How to Batik (kid-friendly!)

Our Bali-inspired children’s clothes collection featured the craft of Batik, an art form we saw and practiced while in Bali. Traditional Batiks are created with hot wax, in a dying technique which allows the craftsman to form lush patterns and designs.  We wanted to find a way for little citizens to Batik that was safe.  Below is our step-by-step guide on how-to Batik- no hot wax needed! All you need is  glue, paint, a t-shirt and an open mind!

I chose to Batik a shirt- however you can Batik any cloth materials.  Think of how much fun it would be to Batik pillow cases?

DIY Batik for Kids

You'll need a shirt, a piece of cardboard to stick between your shirt, acrylic paints, washable gel glue, and a paint brush.

The first step is to design your Batik pattern.  You’ll use the glue to do this. It can be a little tricky to wield the glue, so you may want to have your little ones practice glue drawing on cardboard first.  You can also map out your design first with pencil. I also used a scrap piece of cardboard to put in the shirt so the glue wouldn’t seep through to the back of the shirt.

Kid Friendly Batik DIY

Where ever you put the glue will be white. The color will show through the negative space. Pretty cool, huh?

The next step is hardest. You have to wait for the glue to dry and this will take at least 24 hours.  Playing the waiting game can be hard when you have little citizens eager to paint!

Once the glue is completely dry, break out your acrylic paints, your paint brush, a mixing area, and a water bowl to clean the brush and start painting! While painting, you’ll want to keep the the piece of cardboard inside the shirt for the same reason you kept it in while gluing- you don’t want the paint to leak through to the back of the shirt.

DIY Batik For Kids

Once the Batik is painted, leave it in a safe place where the paint can dry. This will probably take at least 12 hours.  Once dry, you can either peel off the glue or put it in the washing machine. I chose the latter as it was much easier and had great results. Check out my finished Batik shirt below.

DIY Kid-Friendly Batik ProjectThe picture minimalizes the cool effect the process created.  The colors are much more vibrant and the designs pop more in person. All-in-all, this is a great project for those looking to craft a gift for a loved one (Mother’s Day or Father’s Day Batiks?).

Please share your Batiks with our community at Facebook. We’d love to see your little citizens artful, Bali-inspired work!

Hertiage is Great: Exploring Britain

Today we’re featuring guest blogger Linh Tran, who traveled to Britain with her two kids, daughter age 3, son age 5.

Traveling with Kids

Britain.  The only thing that caught my eye as my family and I shuffled through customs at Heathrow airport after a red-eye flight was a banner by the Heritage Foundation of a castle reading, “Heritage is GREAT Britain.”  Apropos, this trip to England will my children’s first trip to visit their grandparents where they will probably have a memory of it in the future.  We hoped to show the children around Essex, where their father grew up, give them a taste of English pastimes and flavors, and teach them a bit of the queen’s English.

Traveling with Kids

First up was a walk along a footpath behind granddad’s house.  Nothing better to beat jet lag than fresh air and sunshine.  We learned the hard way to avoid the prickly nettle leaves and how, thankfully, mother nature creates balance by growing dock leaves close by to soothe the sting.  The biggest hit near granddad’s house was not feeding the horses or finding the most feathers on our walk, but the zip line at the local playground where the children can sit and zip between two posts.

Traveling with KidsThere was another zip line at a playground by the seafront in the town of Maldon, where generations of my husband’s family were born and bred.  Cool fact my son found out was that his great great great grandmother was born in The Queen’s Head pub, still operational today.  The children enjoyed seeing all the barges and sailors working on their sails as we walked along the estuary.  We had lunch on the high street and the children surprised us by eating their entire portion of fish whereas they left lots of chips on their plate.  We also introduced them to Cornish pasties, sausage rolls, Yorkshire pudding, smarties push ups, and no trip to the UK is complete without a copious amount of Cadbury’s chocolate.  They delighted in tasting the local favorite Rossi ice cream in Southend-on-Sea.  We had a tragic family-sitcom moment when 2 licks into my daughter’s ice cream cone, it fell to the ground and rolled down the slope.  My son generously shared his cone and we perked them both up with carnival rides and mini golf on the beach front at Adventure Island.

Traveling With Kids

By the end of our week long visit, the children began sounding British when they asked for more biscuits, bananas, and ice lollies.     They started using words like lorry, boot, queue, and cheers.  Most importantly, they reconnected with their grandparents and got a glimpse of what life might be like growing up in Essex.  Heritage is great, indeed.

Traveling with KidsTraveling with Kids

Summer Fashion Report: Rompers

Summer is all about fun, and what’s more fun than easy, breezy rompers!

