How To Batik Paper

Handmade or batik papers are basically hand crafted items. These often possess variations in texture, color and pattern, which is very characteristic of these papers. Although the weight of the paper sheets might vary, there are times when small imperfections occur. You would need to make room for these imperfections when making these handmade papers. Note, too, that there is a likelihood of some wear and tear on the edges, as well.

Despite this, batik paper, which also goes by the name of tie-dye handcrafted paper, feature beautiful handcrafted designs of bold colors. There are numerous combinations of designs and colors sprayed onto the canvas forming bright, abstract pictures and vivid design combinations. Batik papers truly reflect nature in its colorful forms.

The handmade papers are first crushed and then dyed creating a design similar to those in marble stones. As the patters are prominent on either side, batik paper is ideal for making lampshades, greeting cards and paper constructions.

Batik can be so pretty and unusual, but it is also easy to make. You can use batik paper to make great gift wrappers, framed art or even book wrappers.

What you need:

  • Good quality art paper
  • Cheap 5 cm household painting brush
  • Good quality wax crayons
  • Card / sugar paper
  • PVA (polyvinyl acetate) adhesives
  • Dark colored paint

When you batik papers, choose a paper that has a light shade. Papers that have cotton fibers are also preferred. Art paper that’s strong and thick is preferred.

Lay the art paper on a hard, flat working surface. Next paint the paper with some bright crayon, which is preferably thick as well. Use heavy crayons with lots of colors, and try not to leave any gaps. You can also use waxed paper with the wax-side up. Next, hand-draw the design that you plan to use with a crayon or an unlit candle. Your choice of crayon or candle will each produce a different effect.

You can make a very simple batik design by using some chalk on paper and coloring with some thick watery paint (tempera). Allow it to dry and cover completely with some India ink. Next, wash off the India ink using a paintbrush and some water to make a batik effect.

You can also crumple the paper into a ball shape. After the design has been completed, let it float in a pan that is filled with dye or ink until the paper absorbs the color. This helps crack the wax.

Next, hang the paper out to dry. Make sure that you are wearing work clothes or old clothing that you wouldn’t mind getting stained. Remember to place old newspapers on the floor of your work area. Your paper will certainly drip while drying.

Lastly, just remember that the crayon will try to resist the paint, and hence you might need to use some tissue to remove any excess paint. You can also scrape and remove the wax, or even use some mineral spirits on the paper to remove the residue.

Finally, mount the completed design on a card or even sugar paper.
You can also iron the batik pictures between sheets of paper so as to flatten them. If you require a glossy finish, you can dab some PVA adhesive. You can also draw a favorite picture with heavy coloring, which will result in a paper batik picture.


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