A few weeks ago I found myself with an afternoon off and wanted to kill some time with a no-pressure craft that wouldn’t result in me wanting to take over and just “do it all” for my kids. If you are looking for a fun spring-break craft to do with your kiddo or to beat the rainy or cold weather day blues, this is a project that can be done with any age and requires very little skill! (I promise it’s easy)
Gather your supplies:
With a nine year old boy and a toddler in the same house it’s pretty easy to find a shirt or two with stains. Tie-dye is an amazing way to give old shirts a new life. Or pick up a new white tee or two from Hobby Lobby where their craft tee’s are always on sale!
In order to get a vibrant tee with color that lasts and doesn’t fade after a wash or two, I pre-treat mine in my washing machine with a cycle of hot water and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda.
Fold your shirt:
Following the spin cycle, pull the shirts directly from the washing machine and choose a style of folding.
This is a method of crumpling that results in a cool “galaxy” style pattern.
Or you can use a paint stick and place it directly in the center of the shirt and spin it until the entire shirt is wrapped up into a circle and secure it with rubber bands.
While the shirts are still damp place them on a grate or something that will allow water/ dye to pass directly through and drain away from the shirts. Apply the powdered dye directly onto the shirts however you like. There is no wrong way to do this , but do try not to overlap colors excessively or you will “muddy” them and the end result won’t be as vibrant.
Layer with ice:
Once you’ve applied the dye, cover the entire batch of shirts with ice. As the ice melts the water and dye will penetrate the fabric and then drain directly through the shirts into the basin of your sink or tote if you don’t have a spare sink. It’s important to make sure the now liquid dye drains away from the fabric or the colors will mix and your end result will be brown tie dye.
I let my shirts “batch” for a minimum of 48 hours, adding ice every 12 hours before rinsing them in a cold cycle in my washing machine.
Enjoy your new shirts and spread some love!
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