(From left to right, top to bottom: 1) Hair Envy 2) Adriano Goldschmied 3) Rory Beca 4) ASOS 5) Dolce & Gabbana 6) Betsy Johnson 7) Marc by Marc)

To see more, visit our fashion romper Pinterest board.

From a beach cover-up to an evening dinner jumpsuit, these rompers surely fit the spirit of summer. Easy to wear and accessorize, these one-pieces make looking on trend simple.  Check out Tea’s twist on rompers for girls.

With heels, piles of jewelry or over a bathing suit- how would you fashion your romper? Tell us in the comments section below.

March’s Coloring Contest Winner!

Thank you everyone for participating in our March Coloring Contest! We loved looking through all of the amazing submissions- Tea fans are quite the artists!  Congrats to Lauren who created a beautiful offering pictured below.

Online Coloring Contest for Kids

We also have two honorable mentions: Gisele (left) and Liam (right). Great job everyone and keep creating!

Browse all entries on our Flickr page.

Interested in entering the contest for next month? Take a picture of your child’s completed activity book picture and send it to us at blog@teacollection.com with “Activity Book Entry” in the subject line.  We pick one winner each month to receive a $100 Tea gift certificate.  We’ll also post all honorable mentions on our blog page and all submissions will be posted on our Flickr page.

Download all of our activity book pages by visiting ourcultural activity printouts blog tag.

Behind the Design: Batik

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

The art of Batik is practiced throughout the world, but Bali is the place most known for the artful practice. Batik is a wax-resistant dying technique used on textiles to produce beautiful designs. While in Bali, our designers had a chance to practice their hand at Batiking.

Batik in Bali

We knew we had to incorporate the breath-taking batiks into our Balinese-inspired collection.  The colors and designs naturally lent themselves to our girls dress collection.  Our staff favorite is our Lotus Batik Designs for girls.

Batik girls dresses and rompers

However, we have plenty of Batik inspired designs for boys and girls in our spring and summer collections: http://bit.ly/GWvGiM

Will you be wearing Bali-inspired Batiks this spring?

Cultural Activity Printout: Bali Butterfly Park

Tickle your creative side by coloring each butterfly wing in a new color and pattern. We can’t wait to see what you create!

Free coloring book page

Download your cultural activity printout here: Bali Butterfly Park

Once you’re done, submit your creation to blog@teacollection.com for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win!  Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!

Our Family Trip to Bali

Today we’re featuring guest blogger Mandy Moise, designer for vfish, who traveled to Bali with her two girls, Ellie 2.5 yrs, Sloane 1yr who just happened to be wearing Tea on their trip.

Bali Travel with Family
Bali is one of the most beautiful places in the world—long, white sandy beaches, lush tropical foliage, amazing food, and some of the nicest people you have ever met.

Bali Travel with Kids

When my family travels, we really like to dive right into the culture of where we are. Eat the food, meet the people, walk off the beaten path. Bali is an island where you can do these things with a family (even babies – as mine are 1 and 2.5) and really feel safe, secure and relaxed.

Bali Travel with Kids

On our first day in Bali , we were introduced to Nasi Goreng- with literally translates into “fried rice”.  Balinese people eat Nasi goreng many meals of the day/week– Usually topped with a fried egg. By the end of the trip, my 2.5 yr old was asking for Nasi goreng at every meal. Our other favorite thing to eat in Bali, and all throughout Indonesia, was grilled corn.  We would walk the beach at night, eating ear after ear of grilled corn topped with butter and Balinese spices. So delicious!

Bali Travel with Kids

The people of Bali have a very rich culture, and take great pride in honoring their heritage.  We took the kids to many outdoor theater shows where performers dress in elaborate costumes and makeup, and tell old stories through song and dance.  Many of these shows would end with our kids being invited to dance with the performers on the stage. Still today, my daughter dances in the living room and tells me we “need” a stage.

Bali Travel with Kids

A huge Bali highlight for us was when we released a green sea turtle into the ocean. We donated some money to a fund that helps protect the turtles, and in return, they brought my daughter a tiny baby turtle (she named her Angelina Ballerina) and allowed her to walk it down the beach to the ocean. It’s always been a dream of mine to do that myself, so to live that moment through my daughter was just beautiful.

Bali Travel with Kids

Bali has so much to offer- and can be a great family vacation option for those who are adventurous, or those who just want to relax and take in the sunshine and the sea.

If you enjoyed learning about Mandy’s Balinese excursion, be sure to read Mandy’s tips for traveling with kids blog post.