Colors, like music, are an excellent way of expressing emotions. As humans are infinitely complex, no one color truly captures how we feel at all times. For kids, working with colors may be a common fun thing to do, but can you make the experience much more memorable for your kids? Yes, you can, and tie dye is here to the rescue!

It’s incredible how you can make colored patterns appear on clothes just by tying a few strings or rubber bands here and there and dipping the bundle in a bucket of dye. When the spectacular patterns emerge, nobody is concerned about the dye mess that needs cleaning! Watch as your kids become transfixed on the resultant beauty spread before their eyes – their very own tie dye shirts!

Things Needed

For best results you’ll need:

· White T-shirts (new or prewashed) preferably 100% cotton

· 3-gallon bucket

· Glass jar with lid

· Measuring spoon

· Rubber bands (2-8 per shirt)

· Plastic/Rubber Gloves

· Fiber-reactive dye

· Soda ash fixture (if you buy a dye kit, options 5-8 are provided there)

· Old clothes

· Ziploc bag

Things to Note

· Loosen up. It’s time to unwind!

· Keep perfectionism at bay

· Break tasks into smaller chunks

· Forget the mess; go with the “flow”

· The dyes will wash off the skin

· Don’t forget to have fun!

Let The Fun Begin – How To Tie Dye

1. Getting ready

Put on some old clothes for everyone and wear an apron over it. Cover the work surface and wash brand new shirts to remove the newness (newness prevents proper sticking of dyes). Get the camera ready as these are moments you’ll love to capture.

2. Preparing the Shirts

Soak the prewashed shirts into a bucket filled with water. Let the kids hold the hose, they enjoy getting wet – it’s a lot of fun for them. Thoroughly wring out the shirt and flatten them on the work table. It’s easier to work with wet clothes.

3. Choose tie dye patterns

Different tie dye patterns give different tie dye designs. Popular patterns are the spiral, crumple, or bullseye patterns. You can “invent” new tie dye patterns with your kids. Sometimes, you can get the best designs by going with your gut.

4. Prepare the Shirt & Dyes

Wear the gloves and prepare a mixture of soda ash and water as instructed on the bottle. Do your kids the pleasure of letting them dunk and stir the clothes. Let your kids shake the bottles the dye bottle as it gives them joy for some weird reasons.

5. Dye

Now is the time to dye. You might want to engage the little kids in other things and let the bigger kids do this. This exclusion is because, for some unknown reasons, little kids always have a different plan – some funny thought patterns in their minds. They may want to try the dye on their clothes or in their gut!

Back to business – Squirt the dye onto the shirts as you wish. Or soak the clothes in the prepared dye in the bucket. When you’re done, put the clothes in the zip lock bag and seal the bag. Let the bag sit for at least 24 hours.

6. Rinse

Rinse the clothes the next day (after the 24 hours have elapsed). Let the kids pick the shirts they want and rinse them under warm water until the water runs clear. Hang the clothes to dry.

7. Wash

Wash the clothes with detergent and cold/warm water to get rid of the remaining dye. Toss the clothes in a dryer or hang them up to dry.

Now it’s time to wear the shirts. Let the kids pick their favorites and pose for the photoshoot! Don’t miss a moment to tell others that your kids made those clothes. Preach it!