My kids spent hours making tie dye, which — during quarantine — is an amazing gift in itself. (Shoutout to my brother and sister-in-law for thinking of this!) What I loved about this gift was that everything was included; the only thing we needed to bring was our imagination.
If you haven’t done tie dye since you were a kid (like me), a tie dye kit is a great solution. They usually include:
- Colors in bottles (you just need to add water)
- Rubber bands
- Plastic gloves (one size fits all means they will be big on the kids, but they still work)
- Plastic aprons (it’s highly recommend that you/your kids wear them so that you don’t tie dye the clothes you’re wearing, unless you want the splatter look)
If you’re ready for the summer tie dye vibe, here’s how it works:
Step 1: Decide what you are going to tie dye.
It’s easy to start with (and purchase) t-shirts, pillow cases, tote bags, socks, napkins, or placemats, but you can tie dye anything! Sweatshirts, dresses, shoes, hats, scarves, blankets… go for it!
Step 2: Pick a tie dye design and technique.
We’re beginner tie dye-ers, but there’s no shortage of tie dye inspiration on Pinterest and semi-easy how-to videos. I loved the video 4 Ways to Tie Dye – Bullseye, Swirl, Stripe and Ombre. (It’s less than 10 minutes long.) As with all craft projects, the kids’ design took a different turn mid dying, but that only made it more fun and more unique! Start twisting and use those rubber bands!
Step 3: Create your workstation.
If it’s a beautiful day, enjoy your backyard or park nearby! Make sure to bring a disposable surface to work on. Rainy day? Outside isn’t an option? Not a problem! (We’ve done this in our apartment, too!) Cover your floor with a plastic tablecover (like a leftover one from a birthday) or garbage bags that you can cut open to create a wider work surface. Don’t forget to put all your supplies on the work surface to avoid “traveling” with your dye!
Step 4: Start coloring!
Whether you’re using one color or many, make sure the dye really gets into your garment(s). My kids loved this part!
Step 5: Let it dry.
It’s probably easiest (and cleanest) to put each item into a plastic bag or plastic wrap and set it aside for 6-8 hours, though a full 24 hours is ideal.
Step 6: Rinse thoroughly!
Rinse, rinse, then rinse again! Make sure you get the extra dye out before you stick it in the washing machine. I recommend short washes, one item at a time, just to be safe.
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I'm a mom of two girls, ages 9 and 12. My daughters love to learn - math, science, reading and coding are their favorite things. Trying to navigate this "new normal" of parenting in a virtual world ... just like everyone else!