Today I’m sharing a fun project, DIY Batik Halloween pillows using an easy wax resist technique…
I was pulling out my Halloween decorations and found my batik pillows I made when I was playing around with this wax-resist dye technique. They’re fun to make and I wanted to share the technique with you! The best part is, the pillow project is EASY and you don’t need a sewing machine.
I know, wax resist dye (batik) sounds complicated but it’s not. Trust me. It’s simple enough that I can remember doing batik in art class as a middle schooler. You totally can do this!
Batik Supply List
To make Halloween Batik Pillows you will need a few things…
• A simple design
• Old paintbrush
• Paraffin wax
• 100% cotton white pillowcase or white fabric
• Black or orange dye (preferably cold water dye)
• Crockpot or something to melt the wax in
• Fabric tracing paper
• Needle and thread
To make it simple, I chose to take a shortcut and start with a pillowcase. That way when I’m done all I have to do is quickly hand stitch the end shut. I made sure I cut off the end of my pillowcase so my pillow would be a square instead of a rectangle. Whether you choose to sew the pillow from scratch or to start with a pillowcase, it is important that the fabric be 100% cotton. Synthetic fabric doesn’t take to the dye as well.
The next step will be to transfer the Halloween image.
Halloween Image Templates
Any simple design will do and you can find a lot of free Halloween graphics on sites like The Graphics Fairy. I played around on my computer and created the Happy Halloween image.
The skeleton hands came from The Graphics Fairy.
When I found an image I liked, I printed it off of my computer. Since I needed my image to be the same size as my pillow, I printed my design in sections and taped the pages together to make one big design. If you don’t have the capability of printing the design in sections you can always print the small design and have an enlarged copy made with a copy machine.
I used dressmakers tracing paper (found among sewing supplies) and a ballpoint pen to transfer the pattern onto my fabric.
Painting With Wax (Batik)
Now the fun part. I melted my wax in a mini crockpot but anything that heats up the wax will do. You want the wax to be hot so it will soak into the fabric. Use an old paintbrush and fill in your design. It’s pretty easy and straightforward.
Next, you want to prepare the dye. It’s best if you use a dye made for cold water but to be honest, I didn’t have any so I used a regular old Rit dye. The directions on the dye said to mix the dye with steaming hot water. That would have melted the wax off so I skipped the hot part. It still worked. If I do this project again I will try to remember to order cold dye ahead of time just to be safe.
I let my fabric soak for an hour or two and then rinsed it with cold water. You have a utility sink in your craft room, right? My craft room is so fancy that not only do I have a utility sink but I have a full-size stove and refrigerator in there too! Okay, I admit it, my craft room and my kitchen are one in the same but hey, it comes in handy when I’m looking for things like a mini crock pot to melt wax in. That, and if I need a snack halfway through a project.
After your snack, lay out your fabric to dry.
Once the fabric is dry, remove the wax by ironing paper over the waxed areas. Newspaper or paper bags work well to absorb the wax.
The final step is to stuff the pillow and stitch it closed. I rarely buy fiberfill (pillow stuffing in a bag). I usually have a worn out bed pillow around the house that I reuse stuffing out of.
And that’s it. I promise it’s really fun and your kids can do it with you too! If you are looking for more Halloween ideas, check out my DIY Dead and Breakfast sign, Spooktackular Halloween Ideas, DIY Hamburger Costume, Easy Bumble Bee Costume
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