Friday, March 2, 2012

Tie Dying with Sharpies

We had a serious case of the Boredoms this past weekend so I pulled out a project for the kids to do with me.  We tie dyed t-shirts with Sharpie Markers!

You will need a cotton t-shirt to do this with.  My son used a blue one and my daughter chose white.  I grabbed another white t-shirt that was too small for my daughter to do one as a gift for my niece.  You will also need the following:

Rubber bands
Sharpie Markers
Round containers (paper cups, plastic food containers, etc)
Rubbing Alcohol (make sure it's 70%.  If you get it in the first aid section, it probably is)
An eye dropper (ask your pharmacist if you can have one that they give with infant medication prescriptions)



Protect your workspace!  These are sharpie markers we're using!  Permanent!  It won't come off!!!  We covered our counter with some old towels that I was okay having dyed different colors.  We also stuffed an old towel in each of the shirts to protect the back of the shirt from bleed through.

Put one of your containers in your shirt, stretch the shirt over and hold in place with a rubber band.


Now color!  Do designs, circles, whatever you want.


Take your dropper and fill it with the rubbing alcohol.  Start dropping alcohol on to your design and watch the ink start to spread.  It won't happen right away. . . . be patient.  You can move on to another portion of your shirt while you are waiting.


Some colors spread better than others but they will all spread out.  Keep decorating your shirt until you get a design you like.  You don't even have to use the cups if you don't want too.  It just helps contain the mess a bit.


 Let it dry completely.  I like to toss it into the dryer on extra hot for 20 minutes to set the colors but WAIT UNTIL IT IS DRY.  Alcohol is flammable so be aware and be careful.

Another way to do this is without the cups.  I colored on the shirt for my niece in random places.

 A little more. . . .

I took it over to the sink and squirted alcohol on it.  When the colors started to run, I took the entire shirt and squeezed it out, spreading them even more.


Let dry, set the colors and wash.  I added a bit of bling to this one with an iron on rhinestone applique.



Finished!  It's a great kid-friendly project and clean up was minimal.  I just tossed the containers, put the lids back on the sharpies and put the towels into the washer.


If I Do It Again:

I would suggest that the kids follow a pattern and attach their designs to each other to lessen the amount of white space on their shirts.  However, they both were thrilled with the results so it is still a success!

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