Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tie-Dye Party

Wearing tie-dye to tie-dye ...
My son loves anything tie-dyed. At first, I was mildly embarrassed by his obsession with tie-dyed shirts, but little did I know that he was just on to the tie-dye resurgence way ahead of the curve. Today was the second time in a month that my children were part of a tie-dye party. So much fun! Kind of a mess... Wear gloves and clothes that might get splashed by permanent dye.

If you want to recreate the magic of tie-dye with your kiddos, Grateful Dead sing-alongs optional, you just need a few supplies that you can easily gather wherever you live. This project is best done outside!  

You will need ... 

White t-shirts
Fabric dye (find it at your grocery store or craft store)
Squeeze bottles 
Rubber bands
Rubber gloves
Plastic bags to store the dyed shirt

Ready for dye!
Directions ... 

1.  Prepare your dye in the squeeze bottles - if you buy a tie-dye kit at a store like Michael's, the kit will include squeeze bottles. Don't prepare your dye too far ahead of time to keep the colors bright.

2. Soak your t-shirt in water and squeeze out the excess. Lay your t-shirt flat on the ground and gently pick it up in the middle. There are many ways to rubber band your t-shirt but we have stuck with one basic approach both times. After gently lifting your t-shirt up from the middle, gather about an inch or two of fabric and wrap a rubber band around it. I recommend using at least 4 rubber bands to section off the t-shirt, but you can use more than that.
No gloves, you should see his feet...
The smart girl wore gloves

3. Put on gloves!! Using your dye, start coloring one section at a time, making sure to saturate the entire section. My son took a pretty orderly approach to dyeing his shirt but my daughter was all over the place with her colors and her sections.  Better to over-saturate than to not use enough dye to get through all your layers of fabric.

 4. When you have finished creating your masterpiece, do not remove the rubber bands! Place the t-shirt in a plastic bag and let it sit overnight.

5. Carefully remove the t-shirt from the bag and rinse under cold water until the water has rinsed clear. It might take a while. After all the extra dye has rinsed out, you can remove the rubber bands and wash in the washing machine using a little detergent and warm water.

6. You can safely wash your tie-dye creation with other colorful shirts after it has been washed once by itself. Enjoy!!

Another way to wrap your shirt...
 

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