Happy Wednesday everyone! How are you doing? Today's blog will document the adventure that my boyfriend and I embarked on when trying tie-dye at home. I think the last time I tie-dyed before this craft was maybe a birthday party when I was about 8 so this was a fairly new experience for us both. We bought this tie-dye kit on Amazon and I think it's meant for a child's birthday party, but it looked like it would get the job done.
I had bought some white kitchen towels at the dollar store and wanted to try and tie-dye those to see if they would be cool enough to sell and we also bought a pack of men's white undershirts to try as well. We started off this craft really strong by not following the directions which told us to wash the fabric first to get rid of anything left on the fabric from the factory or store. We chose to ignore that step and got right to prepping our surface. We did this on the floor of our craft room, placing down the plastic liner that came in the box and then covering that with paper towels as per the directions.
Once we got the floor all ready, we filled up some of the bottles of colors from the kit. The bottles each come with a little bit of colored powder at the bottom. You fill the bottle with water and shake it up until the powder and the water are fully mixed and then you have your colors. We originally just got a few colors ready, but then realized that we underestimated that amount of dye we would use and ended up mixing all the colors. The directions had a really helpful guide that showed you how to tie up and apply die to get some classic tie-dye looks such as a spiral, striped or sunburst design. My boyfriend (his name is Sean so I will now stop saying my boyfriend and just say Sean) and I each decided to make one spiral shirt and I wanted to try this technique on a towel as well. For Sean's second shirt he wanted to try something called the shibori method which is supposed to give the shirt a sort of crinkled appearance. I just went rogue on my second shirt and went for a sort of polka dot pattern with various colors and for the second towel I attempted a striped design. We tied up our fabric and then got to dyeing!
It took us maybe an hour or so to dye everything and I did notice that the towels did not absorb the dye as well as the cotton shirts did. The shirts easily soaked up the dye, but the towels were fairly resistant to the dye and you had to apply it very slowly or it would all just pool up and drip off instead of soaking in. We used gloves while dying (most of the time) but still managed to stain our hands a decent amount.
After we had everything dyed, we wrapped each item up in plastic wrap per the directions and let it sit.
We let the pieces sit for over 8 hours as we carried on with our day. After letting them sit, we took each piece and brought it to the sink to wash out the dye that hadn't been soaked into the fabric. This was actually kind of difficult as there was so much dye in the fabric and it took a while for the water to run through the pieces semi-clear. After we washed out the pieces by hand, we threw them in the washing machine with a small amount of detergent. The directions said to use hot water, but for some reason our washing machine wasn't really in the mood for hot water so we just used cold instead. After washing, we threw the pieces in the dryer and then we got to see what they really looked like! The towels definitely didn't come out as good as the shirts and I'm still trying to decide if they are cute enough to sell. Since the dye had a harder time getting into the towels, the designs came out a little more splotchy. But I still think they are cute overall and maybe we will use them in our kitchen!
And here are Sean's shirts! He was a little disappointed with his shibori shirt as the colors were kind of uneven, but I still like it. His spiral shirt came out awesome!
And here are mine! My spiral was not quite as good as Sean's but it still is cute. My favorite shirt of mine is the one where I went rogue and made polka dots everywhere.
This was such a fun craft and a great project for Sean and I to do together on a Saturday. What do you guys think of our attempt at tie-dye?
I am a 26-year-old crafter and baker from New Hampshire!