September 9, 2013
after falling in love with this batik dye wall hanging, i decided to try my own hand at a little wax resist dip-dyeing. so far, i’ve made two wall hangings and several onesies (more on those coming soon!), and i absolutely love how they’ve turned out.
i first wanted to make a little hanging for bear’s nursery door. it was just so bland and white before, and i wanted everyone to know they were about to enter a very special place. :)
i then decided that the wall behind his crib needed a little somethin’ somethin’. so, i made this giant antler hanging! (i also made his tassel mobile, another diy coming soon!) here’s the how to:
- plain piece of linen or cotton fabric, cut to desired size
- soy wax (or beeswax)
- an old paintbrush
- pencil for marking
- a hot plate (or way to heat the wax and keep it hot)
- dye (i used cushing’s perfect dyes, but you could use any type, like rit)
- paper towels
step 1: melt your wax. i used soy wax (it’s eco friendly and super easy to clean up after!). i also used a tin container and hot plate, however feel free to get creative. keep it on the stove, or even possibly dip right out of a burning candle (?). just be careful not to burn yourself! the most important thing is to make sure the wax stays hot enough (but below it’s flash point) to soak into the fabric itself. it won’t work if it just lays on top of the fabric (you’ll be able to tell the difference).
step 2: next, sketch your design onto the fabric using a pencil.
step 3: beging ‘painting’ on your design using the wax and paint brush. this is the fun part!
step 4: once the wax is dry to the touch, submerge your fabric into cool water to soak it (will make the dye more even). then, dye your fabric according according to package instructions (this probably calls for adding salt to the water). here’s where you can get creative! dip dye, totally submerge, or leave parts in longer than other areas to give it more of an ombre look. important: the most important thing i learned is that you need to dye your fabric in cool-warm water. if the water is too hot, it’ll melt the wax and ruin all your hard work!
step 5: let your hanging completely air dry.
step 6: to remove the wax: place a paper towel on both the top and bottom of your fabric where the wax is. iron on top of the paper towels until all the wax has heated and lifted from the fabric (the paper towels will absorb it).
you can then wash and dry your hanging as usual. i’ve left the edges of mine raw on purpose, but the possibilities are endless. make pillows, tea towels, t-shirts and more!