Friday, July 3, 2009

Tie-dyed shirts

Yesterday I saw that Marie from Make and Takes made some really cute tie-dyed t-shirts for her family for the 4th of July. I haven't done tie-dye in ages, perhaps not at all in adulthood and thought it would be fun to try. Last summer I painted some super-cute flag t-shirts just for the boys using the freezer paper stencil technique. You can click over to my other blog to seem them. This year I copied Marie and made one for everyone in the family. The boys and I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up some red and blue dye. You can see what we got below. It was a little pricey ($5.99 per color), but the kits with primary colors were sold out. That's what always happens to me because I don't think about doing seasonal crafts until the holiday is upon me and then the choices are picked over by moms who plan ahead better. Oh well.......

One good thing about what I got is that there were plastic gloves and rubber bands included in the box along with great directions and the dispenser bottles. That really helped me get the dye in the right place. Below you can see one of the shirts with the bands on it. I showed the boys some different designs and they wanted ones with concentric circles. I think that's actually one of the easiest designs to make. So I put 4 rubber bands on each shirts as shown.

Then I used the dispenser bottles to squirt alternating colors of red and blue dye onto the sections as shown here.

Next you are supposed to wrap the damp shirts in plastic wrap and let them sit for 6-8 hours. I didn't have plastic wrap, so I wrapped them each in a plastic shopping bag and then bagged the bags in large Ziploc bags. I figured that would keep them reasonably damp.

After about 6 hours I checked them. You can see that the blue dye really leaked into the red section. The directions said to cut off the rubber bands and fill your washing machine with the hottest water for the material you are using. I filled mine with HOT water and added a little soap and washed them all together.

I was nervous because when the wash cycle began the water immediately turned dark purple (you can't see that in the photo) and I thought all the shirts might be purple when they came out.

Luckily, they did not turn purple after all. I was surprised at how much the colors faded during that one washing. You can see three of our shirts below. My little boy is wearing his shirt right now and is in town with his daddy so I couldn't get a photo of it. It's pretty much the same as the others. He is a little clothes horse and had to put it on immediately this morning. I am pretty happy with how these turned out. My husband even likes them and remembers a time when he tie-dyed with his mom and sisters as a little boy. So........we'll be a matching family for the 4th!!


Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

We love to make tie dyed shirts here. When I first tried, I had a washer full of purple water too. Unfortunately for us...everything ended up with purple all over it. Oh well, the kids still had fun making their own shirts and pillow cases.

Sadie said...

We just did our first tie dyed shirts a couple of weeks ago. My boys have worn them pretty much consistently since. It's a fun project!