Every summer holiday we would sit and make some tie dye t-shirts with my mum. Trying to get fun patterns, different colour combinations and loving the fact that for days afterwards our hands would be stained a rainbow of colours. This summer why not revisit the 70’s and 80’s with your own kids and create your own Tie Dye T-shirts.
Materials needed for Tie Dye T-shirts
Plain white t-shirts (we used last year’s PE shirts that were getting too small).
Old clothes for the kids to wear and you this will get messy!
How to Tie Dye T-shirts
Tie dye works by scrunching up fabric and tieing the fabric in place – the kit above comes with elastic bands which are perfect to use with this as they are easy for little fingers to use and the kids can tie the t-shirts up themselves. Follow these simple instructions and in no time you’ll have a bunch of tie dye t-shirts drying in the sun.
Step by Step
- Start off by covering the work area. We took it outside because we really didn’t want to get wet.
- Decide on your type of pattern you want to create. The Tulip Tie Dye comes with various pattern suggestions and the kids choose 3 each to try and replicate.
- Once the pattern is selected get the t-shirt and roll it or fold it according to the instructions.
- Now get busy adding elastic bands.
- TOP TIP – get the kids to wind the bands around once or twice and then you finish off making sure that they are secure otherwise the dye will get through.
- Mix up the dye according to instructions. One of the reasons we loved the Tulip Tie Dye was that you mix up the dye in the bottle so the kids and I were less likely to be covered in the dye.
- Then apply. My kids chose 3 colours each but mixed and matched and we covered the t-shirts with the different colours. Often mixing them up and overlapping to create bleed effects.
- Once the t-shirts are covered in dye (they need to be soaked so make sure you get into the folds of the fabric) then wrap in cling film/saran wrap and leave for 3ish hours.
- Once the time has gone then unwrap in the sink and wash.
- Wash some more.
- And then wash some more.
- Place in the washing machine on the hottest setting you can for the material to set the dye.
- Dry the t-shirts.
- Wear and enjoy.
I would recommend not washing the t-shirts with light colours for between 5 and 10 washes. Instead, we have been sticking them in with our jeans and darks so if any dye does run it won’t make a difference.
Other summer crafts you and your kids can try
Why not try some of these other fun summer crafts with the kids?
Create your own party lanterns with this tin can lantern tutorial.
Create your own boats and race them against the kids.
Make a wind chime – this is great for kids from Toddler up.
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Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.