double-sided tape to attach the crayon batik to the card front.
  • Glue the picture to the front of a binder or notebook. You may want to cover it with a piece of clear contact paper for protection.
  • Crayon batiked paper also makes nice booklet covers. Fold a full-size sheet of paper in half. Place folded sheets of paper inside. Staple or sew along the fold to bind the booklet. Glue  your finished batik on the front.

That's it! Your crayon batik is done!
Crayon batik

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Crayon batik suncatcher

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Tip: Make a crayon batik suncatcher by using a lighter weight paper, like computer paper or rice paper, and framing it with black paper that has a circle cutout. Make the batik more translucent by waxing it, see how in the Waxing Paper craft project.

Examples of crayon batiks using printed images

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Tip: Images printed from your computer can also be turned into crayon batiks. Draw an image on your computer using simple shapes and lines or you can use simple clip-art. Be sure the picture is just lines, like a coloring book picture.

Crayon batik bookmark

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Tip: Crayon batiks can be cut into strips and made into bookmarks!

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