Ugh. WHY do cats always seem to know when something important is going on – and they’re not invited? Sigh. Give me a moment to brush him off the table and out of the way, then on to the lesson!

This week I received a few inquiries about putting batiks onto canvas. So, I thought it might be a good topic for today’s post – and thank you for the idea. I hope you can learn from my mistakes, which I’ve documented for you below.

IT IS FUN AND EASY TO GLUE A BATIK (of any size, by the way) TO A CANVAS. I particularly like the ‘gallery wrap’ 1.5″ to 2″ thick canvas, because then you do not have to frame the piece. Anytime we can save some moolah, I’m for it (and so is my cat).

The first reason a blank, white canvas works well to back a batik is simply because it is WHITE. Ginwashi rice paper, which is used for the painting itself, is semi-transparent and backing it with white really shows off the color in the piece.

Here are some batiks that I’ve put onto canvas.


They don’t look bad from the front, but let’s take a closer look.





  1. 1. You can use either an entire, really great batik. OR sometimes I will use only a section of a batik that I don’t like. Yes, that is called ‘creative cropping’, but that’s allowed! It’s your painting, so if you want to save only the very best part of it, go for it for heaven’s sake.In the vineyard sample above, see that fence post sitting at the left edge? For some reason, I had painted that post smack-dab in the middle of the original painting. It definitely ruined the entire thing. But I don’t yell at myself for such things anymore. (Yes, I used to pout for days). These days, it’s just a chance to get creative. So, the batik got cropped down and it looks sooooo much better.

    I will demo the same process with another batik, below.


  2. PREPARE YOUR BATIK. Whether you’re going to adhere the entire thing, OR crop it down, you’ll want to lay it out onto the piece like so:TT1210-6


  3. GLUE DOWN THE BATIK. I use Acrylic Matte Medium for the glue. It’s not actually a “glue”, but because it’s acrylic it turns to plastic when it dries. This makes it a wonderful glue! In the photo you see Golden brand, but there are others as well. Liquitex has a great medium. (And by the way, you can also use Acrylic Gloss Medium if you prefer a shiny surface). Dilute the medium: 2/3 medium to 1/3 water.TIP: Don’t try to glue the entire thing at one time! Go little by little as you can see in the demo photos below.


  4. When the entire piece has been glued onto the canvas, let it dry overnight. Hey, it already looks cool, doesn’t it?Once it’s thoroughly dry, you can do any number of things to it. You could paint the edges a solid color. You could continue the painting around onto the edges. You could collage additional pieces onto the edges. You could allow your cat to add his own idea of creativity.

    Not only that, but you can also add color and some pizazz to the original painting! Go ahead and let your imagination run wild! Use paint, pastel pencils, markers to name a few choices.

What is the moral of this story? Never EVER throw away a batik. They are little treasures, whether or not they are perfect. I have an entire stash of class demos which I sometimes dole out to special artist friends who use them for any number of cool projects.

I hope this answers all of the questions you had about how to glue a batik on canvas. If you have additional questions, just ask them in the comment section below and I’ll get an answer right back to you!

Thanks so much for reading.

Kathie xo

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