When grandson was asked if he wanted to help throw out candy during the July 4th parade, he was not quite sure. It would mean he couldn’t go diving for candy with the other kids, but his mom convinced him it would be more fun to give than receive.
He’s still trying to wrap his head around that concept when it comes to candy.
We decided that the kids tossing the candy needed appropriate shirts, so we came up with the inexpensive method of tie-dying a few shirts. It’s also a great summer project for the kids that’s hard to mess up, as there is really no right or wrong way to do it.
Warning: Even though you can’t mess it up, it is messy to do! Make sure to cover all surfaces and wear gloves!
What you need:
- Rit Dye – one blue, one red for $2.75 each
- t-shirts – kids were $2. each, adults slightly higher
- rubber bands – bag of assorted sizes was 67 cents at Walmart
- rubber gloves
- white vinegar
Method we used: (there are lots of different ways to do this, but this is how we did it)
- Mix 1/2 bottle dye with very hot water and 1 cup vinegar in bowl – separate bowls for each color. About halfway through the process we repeated the dye mixture with the rest of the dye.
- Dampen shirts and wring out well.
- Start twisting and turning the shirts, use rubber bands around the twisted shirts. We put them on the twisted sleeves, the body, etc. It was all a fun experiment and we probably used 20 or so per shirt. Make sure rubber bands are on very tight and the twisted shirt is a small tight package. Our shirts were twisted into long cones.
- Wearing gloves, dip parts of the shirt in the different colors, leave in for a few minutes, making sure to leave part of the shirt out for the second color. It won’t work dyeing on top of another color unless you are trying to make new colors — which is also fun but won’t work for July 4th shirts!
- Wring colored part out as much as possible, then dip undyed portion into the second color. Leave for a few minutes again, wring out.
- Using running water we rinsed each color separately as much as possible. When the water was running clear — this does take being patient for a few minutes of running water. Wring shirt out as much as possible.
- Clip off rubber bands and check out your masterpiece.
- Let the tie-dye t-shirts completely dry (outside if possible). After shirts were dry they were a bit stiff, so we put them in the dryer for a refresh with a fabric softener sheet.
More Fun for the Fourth
The Rit Studio – Tye Dye