Crayon Batik


All of this talk about finding my bliss has put me on a DIY journey. I’ve been itching to flex my creative muscles and someone put a bug in my ear about dyeing. Which led to a book about batik. Which got me thinking that you should be able to do this with crayons. Which eventually let to this tutorial.

My first effort was definitely a learning experience. Here’s what I learned:

1. Trying to take off the paper from crayons that are 10 years (or older, I raided my 16 year old’s art box) could be tricky. Paper can stick to crayons.

2. If you plan on doing this more than once, buy an electric skillet that your muffin tin can fit into. It took me twice as long for this project because I had to keep putting the crayons back in the oven to remelt them (not very energy or time efficient).

3. When you apply the dye, wipe off the excess, unless you want a lot of black blotches.

4. Start small to get the hang of it. I decided to do two rather large panels and it took me 6 hours. I was losing steam and enthusiasm the last two hours.

The end results weren’t bad but they weren’t perfect. As I pointed out above, I made the mistake of not wiping the excess black dye from my panels. While they are usable, they aren’t as good as I hoped for.

I can understand why batiking is not a popular craft. It takes a lot of time. First I had to prewash my fabric (I used muslin). Then I had to figure out my color palette. It took me a lot longer to peel the paper off of the crayons. The biggest time waster was having to put the crayons back in the oven every 5 minutes. And then there is the ironing, but that is the most gratifying part of the process because you can see your final design coming to life.

I intend to try this technique again, after I get an electric skillet. I hope to  find one at the thrift store or a garage sale. I have lots of crayons left over and having gone through the process once, I know how to make it go faster the next go round. I was hoping to use these panels to make a bag but going forward, I think I’m going to stick to six or eight inch squares and use them in quilts or smaller bags.

Please leave me a comment about your crafty adventures – the good, the bad and the ugly!






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