According to legends in Hindu Mythology, demons and gods were churning the ocean (samudra manthan). Gods were fortunate to receive an elephant called Airavata, who reached his trunk down into the underworld, sucked up its water, then sprayed it into the clouds. Indra, the king of the gods, then made it rain cool water.
Each year in March/April, an Elephant Festival is held at Jaipur Chagan Stadium. A procession of elephants, painted and decorated with gems and embroidered velvets, walk past the jury of judges to be selected and receive the “Best Decorated Elephant Shield”.
The word batik means ‘wax writing’. The wax resist art form originated in India.
Age Range: 7 to 12
Grade Range: 1 to 6
Skill Level: Moderate
Appropriate for These Special Events:
Every Day and Rainy Days
Supports Subject Area(s) of:
Language Arts – e.g. step by step instructions
Math – e.g. measuring
Time Needed for Project:
1 hour plus drying time
- Elmer’s ® Rubber Cement with brush
- Card stock or watercolor paper
- Watercolors with brush
- Embroidery floss and needle
- 5mm, 8mm, 10mm sequins, assorted colors
- 8/0 large seed beads, assorted colors
Card size: 4 3/4 x 6 7/8 envelope: 5 x 7 1/8
- Fold a piece of card stock in half. Measure and outline the dimension of the card front 4 3/4” x 6 7/8”.
- Lightly pencil the outline of the elephant on the center of the card front. Brush rubber cement inside the elephant outline. Use the side of the brush to apply glue in the narrow areas like the trunk, tusk and tail. Brush rubber cement in a wiggle line along the outside edge of the card. Brush rubber cement over ear pattern. Allow glue to dry.
- Paint watercolor over card front and ear. Allow paint to dry.
- Rub your finger over rubber cement ‘frisket’ to ball it up and remove it from the card and ear. Some of the watercolor seeped under the rubber cement brush strokes and will remain on the card stock.
- Cut a 24”-30” length embroidery floss. Separate the six strands into three strands. Thread needle with three strands of floss. Tie a knot at one end of floss.
- Bring the needle up from inside of card to hide the knotted end. Sew a ‘running stitch’ around the elephant shape by bringing the needle up through the card, then insert it back down about 1/8” away from starting point. Continue stitching around elephant shape.
Tip: The embroidery floss may twist as you stitch. Let the threaded needle drop down from the card. It will spin and untwist itself. Then continue stitching.
- To finish a stitch, knot floss on the inside of card. Thread the needle through the last stitch. Make a loop then thread the needle through the loop to make a knot. Cut floss close to the knot. Change embroidery floss colors, then stitch decorations on the elephant and along wiggle border lines. Stitch around elephant ear.
- Sequins can be added with glue or by stitching in place with a seed bead. Bring threaded needle up from inside of card. Add a sequin and a seed bead. Insert needle back through sequin, then back through the same hole in card. Tie knot in floss on the inside of card.
- Cut out elephant ear. Fold tab. Glue in position on elephant. Cut out tusk. Glue in position.
- Apply rubber cement on the inside flap of card, over knotted side of stitching. Cut a piece of card stock in half. Place on inside flap. Trim the folded card to 4 3/4” x 6 7/8”.
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