Tie Dying with Kids
At our house tie dying is an exciting craft for the kids. They like to do it every couple of months so that they have a good supply of colorful t-shirts. My 9 year old is happy to be known as “tie dye boy” at school because he has such a vast supply of dyed shirts. It is a relatively easy craft that parents can enjoy as well as kids.
We had a tie dye baby shower for my youngest and had onesies, hats, socks, crib sheets, receiving blankets, burp cloths, etc… for the guests to tie dye. It was a lot of fun and we got tons of great looking stuff for the baby. Many of our guests tie dyed for the first time ever this day, which was pretty cool, and they were very surprised with how well they did once they saw the finished products.
My older boys decided they wanted to make twin sized sheets and pillow cases for their beds, now that the baby had so much tie dye stuff. They are used to doing shirts but had never done anything larger so we figured this would be interesting. Natural fabrics are best for dying, so we bought plain white cotton sheet sets at the store.
We use tie dye kits from a craft store to do our dying. We aren’t professionals so that works well for us cost wise. The pieces turn out beautiful and the color holds well. The first thing we do is get dressed in old clothes that won’t matter if the color splashes. Next we set up a work area; we like to do it outside in the grass to avoid messes in the house.
Now we let the kids get the items they will dye and use rubber bands to tie them up. Sometimes, they want a specific pattern and we will use the internet to look up pattern ideas. If this is the case then the adult will usually put the rubber bands on for the child. If they are not concerned with a pattern, then we will let them do the rubber bands themselves, both ways turn out great.
If you don’t want rainbow colored hands, wear gloves! The gloves that come with the kit aren’t the best so we usually buy medical type gloves. Mix the colors per the instructions on the kit. Some people prefer to wet their pieces prior to coloring, we usually just color them dry, and either way will work fine. Now for the fun part, choose your colors and start dying! Some of our best looking items came from letting the kids do them completely on their own. After coloring is done we bag each item individually, usually in grocery store bags, and let sit for 24 hours.
Once the 24 hours is up we remove the items from the bags, take the rubber bands off (save them for next time!), and rinse thoroughly in the sink with warm water until the water runs clear from the items. Now throw all your tie dyes in the washing machine in warm or cold water and wash as you normally would with soap. Dry and enjoy your amazing finished products that you can proudly proclaim you created yourself!
If you love tie dye, then you’ll love the Grateful Dead Tie Dye Sippy Cup like we do!
— Jessica Blackwood is a mother of 3 boys from Pennsylvania