Art with Alyssa: Heart Batik Mural

batik hearts 2389

Plan a Family Art Night that includes making a heart batik mural, homemade Valentine’s Day cards and other creative projects. This fabric batik wall hanging is beautiful and would also make a nice gift for a loved one. Consider using different colors for other holidays—or to match your home décor. Plan ahead—this project requires several periods of drying, including 24 hours before painting.

Supplies

One piece of cotton or cotton blend fabric for each mural (6” x 15” or larger)

Pencil

White liquid glue (Elmer’s Glue-All works best) 

Acrylic paint or fabric paint (blue, red, purple, pink) 

Paintbrush

Paper plate

Chopstick or wooden dowel 2” wider than fabric

Ribbon or string 

Water cup

Wax paper, foil or parchment to cover workspace 

Directions

  1. Cover workspace because the paint will soak through the fabric.

  2. Using a pencil, lightly draw heart shapes on fabric; draw patterns and lines inside hearts, if desired. 

  3. Using the glue, draw over the pencil lines. Add additional patterns and lines (with the glue), as desired. 

  4. Allow to dry completely (about 24 hours).

  5. If using thick paint, dilute it slightly with water (½ teaspoon at a time) so the paint flows easily across the fabric.

  6. Using a paintbrush, paint the fabric as desired. To get the blended effect, allow paint to mix slightly as you paint.

  7. Allow to dry completely, until paint is set.

  8. Soak fabric in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften the glue. Remove as much glue as possible by peeling and rubbing gently.

  9. Allow fabric to dry completely; then press with an iron at the hottest setting available for your fabric. This sets the color even more. 

  10. If the fabric is stiff, you can launder it in cold water (by itself) and hang to dry.

  11. To hang, fold the top edge over about 1 inch and sew or glue to create a “sleeve” for the chopstick or dowel. Add ribbon to the ends of the dowel and hang. 

More resources for families: 

  • Batik is a type of wax resist textile art from Indonesia. Artists draw on the fabric with warm liquid wax using a tool called a canting. They print on fabric using a copper stamp called a tjap. Then they dye the fabric. 

  • While closed for renovation right now, the Mingei Museum in Balboa Park has a large collection of batik tjaps and batik textiles, some of which can be seen in their online collection. https://collections.mingei.org

  • The book Under The Sea by Nor Azhar Ishak is illustrated with batik images. 

Alyssa Navapanich is a nationally recognized art educator who teaches art to elementary school kids in East San Diego County. She is the author of San Diego Family Magazine’s “Art with Alyssa” column.

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