{August 15, 2012}   Dying to Tie-Dye

Though I recall tie-dying shirts when I was a kid, I’m pretty sure my mom did most—if not all—of the work. So I’ve been looking for an opportunity to bring out the tie-dye kit I’d purchased months ago.

When my friend Tina and her daughters planned to visit to spend a few hours in the pool, I asked her to bring along some white shirts so we could tie-dye together.

The kit we used contained a package of soda ash, three squirt bottles with dye, rubber bands and gloves.

While the kids splashed in the pool, we soaked the shirts in a gallon of water mixed with soda ash fixer, which helps the dyes bond with the clothing fibers.

When the kids were ready for a break from swimming, we squeezed out the shirts and spread them out on the glass patio table.

Sophie and Jamie wanted stripes, so they folded their shirts accordion-style before wrapping rubber bands every few inches around them. Phoebe and Dylan wanted sunbursts, so they grabbed the middle of their shirts, formed the shirts into cones and then wrapped the cones with rubber bands.

I wanted spirals, so I swirled my shirt from the center and then wrapped three rubber bands around it to create wedges. Tina skipped rubber bands altogether and just scrunched her shirt.

Next, we used the squirt bottles of red, yellow and blue dye to color our shirts—in patterns or at random. It was messy, but fun! (Note to self: those gloves were in the kit for a reason; use them.)

Then we placed each shirt in a plastic bag to allow the colors to penetrate. The directions suggest leaving the shirts in the bags from 4 to 24 hours. A longer time results in more intense color.

Removing the rubber bands to reveal the final design was the best part! We were happy with the wild, colorful results and will definitely try this again!

Want to know more about my 47 and fearless project? Check out my first post here.


et cetera