Skip to main content

Easy batik-style papers

I love the look of batik, especially the crinkley style where cracks in the wax allowed black dye to create a spiderweb pattern all over the cloth. Well, I’ve learned an easy way to simulate this look on paper. It’s messy, but not nearly as messy as doing real batik, with its multiple dye-baths.

1. Start by heating up some wax or paraffin until it’s completely melted. Heat at a low temperature since these materials have a low flash-point. I’d suggest keeping a fire extinguisher handy just in case. You can use craft wax if you want, but I just melted about 6 white tea candles.

2. While the wax is melting, paint your paper. Chose paper with long soft fibers, and avoid anything with a hard shiny finish. Dampen the paper with a spray bottle and paint as you desire. I used walnut inks, and then sponged on opaque yellow acrylic paint. Let it dry or speed dry with a heat gun. In the figure above, you can see that I added a few swooshes of wax before I remembered to stop and take a picture!

3. Dribble and brush the wax on both sides of the paper. Try to cover everything. The wax coating doesn’t have to be thick, but it does need to be thorough.
4. Crumble the paper to crack the wax once it’s dry. Warning: lots of wax flakes off, so do it over a trash basket, not over the sink like I did! I don’t think wax flakes are very good for the plumbing…

5. Sponge on thinned black acrylic paint. You can also use black ink or dye if you prefer, but I like the easy clean-up with acrylics. Blot up the excess paint with paper towels.

6. Iron out the wax by sandwiching the paper between layers of newspaper. Change the newpaper frequently until all the wax has been absorbed out of your piece.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,