DIY: Tie Dye

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Celebrate the end of summer with tie dye! This is a great and inexpensive family activity.

Consider tie dying shirts, socks, sheets or even shoes. Now grab your canvas and let’s get started!

Make sure to protect work surface with plastic trash bags or a tarp. If you don’t have either, I would suggest doing it on a safe area of pavement in your neighborhood (do not use the sidewalks, the dye will color the concrete).

Dunk the desired items you are dying in a warm bath, let them soak for 5-10 minutes. Some kits come with “soda ash” to mix into the warm water—but, I have successfully tie dyed with and without it!

Wearing rubber gloves (do not skip the gloves, otherwise you will look like an Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory), add HOT water to dye bottle, filling to line. Replace cap tightly and shake until dye is dissolved. Use full-strength for intense colors. For a lighter shade of color, add more water using extra bottle if needed. Don’t have the color your need? Create new colors by blending dyes!

Pick a pattern for your item. Here are some videos for some of my favorite techniques.

bulls eye tie dyecrumple tie dye

spiral tie dyesunburst tie dye

Fold your item as diagramed; making sure the fabric is tightly bound together with rubber bands. Don’t worry about perfection—the best tie dye are always a surprise!

Apply dye on fabric, checking to make sure dye has penetrated into creases and folds. Do not over-do it with the dyes, because the colors may bleed and become muddy. Carefully flip fabric item over and add dye as needed.

Put the dyed item in a plastic bag to keep damp. Let set a few hours or longer for most intense colors (I typically wait about 3—I get too excited to see my creations). Do not allow dyed fabric to rest wet on other items.

Fully rinse dyed fabric in warm water until all extra dye is removed and water runs clear. Remove rubber bands, if used.

Fill washer with hottest water suitable for the fabric and a small amount of laundry soap. Wash and dry separately.


Post by: Ashley M.

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