Senn Summer Camp: Tie Dyeing.
Using this tutorial from Parents.com, Hugo and I got to work creating tie-dyed shirts for our entire family including grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. We're heading to a cabin up north in a couple weeks with everyone and we can't wait to see them wearing our fabulous creations!
Feel like giving this a try? Gather up your toolkit and get to work.
- - Rit Fabric Dye (JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels and most craft stores will have this)
- - 100% Cotton T-shirts (Get them at Target, American Apparel, etc.)
- - Stainless kitchen utensils, Tongs
- - Rubber Bands
- - Paint Buckets (get them at Home Depot, Lowes or your local paint or hardware store)
- - Rubber gloves
Let's just say I'm not an expert at tie dyeing by any means, but I learned a few things while we did the project and wanted to share a few tips.
- Rubber banding a bunch of shirts takes a lot more time than you'd think and can be an activity in and of itself, so plan accordingly. (We rubber banded shirts in the morning and dyed in the afternoon.)
- I preferred the liquid to the powder dye. I felt like it created a richer color and was quite a bit less messy to mix with the water.
- Different types of fabric take the dye differently, so keep that in mind. (For example, the pink marbleized-looking shirt was a cotton/poly blend and was in the same dye bucket as the fuchsia shirt with rosettes.)
- Add a cup of salt to each bucket for 100% cotton (instructions for other fabrics on the Rit dye package).
- This project is MESSY, especially with little helpers. Do it outside if you can, cover your floors with heavy-duty plastic if you can't.
- Use gloves. all the tutorials say to do this, but I didn't listen. My hands are already trashed because I paint all day and do dishes while I'm not painting, so what harm is a little fabric dye going to cause? Well, a lot. Wear gloves.
- Have an hour-long activity planned for while the shirts are in the dye. Little people don't have a lot of patience for things like this, so it's important to keep their minds occupied for this time. We cooked and ate dinner while the t-shirts soaked in the dye, stepping outside every 10 minutes or so to stir things up.
- Keep little ones who aren't helping out nearby, but contained and occupied with toys. Freddie, who's 9 months old now, tried to climb into the buckets. Disaster. He also tried to eat the rubber bands, so for safety's sake keep the really little ones away from this project.
What are your memories of summer camp? Any favorite activities? We're working on making an Alaskan wilderness diorama right now too - I can't wait to share how it turns out.