Yesterday Ella had a friend over and she was spending the night. I had told them we would go out to dinner, but the people who were supposed to install our blinds were late (go figure) and there was no way we would be able to fit it all in. Instead of going out to dinner I baited them with takeout pizza and crafts. They bit.
I headed to Walmart in search of Rit Dye and rubber bands so we could tie dye t-shirts. Then I remembered… You see, this isn’t my first time tie dying shirts. I’ve done it before, with the help of my good friend Jami, for Nicholas’ 6th birthday party. We made them for all the boys who attended the party and it was a BIG hit.
Anyway, I remember the processing being relatively easy, but not much fun or involvement for the kids so I thought I’d try tie dying with Sharpie markers and alcohol.
So I’m heading down the aisle in Walmart with four kids in tow and what do I see? A tie dye kit with everything I would need! I’m in!
[The link I provided isn’t for the EXACT kit I bought as I got more colors, but Walmart (or anyone else for that matter) didn’t have the one I bought online, but it is the one pictured below.]
The kit had 8 different colors (just add water), plastic to put down to keep your area clean, 100 rubber bands, and 5 sets of plastic gloves. We had to buy our own T-shirts and tote bags to dye.
I would suggest protecting every area that could possibly be splattered with dye, including your kids’ clothes. I had each of the kids wear an old T-shirt.
Next we prepped our shirts (the girls also did tote bags) with the rubber bands. There are many ways to use the rubber bands to make different patterns, but we used what I thought would be the easiest for the kids.
All you have to do to get started with the dye is add water to the fill line on the bottles, shake and go. I was thinking if you don’t want to buy a kit you could easily use the same concept mixing Rit dye and adding it to a squirt bottle. Having the dye in a bottle definitely makes the process much more kid friendly.
Next take a deep breath and allow the kids to squirt the colors on their shirts. It didn’t occur to me until later in the process to put a paper towel under the shirts to absorb the excess dye, but once I did it definitely helped with the mess factor. Ideally, this would be an outdoor project, but when it’s 102 degrees outside, the kitchen table sounded pretty good.
Once your masterpieces have been created, wrap them in the provided plastic and allow them to sit for 6 to 8 hours. I’m not sure why they are supposed to stay damp (that’s why you wrap them), but that’s what the directions said so I did it.
I allowed mine to sit overnight. When I woke up, I removed the rubber bands and rinsed each item in the laundry sink until the water ran clear. A LONG TIME! Next I washed the items in the washing machine on the hottest setting. I was paranoid that every color would fade into one another and I would wind up with brown tie dye shirts, but the colors didn’t really fade at all.
I tossed them in the dryer and they were ready to wear. Ella and Isa also made tote bags. We ironed on a photo of the girls using Avery iron on transfer paper. Everything turned out so cute and I think everyone had A LOT of fun! Who really wanted to go out to a nice dinner anyway?