How to Make Batik Style Prayer Flags Using Glue

5 Materials
2 Days

Did you all know you can give fabric the look of batik using gel glue?!There are a lot of reasons why I really like this project...

  • I love decor that hangs down from somewhere - knick knacks would just become part of the mess that is my house (kids….and a little me.)
  • I’m into folk art right now.
  • While they're not traditional tibetan prayer flags, I can send a prayer to the world every time I watch them catch a breeze.
  • I got to try the faux batik technique using glue!!

Step 1:

Cut your linen to the size you want your flags to be. I did not worry about cutting particularly straight or if the linen frayed at all. Traditionally, prayer flags are meant to fray as a way to acknowledge all things are impermanent.

Step 2:

Decide what design you’re going to make. Use a water soluble pencil or disappearing ink pen to draw your design on the flag.You could use a light box or a tablet to trace the design. You should actually be able to see a printed design under your piece of linen without a light source.

Step 3:

Grab your gel glue (I started off using the generic brand from the dollar store.)Start slowly and mindfully tracing your design with the glue. Read the next tip before getting too far.

You‘re going to notice pretty quick that the glue will pull away and group together leaving blank spots in your design.

Step 4:

Take the end of a paintbrush or something like it and pull the gathered glue where it’s missing on your design:

Step 5:

Let the glue dry.

Step 6 and 7:

Mix your acrylic paints with a textile medium.Start painting your flag with the acrylic mixture.

You can paint into and over the glue. Those spaces will still be white when you remove the glue.

Step 8:

Fill your sink or a tub with hot water and soak your flags for at least 30 minutes so the glue loosens..

Step 9:

Rub the glue parts with your fingers after you’ve soaked it. The glue should start coming off.

Step 10:

Lay your flag out to dry.

Make as many as you want to put on a string of them.

Step 11:

Once you have the number you want, pin them together for sewing to a length of ribbon.

Step 12:

Sew them together.I chose to use my sewing machine. But you can hand stitch if you prefer.

I used a fancy stitch on my sewing machine.

And tada!Aren't those awesome!Hang them inside or outside and let everyone admire you’re work 😃.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Sew crazy
    on Jun 27, 2020

    You didn’t tell us how you dyed the flags main background color. When you go to steps 6&7 the white flag from the previous step was now a soft melon color, before you started to paint the flowers. So how did you dye the flags main color?

  • Gilmer Gal

    I want to do this! So nice! How would you clean these flags? Will they fade and smear?

  • Marcia
    3 hours ago

    Does this have to be made on linen fabric ? Can i use a bed sheet?

Join the conversation

2 of 17 comments
  • Candace
    3 days ago

    Hi Heather,

    I am trying to gather what I need to create my prayer flags based on your lovely projects. However, I am not aware of the purpose of textile medium and therefore I cannot proceed. On Amazon there are several choices. I don’t know what gesso does as opposed

    other selections. At my age and health status, and because there are still restrictions on stores opening , so I am limited to on- line shopping. Would you please be so kind as to suggest a textile medium from ( if they sell one that would meet my needs) and suggest a quantity that I would need for 4 or 5 flags. Thank you so very much!


  • Pat Thornton
    Just now

    Hi, Candace. I use a Martha Stewart brand textile medium but didn't see it on - they do have another brand that should work fine for you. Since you mix it with acrylic paints, you won't need a ton of it for one project, so I think one bottle should do. Perhaps Heather can correct this info if I am wrong! You can find it at: Have fun with it!

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