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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...

Batik flags made with glue

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.



supplies needed for glue batik

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.

design for batik flags using glue

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.

using gel glue to make batik flag

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

gel glue is used to make batik fabric

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:

design something in glue to make it look batik

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.

design in gel glue for faux batik

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.

color over gel glue for batik look

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

color over gel glue for batik look

soak in water to remove gel 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.

how to remove gel glue from painted fabric

Step 9:

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

how to remove gel glue from painted fabric

peeling off gel glue in water
gel glue falls off fabric for batik

Step 10:

Lay your flag out to dry.

faux batik

designs made using faux batik glue method

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

prayer flags made using faux batik technique

Step 11:

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

use a sewing machine to sew prayer flags together

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.

create a pretty stitch in your prayer flags

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 😃.

batik designs using gel glue

folk art flowers done in faux batik

string of folk art flower prayer flags

Buy the materials on Amazon:

batik flags made with glue
an easy way to make batik

an easy way to make batik


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