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?

    • Heather
      on Jul 12, 2020

      I used craft paint mixed with textile medium just like the rest of the flag

  • Gilmer Gal
    on Jul 7, 2020

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

    • Heather
      on Jul 12, 2020

      I think as long as you use the textile medium and the instructions it gives, the colors are permanent.

  • Marcia
    on Jul 9, 2020

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

    • Heather
      on Jul 12, 2020

      I would think a bed sheet would work. I think you have to take into consideration how easily it frays.

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