Tie-Dying Days…

Jessy got a tie-dying kit for her birthday and a dozen shirts printed with her Dragon Mountain Treasures logo on it. And we decided it would be fun to have a little hippy craft time this past weekend. I’ve done tie-dying like 20 years ago, so it was a bit of a learning curve again. But we had a great time and I think the shirts came out pretty good.

First you have to prep the area with a lot of paper towels and plastic to cover up your desk or table. A must. It’s a little bit on the messy side… I imagine if you do a lot, you’ll get better at knowing what and how much to cover up.

The pamphlet with the kit was pretty good about explaining how to get all different kinds of folds and crinkles and styles. We had to play around with some of them, and kind of re-fold a few that we did wrong. But it was pretty easy and fun.

They say to only mix up the dyes when you’re ready to go. So we waited until we had them all scrunched and rubber-banded and all that and then mixed up the dyes. And then you get ready to start dyeing!!!

We love to wear bandanas… so of course, we HAD to tie dye a pair of white bandanas that we had leftover from our bandana quilts!

Once you’re all done with the dyeing.. you lay them carefully between sheets of plastic, or in our case, we used plastic grocery bags. We don’t have too many of them left, but we had at least a dozen or so. You don’t want the wet dyed shirts laying on other shirts, they will bleed through. And if you have a very elaborate died shirt, you want to make it lay as flat as you can, in it’s bag. I could see how doing this outside might not be a bad idea, and lay them over bushes and plants and such. They have to soak for a good 6 to 8 hours, so said the box, and we listen to rules on the first time around. (g)

We did find that the shirts did MUCH better if you soaked them wet and wrung them out. Being damp, they took the dye a whole lot better than the dry shirts. Just a little FYI and all.

After about 8 hours, we couldn’t stand it anymore! We had to start undoing and setting the dyes with hot water.

Now, the pamphlet was not as informative at this point, so we had to wing it a little bit. The first shirt we did, we simply undid the bands and placed in a pot of pretty hot water. Not boiling, but hot. Well, the dye spread into the water fast and tinted all the white areas of the shirt!!! Darn! Now it did wash out a BIT in the washer, but still, the white area was tinted blue.

So, the second and sequential shirts we rinsed them in a cold water bath first, so rinse out the super saturation of dye from the shirts. They stayed pretty vibrant, but it didn’t immediately soak the tub of hot water.

Pretty durn RAD if you ask me. They turned out super fun. We all have like two or three for ourselves and a little stack of them for friends and family.

And what was neat? We had left over dye so the girls grabbed a few old and loved stained shirts and we tye dyed them as well! It was great, we could cover up a few of those annoying set in stains that white shirts love to get and hide them in the designs! It was like getting new shirts out of the deal!

Give tie-dyeing a chance sometime, especially if you have kids… it’s a fun wearable craft and it’s not that expensive. You can do a lot of shirts with a little bit of dye! The kit came from Michaels Craft store and it was the Deluxe kit.. but the smaller kits are just a fun. They do less shirts, if you don’t have 15 or so for the large kit. Fun fun stuff and I would think they would make great gifts too!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

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