How to Make Batik Style Prayer Flags Using Glue

Did you all know you can give fabric the look of batik using gel glue?!

It’s awesome...

You can learn about traditional batik here.

There are a lot of reasons why I really like this project...

  • I love decor that hangs down from somewhere - knick knacks would just become part of the mess that is my house (kids….and a little me.)

  • I’m into folk art right now.

  • While they're not traditional tibetan prayer flags, I can send a prayer to the world every time I watch them catch a breeze.

  • I got to try the faux batik technique using glue!!

And it was fun.

So, I am showing you the process I went through to make this set of flags.


Step 1:

Cut your linen to the size you want your flags to be. I did not worry about cutting particularly straight or if the linen frayed at all. Traditionally, prayer flags are meant to fray as a way to acknowledge all things are impermanent.

Step 2:

Decide what design you’re going to make. Use a water-soluble pencil or disappearing ink pen to draw your design on the flag.

You could use a lightbox or a tablet to trace the design. You should actually be able to see a printed design under your piece of linen without a light source.

Step 3:

Grab your gel glue (I started off using the generic brand from the dollar store.)

Start slowly and mindfully tracing your design with the glue.

Read the next tip before getting too far.

You‘re going to notice pretty quickly that the glue will pull away and group together leaving blank spots in your design.

This happens because most of the colored, kid glue is also “anti-drip.”

Step 4:

Take the end of a paintbrush or something like it and pull the gathered glue where it’s missing on your design:

Step 5:

Let the glue dry.

Some places in your design will come out thicker than the rest. So try and make a thin line with the glue.

Step 6:

Mix your acrylic paints with a textile medium.

Step 7:

Start painting your flag with the acrylic mixture.

You can fill each space with a different color as I did. Or you can paint over the glue with one color and make a tie-dye effect.

You can paint into and over the glue. Those spaces will still be white when you remove the glue.

Step 8:

Fill your sink or a tub with hot water and soak your flags for at least 30 minutes so the glue loosens.

I ended up soaking them for a while.

Step 9:

Rub the glue parts with your fingers after you’ve soaked it. The glue should start coming off.

Step 10:

Lay your flag out to dry.

Make as many as you want to put on a string of them.

Step 11:

Once you have the number you want, pin them together for sewing to a length of ribbon.

Step 12:

Sew them together.

I chose to use my sewing machine. But you can hand stitch if you prefer.

I used a fancy stitch on my sewing machine.

And tada!

Aren't those awesome! For another fun project on a string, check out my project using recycled plastic to make flower lights.

Hang them inside or outside and let everyone admire you’re work 😃.

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© 2019 by Artsy Karma