There are plenty of good tutorials out there on the web for the glue batik method (this one is my favorite), but here are a couple of things we learned along the way. The blue gel glue bottles were way too hard for the kids to squeeze. Only one of the older kids was able to squeeze out her own design (way to go, Isabella!). I'd love to do this project again in the future, but I think I would experiment with transferring the glue to easier to squeeze bottles (like those self-fill ketchup/mustard containers perhaps?) or pour the glue into small bowls and let the kids use q-tips. This meant that my mom and I did most of the "drawings" with each kid by having them guide our hands or just telling us what they wanted and letting them add details to the larger design. Not quite as fun as having the kids draw the creatures all by themselves, but it worked. After all of the glue drawings were complete, we let them dry outside overnight.
The next day we started the second stage: painting. We opted to go the cheaper route by purchasing small bottles of acryllic craft paints. We watered down the paint and found that it worked just as well as fabric paint and perhaps even better since there was such a wide variety of colors. The original instructions called for cardboard and wax paper between the fabric to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the other side. I can see how this would be a good idea especially when working on t-shirts, but we ended up skipping this step because it was too windy and I actually think it made the pillowcases a bit more interesting with color on both sides.
The painting stage was the messiest, but most enjoyable part of the process. It was fun to see what colors the kids used and also their various approaches to painting.Since the paint is watered down, some of the older kids struggled with wanting to control the paint and keep it within the lines. It helped to explain that the glue formed boundaries that would be revealed later in the process and to emphasize that there truly is beauty in the watery mix of colors. After the pillowcases were painted, we hung them up to dry overnight.