I have 4 kids, ages 6, 4, 2 and 2. They loved doing this project.
It kept them busy for a few hours over the course of two days.
Here are a few pointers in working with the kids.
2: make one job into a lot of smaller tasks, to keep them occupied.
3: don't look for perfection
4: try not to worry about the mess.
5: the dye eventually washes off the skin.
6: make sure nobody gets hurt.
7: make sure everybody has fun.
Step 1: Gather supplies/ get kids ready.
You also need shirts. I got two five packs, one boy's, one men's. You can use old shirts, or get new ones. 100% cotton works best. We also dyed 2 pairs of socks and a pair of undies.
You also will need:
- a bucket
- zip lock bags
Our kit came with a DVD on how to tie-dye. I put this on for the kids while i gathered the supplies. They had fun watching the dvd to get ideas.
Step 2: Wet the shirts
Now take everything you are going to dye and get it wet. It is easier to bunch, fold, tie etc. when the fabric is wet.
the kids had a lot of fun "washing" the clothes in the tub. My oldest went on and on about how the pilgrims used to wash laundry in buckets. They also enjoyed getting very wet.
Step 3: Tie
The kids had some ideas from the DVD. You can also go online and look for patterns, There are tons.
Let the kids be creative. No matter how they knot it and twist it, it will look great.
I tried to make a peace sign with thread. I basted and gathered. It was a pretty big failure, but the shirt still came out good.
Spirals are always fun. We also liked bunching. Folding into a log, then adding rubber bands made some good stripes.
Where you put the bands on really tight, the shirt will stay white.
Step 4: Soda ash / get dye ready
This help the dye stick.
Our kit came with some, and it needed 2 gallons of warm water.
We dumped out the bucket, and refilled it with the soda ash mixture. Put all your tied garments in, and let sit for 20 minutes.
Let the kids put them in, dunk them, stir them, etc.
Our dye came in bottles, and you just needed to add warm water.
I gave the bottles to the kids to shake up.
Just keep your finger on the cap so it doesn't shoot off.
Step 5: Dye
1: drink the dye
2: dye themselves
3: annoy the girls
or all of the above.
Now our kit only came with 2 gloves, and i had a third hanging around. we each got one, and we each ended up with one clean hand, and one very messy hand. don't panic, it was pretty much all washed off after 2 days.
(make sure the kids aren't wearing any favorite clothes. they will get a few stains)
We layed down a trash bag on the grass as our work area. The extra dye could run off into the grass, and wasn't noticeable. We also got a couple small stains in the concrete. I don't know how long they will last. The girls think they're pretty.
So now you squirt the dye onto the shirts. The more you use, the more colorful they will be. It helps if you really bury the nozzle down into the folds.
When you are done dyeing the shirt, put it in a zip lock bag and seal it up.
You want to let them sit for at least 12 hours. Ours sat for about 16 hours.
Then clean up. I threw out the bottles. We used up almost all the dye. (we had a lot of yellow left over) and then hosed off the area.
You can mix colors, but remember, if you mix all 3 together, you get brown.
Step 6: Rinse
Rinse them under warm water until they run clear. You don't really need gloves for this step.
Just make sure they keep it over the sink the whole time.
once it runs clear, i had them take them outside and hang them on the porch rail. They probably washed about 2 shirts each before the got bored. I rinsed the rest, and they brought them out to the porch one at a time. They had fun arranging them, picking they favorites, trying to figure out which ones they made, etc. I think they were also naming them.
Step 7: Wash
Use detergent, and wash on warm/cold.
This gets rid of any remaining dye. Otherwise there is a good chance you would dye your skin the 1st time you wore them.
Then toss them in the dryer, or hang them up to dry.
Step 8: Wear!
These shirts are so much fun. The kids were very proud. They told everyone that they made them. The liked matching each other.
The adult size shirts can be made into dresses, or worn as night gowns / cover ups.
They make good presents too.
That's all! Hope you have fun!