Thursday, August 2, 2012

127) Tie-Dye T-Shirts

The girls were super excited to get a tie-dye kit from their grandparents for their birthdays. The day after they got it the Bee asked me at least 10 times when we could tie-dye. Honestly I was a little nervous about tie-dying with an almost 4 year old. I am usually all for messy art stuff and have no fear when it comes to paint and food coloring because I know that stuff washes out pretty easily. But fabric dye just seemed like it had the potential to end badly. At the same time I knew the Bee would love it, I remember tie-dying as a kid and thinking it was like magic, when you untied the shirt and finally got to see your design. So I gave in and was pleasantly surprised to find that it went really well and that the Bee loved it as much as I did as a kid.

We used a kit, which was nice because it came with all the stuff you need but you could easily buy the materials separately at any craft supply store. We started by soaking the plain white t-shirts in a pot with Soda Ash and warm water for 20 minutes. The soda ash is a kind of salt that helps the fabric retain the bright colors of the dye. After soaking we took the shirts and just randomly twisted them into little balls and wrapped rubber bands around the fabric to hold it in place. The directions that came in the kit had some techniques to make cool patterns but since this was our first time we just went randomly. The Bee did a good job bunching up the fabric but had a little trouble wrapping the rubber bands around more then once, so I helped with that part. After we finished all the rubber bands we mixed the dye up in plastic squirt bottles. The squirt bottles were nice and worked great but I have done this before were you just mix the dye in a bucket and dip the fabric in and that works well too. The Bee then stuck her hands into plastic sandwich bags and I laid out a large trash bag on the ground. She squirted the shirts with the dye, which was a great lesson in color mixing since we only used red, blue and yellow. After the shirts were covered with dye we put the bundles of fabric into Ziploc bags and let them sit overnight. The next day the Bee removed the rubber bands as we rinsed the shirts under running water in the kitchen sink. She was amazed to see her design and so excited that she had made it herself. After thoroughly rinsing the shirt in the sink I washed the two shirts alone in the washing machine. at that point all the dye had been rinsed out but it seemed better to be safe then sorry. The Bee has worn her shirt several time since we made each time excitedly telling everyone that she made it herself. I see more tie-dying in our future...

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite activities! I'm going to try to do it every summer and then make the girls tshirt quilts when they go off to college.