I'm just cruising through all the old school crafts I can find this year apparently. I saw a rad tye-dye project here a few months ago and then patiently counted the days until I was visiting my parents and had full access to a garage and a utility sink. Some folks dream about beautiful backyards and kitchen renovations. I dream about unfinished cement floors and a sink I can stain.
Someday Paul and I will have a house and I'll spend all my time in the garage just because it's there.
This project was sitting in the dream box for a long while and finally I got to try it out. And the results were even more exciting than expected. My sister-in-law Kristen and I dyed three shirts each in just a few hours (which included a trip to Michael's, Old Navy and Target for supplies). We bought Rit Dye at Michael's in teal and navy, clearance tank tops at Old Navy and rubber bands at Target. We mixed the dye with hot water in old garbage cans and let the tops soak for about 10 minutes.
For the record : the tank tops are both from Old Navy. The one on the right started out a lime green and now thanks to the teal dye looks yellow and kelly green. As mentioned, we used NAVY Rit Dye but it turned out purple-ish. I would use the DENIM one if you are looking for a blue. The white v-neck is American Apparel and I chose to dye it because it already had paint on the sleeve from when I redid the kitchen chairs. The pattern shown on the left tanktop was picked up from the honestly wtf blog post.
To summarize the tutorial : I started at the bottom and folded the shirt accordion style then secured it between two wooden pieces (shown in the background above). I wrapped rubber bands around the whole thing to keep it tight. Then I followed steps 7-10 below.
The spiral pattern is the "traditional" tye-dye pattern that I remember from grade school. I took a few step-by-step photos of most of that process, if you're curious.
1. lay your shirt flat.
2. pinch a bit of the shirt between two fingers. This is going to be the center of the spiral so you want to make sure it isn't right on top of your chest (awkward) or right in the middle of the shirt (looks too deliberate).
3. begin twisting up the shirt clockwise by holding the pinched piece.
4. keep twisting.
5. you should have a snail or cinnamon roll shape at the end. Secure with a rubber band.
6. and then lots of rubber bands. Make them as tight as possible.
7. dunk the shirt in the dye (make the dye bath according to instructions on the box). Wear plastic gloves to avoid staining your hands! Be sure it is fully submerged. (We had to flip the shirts held in the wood halfway through to be sure they got full coverage.)
8. remove shirt from the dye and rinse under cool water with the rubber bands still in place until the water runs clear. This step takes awhile.
9. remove rubber bands and lay your shirt to dry in the sun.
10. wash your shirt in the washing machine on cold to be sure all remaining dye is out. Dry as you usually would.
And that's it! So fun. I want about six more colors but I'm going to hold off. Check back tomorrow to see how I plan on wearing these without looking like I belong in another decade.