For this project I used:
Several boxes of crayons from the dollar store
100% Cotton fabric (light color)
Fabric Spray Dye (black)
Black Fabric Pen
First, I cut the light fabric into two 12” squares. I also cut a bunch of 6” squares with the idea of creating more batik blocks for a future table runner, but I ended up setting them aside to concentrate on the two pillows I wanted to create. I wanted a colorful town street scene, so I drew in pencil the basic design that I wanted.
Okay, now we get into where I had to do some edits on my instructions. The original instructions called for melting the crayons in little cups that you make out of aluminum foil and floating them in a pan of boiling water. Which actually might have been a good idea in hindsight. But I decided to melt them in an old muffin tin in the oven. I peeled and broke up three to four crayons per color in the muffin tin and put them in a 275 degree oven.
They took about 5 minutes to melt. Don’t worry- it doesn’t stink up the kitchen. Actually, this part was rather easy to do. *Edit: One of my readers suggested using candle melting plates which might work even better to keep the wax melted while painting. If you use the oven, be sure to supervise the melting of the wax carefully.
Lay your fabric on aluminum foil to prevent the wax from going through to your counter. Start a small pan of boiling water to use to clean your brushes as you go. I used very inexpensive brushes for this project as I was planning to throw them away afterward.
Dip your brush in the melted wax and then start painting away! I found that I needed to put the tin back in the oven about every five minutes or so to re-melt the wax, so it is quite possible that the method the magazine suggested might have been a bit easier. But I certainly have a tendancy to do things the hard way. (Suggested clean up for this part of the project- I threw away the brushes, and the hardened wax was easy to pop out of the muffin tin for future use. Any residue in the pan can be re-melted in the oven for a minute or two and then wiped away). Do not pour hot wax down your drain!
Once the entire piece of fabric is covered with colored wax, it is ready for the next step- adding dye. Take each piece of wax covered fabric and wad them up in a ball, creating many tiny cracks in the wax.
The instructions called for cold water dye with good reason. If you added this to hot water- all your wax would melt! Unfortunately, the only dye that I could find that did not call for hot water was spray dye that I found at my local craft store. No problem. I simply laid the pieces of fabric out on trash bags and then sprayed the crap out of them with the spray dye. I then patted them down with paper towels to get off the extra dye and let them dry overnight.
They looked terrible at this point and I was a bit worried. But I had faith.
The next step is to lay them between two pieces of newspaper and using an iron set at the highest setting, begin to iron out the wax. You will have to change the newspaper quite often, and I’m not gonna lie, this took a while. I went through an entire Sunday paper on this project.
But look at the result! Wow!
My final step on the batik design was to add a few details with a black fabric pen.
I made mine into pretty city pillows to put on my guest bed, but you can do anything with this batik fabric that you might do with regular fabric. Quilts, tablecloths, dresses, table runners, whatever. In fact, it would probably make awesome Christmas pillows using a Christmas design.If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might enjoy my Flip Flop Pillow tutorial. How to create a whimsical pillow that will give a room a summery look.
Or check out my Ukrainian egg tutorial- another method of batik that creates a very detailed look, using beeswax as the resist and dye, you can create amazing egg art.