Wednesday, July 1, 2015


The other day I watched my niece and nephew for a few hours while their mom went to a baby shower.  When she asked me I was excited, and thought we could take the kids swimming, but wasn't sure how the weather would be that day.  So I was trying to think of something else fun I could do with the kids while they were here for the day.
Last year I thought it would be fun to make 4th of July tie dye shirts for the kids, but we never got around to doing it.  So I was thinking this year that might be a fun activity.  But I didn't feel like going to several stores and across town for all of the stuff.  I wanted this to be a cheap fun project,
So I had to run into Target the day before and guess what, they had tie dye kits (since they now have a big craft section instead of just some scrapbooking stuff).  And the best part was all the kits were on CLEARANCE.  
So I grabbed a nautical one, and another one that had green and another shade of blue in it, and I picked up another one that had pink and purple and turquoise because I thought those would be super cute for another shirt for Chloe.  I grabbed each of the kids a white shirt, and those were also on sale and 25% off with the cartwheel app.  Score!

So to get started I took a cheapy plastic table cloth and laid it down on the table that we were going to be working at.  This way I could just throw it all away when we were all done.
Each kit comes with two pairs of gloves and some rubber bands.  I grabbed a few more rubber bands we had here at home.
Something I didn't realize was that once you are done dying the shirts they are suppose to sit fpr 6-8 HOURS after that.  WHOA, WHAT?!?  Wait a minute this fun little project was suppose to be something the kids could take home with them but that was not going to work.  Oh well.  I was still going to do it with them, and then we would figure out what to do after that.  

So all the kids had their shirts and they were looking over the paper that came with each kit with some different ideas and how to fold or wrap up the shirt to get the desired affect.  
While they were doing that I also mixed all the bottles of dye.  All you have to do is add water to the bottles provided and then shake them up until they are fully mixed.  

We decided that it would be easiest to do one shirt at a time, instead of everyone trying to dye shirtsat  the same time. I could only envision what a chaotic mess that would be.  
So Jacob decided on his design and we twisted his and then added a bunch of rubberbands.  

I let the kids squeeze on the bottles of color, but told them to make sure they go very slowly.  I had them wear a pair of gloves and I wore a pair while helping too.  

We went around the table and everyone picked how they wanted to fold up their shirt.  Caleb and Nathan rolled theirs up and then we did sections for red white and blue.  Then the girls Chloe and Natalie accordian folded their shirts and did sections also for red white and blue.  

I also found an old white shirt I had that was stained and decided to make one since we had enough dye left over. 
I accordion folded mine and made mine with all three shades of blue on the bottom and red and white on the top, while skipping a spot for white.  

We wrapped them each up in grocery bags and let them sit for hours.
I have to admit I was impatient and didn't wait the full 6-8 hours like the instructions suggest.  We waited about 4 1/2.
After this you have to rinse each shirt with water until the water runs clear.  Man that seemed to take forever.  I don't think the water ever really ran completely clear.  
I rinsed them the best that I possibly could and let them sit in the sink for a few minutes. 

I then washed them completely by themselves.  I didn't want them to accidentally dye anything else. 
Then I threw them in the dryer. 

They turned out so cute and I love that they are all unique even the ones that were folded the same way. 

Jacob's has a swirly look to his, Chloe's is red on one side, and blue on the other, while Caleb's goes from red on top, and blue on the bottom.  

Here is how mine came out.  I like the three shades of blue on the bottom.  

I can't wait for all of us to wear our unique shirts on 4th of July.  

It was so much fun I really wanted to make more shirts.  So I found some old shirts of the kids and an old shirt of my husbands that I could fit into so we could use up the rest of the dye and the new ones too.  

I thought it would be fun to do something totally different with the next batch.  So for Chloe's I just took bunches and tied on the rubberbands.  

We just randomly squeezed on colors here and there.  For the red white and blue we were trying to make more patterny type designs. 

Now one thing I realized for the shirts is to make sure your rubber bands are really tight otherwise the dye will just sink in and you won't have much white showing through when it is all finished.  But I think these all turned out super cute too.  The kids love the fact that we made these shirts and they have asked to wear them everyday this week.  

I highly recommend doing this with the kids.  It was a bit messier than I thought it would be, but so much fun.  I am ready to make another one :)
How much fun would it be to make them at a party for kids, or have all the kids make matching shirts for a photo shoot.

Have you ever tie dyed before?  How did it turn out?  



  1. Can't wait til summer rolls around so we can give this a try! Looks like fun :)

    Jessica | Kids Clothing Designer

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