DIY – BATIK DYE WALL HANGING

Nicole and I have partnered up again for the second installment of our DIY series!  Coming at you once a month! Remember last month’s watercolor paper flower tutorial!?  Well, today we are teaching you how to batik dye, creating a beautiful tapestry for your wall….or any fun special occasion!

Supply List:

- Drop cloth or heavy cotton canvas

- Paraffin wax or Beeswax (or a combo of the two)

- Crock pot or double boiler

- Rit liquid dye

- Pencil

- Scissors

- Gloves

- Old paintbrushes

The first thing you will need to do is cut your fabric to the preferred size and lightly sketch out your design.  We cut our drop cloth to 34″ X 46″ and went with a simple flower crown illustration for our design.

Next, heat up your wax in an old crock pot or using a double boiler on the stove. Heat the wax to around 170′F (80′C) making sure that your wax does not get to the flash point. (never leave it unattended).

Take an old paint brush (one you don’t mind tossing)  and trace over the design with the wax as you would with paint.  We recommend placing some cardboard underneath the fabric so you don’t destroy the surface of whatever you are working on.  Remember, you are painting where you do NOT want the dye to go.  Make sure your wax is at a hot enough temperature so that it absorbs into the thread.  You dont want your wax just sitting on top of the fabric, because that will effect the outcome.  Allow wax to harden.

Take liquid RIT dye and mix with warm water in a large plastic bucket (or mix the dye as indicated on the packet you are using) Don’t be a afraid to play around with the ratios of dye to water- use test strips until you achieve the color you really want.  We used a black dye and the color ended up being a purple-ish charcoal tone.

Put on some plastic gloves and dip your fabric into the dye….if you want it darker, allow dye to soak in as much as possible to achieve the darkest shade.  Ours was left in the dye for about 15 minutes before rinsing.  Rinse with room temp water and hang to dry.

To remove the wax: Place a paper towel on both the top and bottom of your fabric.  iron the fabric until all the wax has heated and lifted from the fabric. Replace the paper towel as you go until all the wax is absorbed.

Your fabric is ready to hang!  You can choose to display your fabric however you want, but what we did was sew a small pocket at the top of the fabric, about an inch wide.  We inserted a wooden rod and attached string to either end to hang.  The edges were left unfinished.

Voilà!

Hope you have fun with this one!  Let us know if you give it a try!

 

  COMMENTS (98) | SHARE:

  1. Nadya N.

    This makes me want to make my own batik dress/top/outwear. There’s lots of Indonesia traditional batik print, please check ‘em out and do something similar xD

    Reply
  2. Toni-Louise

    This is a brilliant idea! Really adore the way it looks on the wall, think I just found a little weekend project! :) x

    lemon-freckles.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply
  3. Wilmer Mckay

    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

    Reply
  4. Ang

    The lazy in me would like you to just make a bunch of these amazing things and sell them in your etsy shop. haha! Great job Kelli & Nicole, it’s amazing! If I feel saucy I’ll try my hand at it. Or just wait for the listing…

    Reply
  5. Makenzy Yeats

    Love. I just need to hire you to artsy up my house. Maybe you want to match a batch someday and put them on etsy?? Lol. Lazybones me. Love this so much!!

    Reply
  6. Maria

    I LOVE your design choice! Great tutorial! I took a fabric dying class in college and loved it. I’d add that after you’ve taken out all the wax you can, you can have your work dry cleaned to get the rest of the wax out (if it’s still a bit crispy and you’re doing it on a skirt or some other type of wearable). You’re inspiring!

    Reply
  7. ginger

    Gorgeous! I would have thought it would be too boho for my tastes, you know…I see the word batik and run…but it’s amazing and could fit any design scheme.

    Reply
  8. Jennifer C

    Oh my goodness, this is GORGEOUS.

    Can you imagine if you did this like Ukrainian Easter egg dying? Starting with the lightest colour and then over-dying it after adding more wax?

    Reply
  9. Hannah

    Or you could try using Elmer’s Blue School gel Glue instead of wax. It is much easier to wash off!

    Reply
  10. Greta

    I agree! I could never make something this beautiful on my own. I’m creative, but not good at drawing/painting.

    Will you consider stocking them in your shop? Or a template?

    Reply
  11. Katie

    Oh, PERFECT! I have been hating my current wall art in my living room! This is fantastic! Thank you so much for making this tutorial!

    Just three itsy questions: 1) where did you get a dropcloth that nice? 2) how much dye did you use, and 3) did you tear the cloth to get that uneven look at the bottom?

    Thank you again for the tutorial!

    Reply
    • kelli

      Thanks Katie!
      The dropcloth is from Home Depot.
      I used about one full bottle of liquid RIT dye (but mixed it with a lot of water) …just follow the directions on the package.
      THe bottom is just the selvage edge of the dropcloth….so I just left it as it is.

      Reply
  12. Kirsti

    Where is this chair from shown below the tapestry? I’m building a new desk and have been searching for something just like that to go with it. Thanks!

    Reply
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  14. Paiko Hawaii

    Lovely, thanks for this great DIY, I never thought about batik in this way & I’m excited to try it!
    For the people requesting templates, you can make yourslef a guide by printing an image out from your computer (use multiple pages pieced together for larger images) and cut out the image using an exacto. This will give you a guide to follow if you aren’t confident in going free-hand.

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  44. Megan

    I am trying this next weekend! I do have a question though…

    Do you need beeswax, will soy wax work? I made candles and have extra wax-I’d hate to buy more if what I have will work!

    Thanks!!

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  45. shaa

    instead of using paper towels, please use newspaper! it absorbs wax just as well. recycle! dont waste ;)

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  47. Sarah Lawrence

    If I were to just use a regular pan to heat up the wax would that work okay too or is the wax going to ruin the pan?

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  50. Lou Kelly

    I love this. It looks so sophisticated. I think I’ll try it on something a lot smaller to begin with though. I’m creating a black and white artwork wall in my hallway. It’s all original art so far and I’m gradually adding to it. This could be a nice small piece to add to the collection. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  52. Alexis

    I am an encaustic painter and i use wax to paint every day. It isn’t a good idea to use a double boiler for this craft. It is dangerous to heat wax on a stove because of the fumes are toxic and it is really easy for the wax to get too hot on a stove. Also if the wax ever boiled over it would start a fire. A much safer way to heat wax would be in a small metal container on a hot plate. Please be safe keep the temperature below 200 degrees, work in a well ventilated area and never leave it unattended !!! Have fun everyone:)

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  53. Juliana Scialabba

    I did this DIY and LOVE it!!!! I go to SCAD, and wanted to take a try at dying things for other projects- so this was a great tester, cheap, and now I have a decoration for my new apartment!

    THANKS SO MUCH !

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  55. Emily

    Hi! I’ve tried this a couple times and I’m getting what looks like an excess of wax around my design after I try to iron it out. It looks like it’s wet around my design but it’s dry. Any ideas on how to get rid of this or prevent it?

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