Our program began as children created the foundation for their piece. The backing for a wall hanging diorama was a piece of batik that the children painted to depict the water. I wanted the children to be able to do the batik work themselves. Some of the children were as young as 5, so using hot melted wax seemed inappropriate. Hot wax can be dangerous to work with and is also a messy process. I always enjoy looking for an alternative way for children to achieve the same results that they would get using a more traditional or labor intensive method. In this case, the hot wax method was not an option. After doing a bit of research I found references on line to using a flour paste resist. Brilliant! I experimented with this completely safe option and it worked beautifully.
Teaching at a non-profit with lots of "stuff" hanging around is a good fit for my resourcefulness. I needed a frame for each child's fabric to be stretched on for painting. I found a variety of old picture frames that had been used in the gallery at one time as well as some wooden weaving frames we had made for a class project a few years ago. Perfect!
We also had some yardage of cotton muslin for fabric. After deciding on a dimension, I tore the fabric to size. Tearing works better than cutting cotton. You get a straight line and it's very fast. I mounted the fabric to the frames using masking tape. This worked well but I recommend you not do this too far in advance. In a damp environment the tape won't hold for too many days and might have to be done over.
Once the fabric is stretched on the frame, it is Batik ready!