Saturday, 1 March 2008

Wax Batik Papers

I spent last weekend making 60 sheets of wax batik papers to sell in my shop They are fun to make because each one is different and the dyes are such vibrant colors. On some sheets I have double printed the lizards (geckos) and on others I have used a decorator's paint brush to splash and drip hot wax over the painted geckos (lizards). Layering the color is fun too because, by painting the first layer yellow, the next blue layer of color turns green. The red and orange papers are particularly successful as, combined, the colors just sing!

These papers come in packs of six, sized A4 and, because they are painted onto thick quality cartridge paper, make excellent book covers or gift tags.

The dyes are colorfast and, although all the wax has been removed from the paper, it leaves a stiffness to the paper and a slight sheen. I remove the wax by ironing the paper between sheets of newspaper. The heat from the iron causes the wax to melt and become absorbed into the newspaper.

The tool I use to print the wax with is called a tjap (pronounced cap) and is an Indonesian wax printing tool made from copper. It conducts heat from the wax pot so I have to wrap the handle in a cloth to prevent my hand from burning. Wax is an extremely volatile material and should be treated with the utmost care and respect.

I love the combination of golden yellow, tangerine and fuchsia pink in this paper. As the lizard-geckos were printed with wax on white paper, the white shows very clearly.

For a tutorial on how to print your own wax batik papers please visit


  1. oh my! those are gorgeous! Off to look at the tut. Thanks for posting this!

  2. WOW! Beautiful! Have to go back to etsy now to take a peeksee at what you have.


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