Nothing says retro like a tie dyed t-shirt, and they are super fun to make. You can do them individually, as a class activity, or for a fun sleep-over activity. There are so many options with color and patterns. We used 3 easy styles, which we'll demonstrate. We also tried both wet shirts and dry shirts. You'll see the difference in the amount of color on each. If you want more white to show, use a dry shirt. If you want more color, wet the shirt up with a spray bottle first. Both look super groovy. It's just a matter of taste. Go nuts and have fun. Can you dig it?
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Simple enough. Get a tie die kit, some t-shirts (pre washed), a cheap plastic table cover, and maybe some rockin tunes to bring you back to the days of bellbottoms and peace signs. Have some plastic bags handy too, to store them in when you're done dyeing. The plastic grocery bags are just fine. We used gallon sized storage bags, so everyone could write their name on the one their shirt was in.
*Your kit should have bottles, color packets, rubber bands, and gloves.
Step 2: Pour in the Color Packs
Choose your colors. Cut the top of each packet and carefully pour each one into their own bottle. This is a good time to label the bottles, because once the color is mixed, it can be a little difficult to tell the difference between some of the colors.
Step 3: Mix the Color
Fill the bottles to the fill line shown on the bottle, put the lid on, and (with glove on) shake, shake, shake. Shake your booty. I mean, shake the bottles until all the powder is mixed in.
Step 4: Style 1: Do the Twist
There are lots of different ways to tie dye. This one is a spiral.
Pinch a spot on the shirt, and twist. Keep twisting around and around.
As your twisting the shirt with one hand, use the other to gather little folds with the other. You want to make sure it's got plenty of folds, and not just a big wad of shirt.
Step 5: Rubber Band Time
Carefully slide a rubber band around the shirt.
Slide another on, crisscrossing the first one.
Slide on a couple more at different angles, to make a flat, round shape.
Step 6: Style 2: Scrunch It
This one is super easy. You just use your fingers to scrunch the shirt up into a little pile. You can wrap a couple of rubber band around it to keep it together, or you can just leave it as a pile.
Step 7: Style 3: Stripe It
Twist and shout. Oops. No shouting. I mean, twist the shirt up longways, shortways, or at any angle you please. Wrap rubber bands tightly around it in several places.
Step 8: Get Ready to Start Dying
Use one as a boa. Use some to make Princess Leia buns. Oh, and put on some gloves. It's about to get soooo messy.
Step 9: Style 1 Color
Squeeze the bottle onto a wedge-shaped section of the shirt. Repeat all the way around with as many colors as you want.
Flip the shirt over and squeeze color onto the other side. Make sure you use the same colors in the same sections you did on the other side.
(Remember, they will be in the opposite order on this side, so they match up to the front.)
Step 10: Style 2 Color
Just squeeze color all over the whole thing. Make sure you get all over, under, and around it, without unscrunching it.
Step 11: Style 3 Color
Squeeze dye all over and around one section at a time. Use as many colors as you want. Go crazy.
Step 12: Bag Em Up
Put each one in a bag, or wrap in plastic. Then, just leave them for about 8 hours.
*Some kits require longer for the color to set. Check your kit to make sure.
Step 13: Things to Do While Waiting
Listen to some records.
Watch movies and eat popcorn.
Swipe your mom's phone and take weird pictures.
Have a disco party.
Do the hustle.
Step 14: Snip Snip
When the time is up, go ahead and start letting the washing machine fill up with hot water. Remove the shirts from the plastic and carefully cut the rubber bands.
Step 15: Observe the Grooviness
Open the shirts up and check out your artwork.
You can really see the difference in color absorption in the first shirts, which we did dry, and the others, which we did wet.
FYI, the first 2 pictures are Style 1, the next is Style 2, and the last is Style 3.
Step 16: Wash Em
Easy enough. Put them by themselves in the washing machine on hot, with a bit of detergent. When they're done, toss em in the dryer.
*Be advised, for the next few times you wash these, you may want to do them separately, as the colors may bleed just a bit. After that, they should be fine.
Step 17: Become Groovy
Take the shirts out of the dryer and wear them. Show off your funky style with some awesome shades and throw out a peace sign. Right on.