Video: Making a Simple Batik for the Classroom

During my first year of teaching, I attempted real batik with my fourth graders. Yes, hot melted wax, permanent fabric dye and about 10 hours of ironing on my part. It was silly. Luckily, I’ve come up with a much easier (and less messy) way to achieve a similar effect. Watch the video to see how it’s done!

Have you ever tried batik in the classroom? How did you make it work?

Have you found ways to simplify other tricky techniques? We’d love to hear.

5 years ago

Amanda Heyn

Amanda is the Senior Editor at AOE. She has a background in teaching elementary art and enjoys working to bring the best ideas from the world of art ed to the magazine each day. 


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  • Lisa Hartz

    I really like this! Thanks for sharing! What weight is the paper you use?

    • I hope you give it a try. My students love it! I just use a nicer weight drawing paper. I’ve also done it with good quality construction paper (like Tru-Ray)- although it’s a bit more fragile.

      • Lisa Hartz

        Thanks! I use 80lb drawing paper for nearly everything so hopefully that’ll work well enough.

  • erica artprojectgirl

    love! good idea with size!!!

  • erica artprojectgirl

    Amanda you should see my hands! My cuticles are completely black (I tried wearing gloves to wash but it didn’t last too long) I’ve been batiking all week with the kids and had a BLAST. Also loved how one of my classes started a discussion about the “oil” on the oil pastel and water and how they don’t mix. They brought up how that happens in the ocean when oil spills happen. They are always thinking about the environment no matter what we do. Thanks for the reminder of this process.

    • Awesome! Yes…good old art teacher hands :). If I remember, I put lotion on right before I start washing…seems to create a little bit of a barrier to help with that problem!

  • Lisa Hartz

    Ok I tried this with mixed results! The first time, I used too much water and the cracks were more gray than black. Also, the first class I tried it with kept complaining that when they crumpled their paper, the oil pastels were getting rubbed together and colors transferring. They weren’t happy. So – next class – I had them cover their paper with a paper towel before they crumpled. Worked like a charm! They really love the look when it’s done, and think that washing paper is fascinating!

    • Oooo! I’ll have to try the paper towel technique. Thanks for the tip!

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