Of course I would do a craft while on vacation. Probably my first in months. Between school, daily household chores, three little kiddos, and life in general, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten glue/paint/glitter on my hands.
When my sister first visited Malaysia prior to moving there, she brought back an adorable hand painted Batik of a giraffe. With Jenin’s love of painting, I knew it was somewhere I really wanted to take the girls.
The Craft Complex, or Kompleks Budaya Kraf, is situated close to downtown. It’s a beautiful setting consisting of a main building with a great gift shop and numerous hut style cottages throughout the grounds. Tropical tree lined pathways lead to each hut. We only had the opportunity to visit the Batik hut.
If you’re looking for a meaningful souvenir or special gift, this is the one. The girls and I were allowed to pick our own design or choose from one already prepared. There are hundreds of images to choose from in binders including flowers, animals, and Malaysian landmarks. You can even bring in your own image for them to transfer to a cloth. Wish I had known! If you do, think simple drawings in a coloring page format. Wax outlines are drawn onto a cloth. The wax stops the colors from bleeding into each other. You’re given a tray of paints (don’t wear your best clothing and use the apron provided), cups of water, and an assortment of brushes. After a brief and simple instruction, you’re ready to go.
Despite the humid weather, the hut had cross ventilation and was pleasantly cool. It was a very beautiful and relaxing setting. Maysoon, almost 4, was able to complete her painting and was quite pleased with her little turtle. The girls enjoyed the process so much, that we returned later in our trip to do it again to give as gifts to their friends.
Artistic or not, this was a wonderful experience to learn the popular Malaysian craft and art. It was incredibly affordable as well. The larger ones (11×11) will only set you back less than $10 with a mat. The smaller ones (8×8) are closer to $7. We didn’t get the mat for our personal ones, wish we did! Not interested in painting it yourself but like the painting style? Many pre-painted images are available for sale. We picked up Batik bookmarks for J’s classmates.