September 10, 2012

Paper Bag Batik for Kids

Paper Bag Batik for Kids

This interesting paper bag design was created using an art process known as batik. Sound intimidating? It's not. The one you see above was created by my one year old grandson, Calvin. Read on for instructions.


  • My first job was to mix tempera paint with water until it became the consistency of orange juice. One bucket was for red and other for blue. I also cut two 10 inch square pieces from a brown paper bag. 

  • Calvin's first job was to draw a design on the two bag pieces with a crayon.  The wax in the crayon would repel the paint. 

  • Calvin and I inserted one bag piece into the red paint and the other into the blue. Then he stirred the paint so it would touch all surfaces.

  • Calvin peeked inside to see how things looked.

  • We let the bag pieces remain in the bucket for ten minutes to absorb the paint. I removed them and set them outside in the sun to dry.

  • Once the bag pieces were dry, I used pinking shears to cut an 8 inch square from the red piece and a 6.5 inch square from the blue piece. I glued the smaller square on top of the bigger one and punched holes around all four sides of the 8 inch square. I reinforced the holes with circle stickers.

  • Calvin and I sewed a thick piece of string through each hole. I helped him get the string started, and Calvin pulled it the rest of the way through.

  • After we sewed the string through all the holes, we were done.  Calvin gave his paper bag batik to Mommy for Mother's Day.

Extend the Activity:

Here are some other ways to do batik.

  • firstpalette has a blog post entitled Glue Batik that uses glue instead of crayon to repel the paint.  This one would be great for older children. 

  • se7en has a blog post entitled Se7en Brilliant Batik Bikes that uses flour paste to repel the paint.  This one is a bit more complicated, but the results are stunning.

  • little-arty-pants did a blog post entitled Batik for Little Artists  that also uses flour paste.  This one is toddler friendly.  Calvin was a 14 months old at the time.

Do you have a comment or a suggestion?  I'd love to hear from you.

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