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Although technically, this is a craft for the kiddies to enjoy, it is the one thing I look forward to doing most (in terms of crafts) each summer. I have way too much fun making these shirts for my kidders each year. They are so easy and fairly economical, I feel sure you’ll enjoy them as well!
Of course, they aren’t just for kids. Teens and even adults have get into the swing of things with this super easy and incredibly creative tie dye method.
You’ll need: Clean white cotton t shirts.
When you wash them, don’t use fabric softener. This will help the dye to be absorbed easier.
You’ll also need washable school glue. Any old brand will do but I’d opt for the bigger bottle because it’s easier on the hands to squeeze. The glue MUST be washable for this to work!
And a little table salt, a trigger squirt bottle, and some old hangers you don’t mind ruining.
Of course, you’re gonna need your dye…
We need a dye that doesn’t require boiling water so that leaves the traditiona RIT brand out. I get Dylon brand and find it is fairly easy to locate. Michael’s, Wal Mart, and even Hobby Lobby carries it. Dylon is made in the UK so I figure it is likely easy to find over in their neck of the woods too. These are two different package designs so you should be able to find at least one fairly easily. I think the one on the right is their new design.
I like to use two colors but you can certainly use one if you prefer – or ten for that matter.
I find that one packet dyes about one and a half shirts. For this project, I am dying three shirts so using two packets. Color choice is a matter of preference but the colors fade considerably so I would encourage you to start with darker colors.
A word of caution: Red WILL be pink, one way or another. If not now, then after a washing or two. If you have a child who isn’t so fond of pink, you might want to avoid using red.
Place some old cardboard in between the layers of your shirt.
Using your bottle of glue, paint a design of your choice onto one side.
I find that thicker lines and generous helpings of glue yield the best results.
Allow to dry completely before turning over and painting a design on the other side with glue as well. I am using the cardboard shirt forms you can get at Hobby Lobby for t shirt crafts but most of the time I just cut up an old box and stick that inside.
Pour about a tablespoon of salt into your bottle.
Pour in your powdered dye.
Note the scissors in the background. I suggest using those to open your dye because it tastes horrible and if you try to bite it open you WILL end up tasting it – as well as having a green or blue splotch on your lips. Don’t ask me how I know this.
This is all of our powder in the bottle. Now we need to fill the bottle halfway with warm water, about two cups.
Give it a good shakearoo!
(I think that’s an Australian term. I’m getting ready to meet one of my Australian readers when she visits the U.S. in October so I gotta start learning the lingoroo!)
Add about two more cups of water and let it sit until the water cools to room temperature.
This is important because you need warm water to dissolve the dye and salt but if you spray it on your shirts warm it will actually melt part of the glue and won’t have a bright white effect when washed. It took me a few years to figure out what I was doing wrong when some of my shirts came out a bit less brilliant than others!
Hang all of your shirts up outside and make sure you have clothes and shoes on that you don’t mind getting messed up a bit.
I also keep the hosepipe close by because you’re going to need to wash your nozzle out every now and then when it gets clogged up. Trust me, it will get clogged up.
Begin spraying in fluid motions, saturating each area you want the color to appear on.
You’ll have to turn them around to get the front and the back.
I like the two tone look myself and I left a bit of white in between the fade to add to the “coolness” factor.
Make sure you lift up the sleeves and get under the arms of your shirts, too!
If your spray bottle stops working, wash out the nozzle with the hosepipe.
You’ll have to do this a few times while making these shirts.
You want to leave these outside for as long as you can but bring them in before you go to bed and hang up to finish drying overnight.
The next day, wash them together with warm water and detergent like you normally would.
This will remove the glue and everywhere that the glue was will be white!
These would also be great for family get togethers, vacations, scouting, Vacation Bible School, anything you can dream up!
This is the shirt I made Brady forever ago. I used a foam brush to paint my glue on for the design. He still wears this and it is at least three years old. Can you tell I tend to buy my kid’s clothes on the large side? If you’re just now tuning in to the fact that I’m cheap, where ya been? ~grins~
I hope you are having a wonderful summer and have time to enjoy making these t shirts for someone in your life. A few of my reader’s have posted facebook pics of their children helping out with Southern Plate recipes at home!
I’m so proud to see these great kids in the kitchen!
This is one of my little readers, Sarah, putting up tomatoes for the freezer with her Mom this past weekend!
I have a few others folks have sent me via facebook but couldn’t find them! Please send me any pics you have of your kiddies making up SP recipes! www.facebook.com/southernplate or email@example.com (Facebook is preferable. Simply tag me in the photos if you’d like me to use them!). Please only send ones that I am allowed to post on southernplate.com!
SOUTHERN PLATE IN THE NEWS!
I am truly honored to have my kitchen featured on a great new website, www.wherewecook.com. The interview was a lot of fun! Head on over there and read my interview when you can!
I’ll be bringing you a tour of my kitchen soon!
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