Monday, July 1, 2013

Make It Monday - tie dye 4th

This is the first installment of a new series on the blog - things to create with kids in your own backyard! Here's one we have been doing since my boys were two and it never gets old. Can you ever have enough tie dye t-shirts? This is a great project for a rainy day...


Start with the t-shirts. I like to use a good quality cotton and I bought these at Belk. The cheaper, thin, fabric doesn't absorb the dye as well and stretches too much in the process of wrapping the rubber bands. Wash and dry the shirts before dying. This kit came from Walmart and it was super cheap! Most kits include the dye and bottle, rubber bands, and gloves. Cover your surface with an old art cloth like this one and wear old t-shirts or paint smocks - this project can get messy. When my boys were little, I used to do this outside in the back yard wearing swimsuits (then hose those babies down!). Next, twist sections of fabric and wrap them tightly with rubber bands...


This twisting is tricky, but it gets easier every summer as little hands mature. If your kids are little, you can get them to lay rubber bands on their shirts to mark the areas they want to color and you can twist the rubber bands for them. You can even do this the night before because this process takes at least half an hour.


Once your t-shirt is covered in rubber bands, you are ready to mix the dye. This kit came with bottles of powered dye and you just add water (less water for brighter colors). Shake the bottles well and start applying dye only to the rubber bands...


Work slowly to pour the dye on the rubber band segments and use your fingers to rub the bands to work the dye into the fabric. We used red and blue dye on a white t-shirt to create a 4th of July t-shirt...


Don't worry if the dye drips onto the main body of the t-shirt - it will add to the result. Now wrap the damp t-shirt in a white garbage bag and leave it for 12 hours to soak in the color. Then remove the t-shirt and rinse it in the sink under running water while removing the rubber bands ( rinse away excess dye ). Lay the t-shirt flat to dry in the sun. You can wash the shirts alone in a quick cold cycle and dry them in the dryer to finish them off. Tune in tomorrow for the final product!

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