Introduction: LDC Arctic Adventure Snowflake/Star Tie Dye Bandana

I recently finished a great week as a leader for Junior 7 at Girl Scouts' Lilburn Day Camp Arctic Adventure. My favorite activity of the week was teaching my campers to tie-dye snowflake bandanas.

I figured how to tie the bandanas after making 6-Pointed Paper Snowflakes following the Instructable "How to Make 6-Pointed Paper Snowflakes" for another camp project.

Since dying can be messy, this was a great outdoor camp project. The girls can wear their bandanas on their next camping trip.

The bandana looked great dyed in rainbow colors. One of my camper said that just like snowflakes, no two of the bandanas were exactly alike.

My daughter helped me refine this instructable. She sent the bandana she made to her friend who carried it when mountain climbing in Colorado.

Step 1: Supplies

Tying Supplies

  • White 100% cotton bandanas, ~22" square
  • Artificial sinew
  • Rubber bands

I bought bandanas at my local Hobby Lobby for $1.30 each. They had plenty of plain white bandanas on the shelf. Wal-Mart had bandanas for $1 but only had a limited quantity. When I washed the bandanas, they shrunk and some of them were not square, about 21" x 20". If you want an exact square, try sewing your own bandanas from laundered cotton fabric.

Old kite string also works well for tying.

Dye Supplies

  • Soda ash
  • Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes
  • Squirt bottles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Uncoated paper plates
  • Ziplock sandwich bags

I purchased dye supplies from Dharma Trading Co. and followed the techniques on their website for mixing dyes and dying. I mixed 7 4 oz. containers of dye, so the girls could select their favorite colors. Out of this, we used about 12 1/2 ounces of dye for 18 bandanas.

Amounts Used by Color

  • Purple, 3 oz.
  • Peacock blue, 3 oz.
  • Fuchsia, 1 1/2 oz.
  • Green, 1 1/2 oz.
  • Hot Pink, 1 1/2 oz.
  • Yellow, 1 1/2 oz.
  • Navy, less than 1/2 oz.

Rubber Gloves

I wore a pair of latex kitchen gloves to squeeze out the extra soda ash solutions. The girls wore inexpensive disposal gloves sold in packs of 100 at the Dollar Tree for dying.

Other Supplies

  • Uncoated paper plates
  • Ziplock sandwich bags

Step 2: Tools

  • Protractor
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Marker
  • Washable Marker
  • Iron

We used Crayola washable markers to draw temporary lines on the fabric. The girls used a fabric maker to put their initials on a corner of the bandana to identify them after soaking.

Step 3: Prepare Bandanas

Wash bandanas to removing sizing. Iron bandanas flat. Using a permanent fabric marker, mark initials on a corner of the bandana.

Step 4: Fold Bandanas Into Smaller Square

Fold bandana in half.

Fold bandana in half again, and place the fold corner on the left side near the edge of the table. The folded corner should fit inside a "L" you make with your left hand thumb and pointer finger. This will be the center of you star/snowflake.

Step 5: Fold Bandana Into Thirds

Align a protractor so that the right angle on the protractor is along the left folded corner. Using a washable marker, make marks at 30º and 60º. Draw lines through the folded corner and marks. Fold in along lines.

Step 6: Pleat Along 20º Angle

From the shorter side edge, mark a 20º degree angle. Draw line through the small corner and mark. Pleat along this line using pleats similar to those used to make a paper fan.

Step 7: Tie

Have a buddy hold your pleats. Slip a 2 yard piece of artificial sinew under folds. Tie in square knot along pleat line.

Wrap the sinew tightly around the tie one or two times. Use the shorter end of the string to wrap to folded corner and back to pleat line. Use the other end to wrap to the open corners and back to pleat line. Tie ends together.

Place a rubber band along the pleat line. The marked line washes out when soaked in soda ash, so the rubber band will delineate the star from the background.

Step 8: Soak in Soda Ash

Soak in soda ash solution for 20 minutes. While wearing gloves, remove and squeeze out excess soda ash solution.

Step 9: Dye

Using a paper plate to absorb extra dye, dye the star from the pleat line to the folded corner.

Then dye the outside of the star. Most of the girls used two colors, but some experimented with adding an extra color strip around the tie line or another color on the edges.

Place dyed bandana in a plastic ziplock bag, and let sit for 24 hours.

Step 10: Rinse in Cold Water

Untie bandana and rinse in cold water until water runs clear.

Step 11: Wash in Hot Water

Wash bandana in hot water.

Step 12: Display Your Snowflake/Star Bandanas

Step 13: Or Send to Friend

Here is my daughter's friend displaying her bandana on top of a 14er in Colorado.

Rainbow Contest

Participated in the
Rainbow Contest

Outside Contest

Participated in the
Outside Contest