Let’s Make a DIY Glue Batik Dyed T-Shirt

Let’s Make a DIY Glue Batik Dyed T-Shirt

Making a DIY Glue Batik T-Shirt project is such an easy and fun idea for kids of all ages (grown-ups too!). This fun dyed summer t-shirt craft is perfect to make with both little kids and teenagers alike. If your kid is old enough to draw a straight line, then they can make this t-shirt craft!

Let’s make our own customized batik t-shirt!

DIY Batik Shirt Technique

Batik is a dyeing process used on cloth which uses wax to resist the dye in certain areas of the fabric. It originated in Indonesia and often uses dots and lines as the patterns for the wax resist.

Today we are using glue instead of wax for the batik technique which is an easy way to customize your designs for making your own batik t-shirts. Making DIY t shirts together is a fun activity for a group like a family traveling together, a special occasion or holiday and even a slumber party.

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What Glue Works Best for Batik Technique

The key to making a DIY Glue Batik T-Shirt is Elmer’s Blue Gel Glue. You MUST use this glue in this t-shirt project for it to turn out right. You will also probably need to set aside two days to make this batik shirt, because you’ll need the blue gel glue to dry completely before dying it in the color of your choice.

glue batik t shirt project - Elmers blue gel glue is important - image is shirt being rinsed in the sink after soaking in dye
Using Elmer’s Blue Gel Glue is the key to this batik craft turning out right!

What Shirt Works for Glue Batik Technique

100% white cotton works best when selecting a t-shirt to use so the dye will set properly. It’s also a great idea to only let adults or mature older children do the dying process.

Supplies Needed for Glue Batik Shirt Craft

Directions for DIY T Shirt Project

DIY glue batik tshirt project - setting up what you need to make this craft - two shirts on foam boards with the elmers blue gel glue
Get set up with everything you need to make batik tshirts!

Step 1

First, slide your white shirt  over something waterproof such as a tote lid. Alternatively, you can use foam board.

DIY glue batik t-shirt craft project step 1 - wet the tshirt with water and a spray bottle
First, let’s wet the white cotton t-shirt

Step 2

Spray front of shirt with water so it is wet.

DIY glue batik t-shirt craft project step 2 - use elmers blue gel glue to make a pattern
Customize your own special pattern with Elmers Blue Gel Glue

Step 3

Using Elmer’s blue gel glue draw a design of your liking. Some ideas a shapes, zig-zags, and quotes. Allow to dry completely–this may take as long as 24 hours.

DIY glue batik t-shirt craft project step 3 mix together the dye
Let’s mix up the dye!

Step 4

Remove shirt from foam board or waterproof barrier.

DIY glue batik t-shirt craft project step 4 mix up the rit dye
Add in your RIT dye packet.

Step 5

Follow the instructions on your RIT dye package. Ours called for 1 gallon of very hot water mixed with 1/4 cup of salt and the dye package.

DIY glue batik t-shirt craft project step 4 add the t-shirt to the dye
Now it is time to dye your t-shirt! Mix it up!

Step 6

We added our shirt to this mixture, stirred to completely soak shirt in dye, then allowed to sit for 30 minutes in the dye.

DIY glue batik t-shirt craft project step 5 rinse the t-shirt after setting for 30 minutes
Time to rinse out the shirt and see what beautiful color remains…

Step 7

Rinse with cold water.

DIY glue batik t-shirt craft project step 6 keep rinsing until the water is clear
Keep rinsing until the water is clear.

Step 8

Continue rinsing until the water no longer is colored.

Step 9

Run in washing machine on cold cycle and then dry thoroughly in dryer. Enjoy your new custom DIY Glue Batik T-Shirt!

Craft Notes:

You can do this with a basic t-shirt whether it is short sleeve or long sleeves. Whether you use a classic crew cut shirt or any other casual shirt you can do this craft on all of them. The attractive features of the art will show up.

I would hand wash at least the first time to ensure there is no bleeding from your batik dye tee.

Our Experience Making Dyed T Shirt

My 8 and 11 year old kids had a blast making these homemade batik shirts. This was a really successful slumber party craft for our group. The first thing the girls did was to make their glue designs and then they took the shirts home to do step 9 the next day.

Steps to create a customized homemade DIY glue batik tshirt - finished product and 3 process images
What a fun batik tshirt craft!

Prep Time
20 minutes

Active Time
30 minutes

Additional Time
1 day

Total Time
1 day 50 minutes


Estimated Cost


  • 100% cotton white t-shirt
  • 1 package RIT dye
  • 1 gallon very hot water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • Elmer’s blue gel glue (NO substitutions!)


  • Spray bottle with plain water
  • Foam board or something waterproof that you can slide your shirt over


  1. Place your t shirt over a waterproof item like foam board or foil wrapped cardboard.
  2. Spray where you want your own design to be on the shirt with water until wet.
  3. Using Elmer’s blue gel glue draw your design.
  4. Allow to dry fully.
  5. Mix up your fabric dye and remove shirt from waterproof board.
  6. Add shirt to your fabric dye mixture and completely soak until desired color — we let ours soak for 30 minutes in the dye.
  7. Rinse shirt completely with cold water until no color runs from the shirt.
  8. Run in washing machine on cold cycle and dry thoroughly in the dryer.

More Fun Shirts You Can Make from Kids Activities Blog

What about some fun DIY slap bracelets?

How did your batik shirt turn out? What color of dye did you use?

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