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  • Eileen Mayo

Beautiful Batik Ocean Craft


Super fun Craft Challenge: Glue!

I don’t know whether it’s all the school supplies showing up in the stores right now but my son Jake is obsessed with them. Maybe it’s the idea of going back to school, I’m not sure. Jake has autism, and sometimes it’s tricky knowing the why behind some of the things that interest him. This week he picked out a bottle of glue for our craft challenge. “What do you want to make with the glue?” I asked him. “The ocean” he said. So, instead of using it to glue pom-poms or shapes to paper, I decided we could try something different. So here’s our glue craft challenge craft project: Ocean Cloth

Ocean Table Cloth

This beautiful ocean cloth is fun and simple to make. We used clear school glue to cause a relief effect on an ordinary white cotton sheet. Make this as a group project and let everyone paint in a little or, have fun on an afternoon. These cloths can be any size you want. We made ours using a section of bed sheet– hang it on the wall or use it at a picnic. We love how pretty it turned out!

What you'll need:

  • White cotton – or cotton poly mix flat sheet. You could also use a piece of white scrap fabric. We sewed a hem around the edges

  • White butcher paper piece – the same size as your sheet.

  • Pencil and Sharpie marker

  • Duct Tape – or other strong tape

  • Washable Clear school glue (we used Elmer’s brand)

  • Scissors

  • Paint brush

  • Acrylic paint & water

How to make it:

  1. Start by deciding on the size you want to make. For us it was easy. My son has a small table in his room and he wanted it to cover the table. Hem around the edges of your fabric to prevent ravels.

  2. Next, cut a piece of butcher paper the same size as your fabric. Lay your paper out on a large flat surface and tape it down. Use pencil to sketch in any design you like. We decided on an ocean scene so we drew lots of simple ocean fish, shells, sea weed, etc. Once we had our picture how we wanted it, we went over it with black permanent marker like a Sharpie. Don’t use water based markers that would smear onto the fabric.

  3. Place your fabric over your paper picture and tape all the sides down firmly with very strong tape like Duct tape. You should be able to see your picture design through the fabric.

  4. Use your clear school glue to draw in all the black lines on to your fabric that you can see in your picture. Tip: Start at the far end of your picture and work down to avoid smearing or putting your elbow in wet glue. Let your glue dry on the fabric. Yes, your picture will stick to the glue but not to worry, we will take care of that later.

  1. Once your glue is dry, it’s time to paint. You will need to use really watered down acrylic paints. The best way I found was to get a plastic ice cube tray, add a bit of paint, and then add water and mix. You will need small brushes for the smaller designs, but larger brushes for any bigger areas. Paint all of your design.

  1. Once you are done painting, remove the tape and hang your picture up to dry. Pick off any easy to remove backing paper.

  1. Once your painting is fully dry, bring it to the sink and wash off any stuck on backing paper in cold water. The glue that you applied will have left white lines where you applied it to the fabric making a nifty relief design on your fabric. Once you have picked off the backing paper hang your picture back up to dry.

  2. Once your picture is dry, you can add a little more color to your picture or leave it as is.


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