Monday, July 25, 2011

Tie-Dye Day - The Shirts

So, here is "part 2" of Tie-Dye Day - The Shirts.
These were really fun to make, although if we make them again, I'm going to allow 2 days for this (I'll explain why when we get there). This is a pretty easy project, and is good for pretty much any age group (with modifications - I did "spray-dyed shirts" with my summer care group of 5yr olds one time, and so did the pre-school teacher). 

Okay, first things first -

Your Supplies:

~ You'll need white t-shirts, or whatever else you want to dye. (If your shirt isn't pre-shrunk, has stain guard, or you aren't sure: pre-wash and dry it, better safe than sorry)

~ Dye : Powder or Liquid, your choice. We used both, and I'll give you directions for each. Also, I've only ever used Rit Dye, and never had any issues. Other dyes may have different instructions, so you're on your own there.

~ Condiment Bottles (Ketchup/Mustard bottles) - basically, a small bottle you can slowly squeeze the dye out of (these were a 2pk from the dollar store).

~ Metal measuring spoons and metal funnel. (If you don't have these, use spoons and a funnel specifically for crafting, that will never contact food)

~ Plastic bottle(s) - Optional - for if you want to mix extra dye to have on hand

~ Salt and detergent (for the dye - you only need a small amount of each)

~ Plastic gloves, yarn, rubber bands, scissors, rags, masking tape, permanent marker, large sheet of plastic/tarp (unless you want a tie-dyed yard or patio), plastic wash tub (if you don't have a stainless sink).

Mixing the dye : 

First, while you're making the dye - toss all the materials you want to dye in the washer for a quick rinse, no detergent or fabric softener, just a quick wash (low spin speed - if your washer has the option).

Rit powdered dye is designed to make apx. 3 gallons of dye. I'm not sure who ever needs that much - so I used my awesome math skills to break it all down, and made you this nice chart. I based it off of 2 cups water (which, is apx. what the condiment bottles can hold for liquid) . You may find a color is too bright or too light for you, depending on the dye shade, so play around with it some.

Mixed with 2 cups water.

This is my trick for powdered dyes.

Before I mix up the dye, there are a few things I do:
1 - Label the bottles with what color dye they will have (I also add a pinch of salt (<1/8 tsp), and detergent (1/8tsp) to each bottle now)
2 - Prepare my powdered dyes. I label a sandwich bag with the dye brand and color, slide it in a plastic cup, then place the dye packet inside (see photo above). This way when I'm done I just pull out the bag, fold down the packet and slide it back in the box, then store the box of dye in the bag for next time.
3 - Prepare a few rags for color testing. I use old undershirts for rags, so I just cut some strips to use. Basically anything white and cotton. Place scraps on a few pieces of cardboard, or an extra dishpan or tray (just something to keep extra dye from going everywhere)
Put on those plastic gloves - you'll look like a lunch lady or a surgeon, but your hands will thank you :) .

Add your dye to the bottle, then fill the bottle with HOT water (as hot as you can get, or boil some water to use). Put the cap on and shake well. *Note: If your bottles don't have caps, make sure you put a finger over the opening, and shake down into the sink. * As you shake you may see some dye splatter out, the color is brighter/darker than it will be on your shirt once dyed and washed. Test the dye on one of your rags and let it dry {If it turns out to be too bright/dark, pour a little out and add more water. If it's not bright/dark enough, add a tsp. more dye and try again}.  Mix up the other dyes the same way. 

By now your shirts should be ready, so you can tie them however you like.  -
This site has pretty good directions on the different folding types. We did the spiral and stripes the most.
To vary the patterns, don't always start in the center of the shirt. You can start where ever you would like. We started some in the center, some to one side, some diagonally, etc ...

Lay down a tarp or some plastic outside and you're ready to start dying your shirts. It's best to tie your shirts first, then dye them all - that way you don't have to pull your gloves on and off several times.

Now : Here is why I would make this a 2 day project. I would dye the shirts, let sit 6-8 hours, check them (adding more dye if needed), then let them sit overnight and completely dry. Then rinse them out and see how they look. You can see the color difference by dying and rinsing in 1 day. I like the brighter, darker colors better.

After you've let your projects sit and dry and absorb the dye, you're going to rinse them out. You can do this by dunking them in a bucket of water 1at a time, until they rinse out clear, and change the water between shirts - or, take the lazy way out (like I did) and spray them with the water hose, ringing them out until the water is clear (I'm sure this also played a part in how much dye stayed in the shirts). Once all the shirts have been rinsed I let them air dry, then I wash them twice. Once on a long cycle, cold water, no detergents - then again on a regular, warm cycle, with detergent. During each cycle, I check to be sure the water is staying clear (If it's not, continue doing cold or cold/warm rinse water cycles until the water is clear). 

Hopefully this all made sense to everyone, and no one got confused or bored and left midway through.
If anyone has questions, ask away, and I'll try my best to answer them.
I will also look to see if I have any pictures of an alternative way to tie-dye (the spray-dye technique) - which works well for little hands who want to help and make a shirt of their own too.
{ The tutorial for Spray-Dye will be coming soon...}

Looking for dye??

    Also check JoAnns, Michaels, AC Moore and even Walmart for dye colors

1 comment:

  1. Oh no, I bet Johnny doesn't like that shirt now!! =/ Now we know that we need to let them sit longer next time!!


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