Showcase summer flowers with DIY glue batik vases

It’s finally feeling like summer here, with the first few arrangement-worthy flowers ready in my garden. I was on the hunt for some new vases, but was coming up short, when Elmer’s asked if we would come up with a craft using some of their products to celebrate their “Let’s Bond” initiative, encouraging families to play and craft together. And, BAAM, a new craft project is born!

At our house, we have an overabundance of single sad socks, used ballet tights, canning jars and coffee creamer bottles… pair those materials with inspiration from my amazing art teacher friend who recently showed me some of her students’ projects where they used glue to make batik on paper and the plan for glue-resist batik vases was hatched. It’s a simple project, perfect for summer and great for kids of all ages.

Recyclable bottle and rubber band or canning jar with band
Single socks or tights
Elmer’s School Glue Gel
Elmer’s Boardmate Permanent Markers



Step 2: BATIKING   This vase uses footless tights and a small canning jar. Pull one leg of the footless tight over the jar so that the ankle opening is at the bottom jar. (This will also work with regular tights, but the toe of the tight will cover the bottom.) Once the tight is placed over the jar, start drawing your design with Elmer’s School Glue Gel. The gel works great because it won’t run (unless you really glob it on) and it dries in a light blue color so it’s easier to see in step #3. Let the glue dry completely. This could take a few hours.


Step 3: COLORING    I used Elmer’s Boardmate Permanent Markers for the color. Many glue-resist projects use fabric paint, which is great, but the brilliant thing about using permanent markers is that they are quicker to use and have no clean-up. Draw over your tight, in-between the glue batik lines. Let this dry completely as well. If you don’t it will bleed in step #4.


Step 4: WASHING     Wash the glue out of the tight. Your tight may be stuck to the jar, but run it under water to loosen it. Once the glue is all washed out, your batik tight ready to go back on the jar. Once back on the jar, pull the extra tight over the mouth of the jar—thread the jar’s band over the tight and screw on to hold the whole thing in place. Once the band is tight, trim the rest of the tight away from the inside of the opening, and you are ready for flowers!

• During Step 4, if you notice you have permanent marker bleed though onto your glass surface, just take a bit of baking soda on a wet cloth and rub the marker—it will come right out.

• Make sure to let everything dry completely between steps. If you don’t, the colors and glue will bleed.

elmers_sm5• When using the canning jars, the band will finish off the top. When using a creamer bottle use a rubber band to hold the sock or tight tight at the top, and consider using pinking shears to create a fun finish. Here is one of my earlier tries with a sock and creamer bottle…

My girls are older, but I’ve found that doing craft projects together is still important—we try and encourage them to have as much “non-tech” time as possible. Gluing, drawing, coloring—love these simple words. After I made the first few vases, my girls wanted in on the fun, so they tried a 4th of July theme. I think they turned out pretty cute. One note on these—when you are in the washing out stage, the red permanent marker bleeds just a bit, so either let it dry for an extra amount of time, or factor that into your design.



IMG_4478Here’s to beautiful, summer touches around your house! Jenna

Our tiny disclaimer: Mommy on a Shoestring was paid for this craft development, but all opinions are ours alone.

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