This activity was once again found on Pinterest. Tie dye is a fun activity for all ages and is always exciting when you see your final creation. I have done tie dye before with my 2nd graders, which was kind of a disaster. It was the last day of the sessions and I thought we’d do something fun while learning about color. I had twenty-two students and there was dye everywhere. EVERYWHERE! I did do a shirt with my 2nd graders to remember the fun times, but I was more interested in helping them that my shirt ended up muddy. I also didn’t know that the shirt was suppose to be damped before you put the dye on the shirt. This was a fun learning experience and I was able to focus on the design of the shirt and placement of the colors. So lets jump into my exciting creations!
Here are all of the supplies I gathered up for this project.
Make sure if you do this project to wear gloves even when mixing the dye because it will stain your hands. The tie dye I used I just purchased from Walmart along with different sizes of rubber bands. The kit I purchased included: 10 no-mess squeeze bottles containing dye, 6 protective gloves, 30 rubber bands, and an instruction sheet. I read on my instruction sheet that I needed to prewash the fabric to remove sizing. It stated to not use fabric softener or dryer sheets. I chose to use the wet technique, which meant I used the shirts directly from the washer. After I took the shirts out of the washer I had to come up with what design I wanted to do on them. The two designs I liked were called swirl and crumple. To do the swirl design I had to lay the fabric on a protected work surface. I had to decide where I wanted the swirl. For most of the shirts I chose the middle or the corner. I tried two methods: pinching the fabric and using a fork. I twisted the fabric around into a flat spiral after I did this I wrapped the shirt into 6 wedges. The crumple was much easier by laying the fabric on a protected work surface. Scrunching the fabric by using my fingers.
Once I got my designs how I wanted them I began to plan the colors I wanted on each shirt. I did three shirts for my nephew and three shirts for myself. The instructions were very easy to follow. I simply apply the dye to the fabric, checking to make sure dye has worked it’s way into the folds. It mentioned not to over-saturate the fabric and noted that if dye is applied too close together, the colors may become muddy. This was a very fun process and very creative. Below are pictures of two shirts crumpled and two shirts with a spiral or swirl.
When I decided that the shirts looked good and I was happy with the colors I had to wrap the shirts in plastic wrap to keep damp and let them sit for 6-8 hours. I let the shirts sit longer for the more intense colors I used. I also decided to put the wrapped shirts into plastic bags to help make it less messy. Twelve hours later I decided to go ahead and rinse the shirts until the water was clear. I took the rubber bands off and filled the washer to a large load setting with hot water suitable to the fabric and a small amount of laundry soap. The instruction sheet mentioned to wash and dry separately for the first few times, but I decided to just stick all of the shirts together. And here is the finished product!
This was a fun project to do! Compared to the last time I did tie dye I’d say I learned a lot. It was a fun experience and the final product was more than I could imagine it would turn out to be. My nephew loved his shirts and had to instantly put one of them on. The two methods that I tried for the spiral or swirl: my fingers verses a fork, and I have to say the shirt I used the fork with turned out way better than my pinching. The shirts I used the fork method on was the rainbow shirts and the pinching method I used on the red, orange, and yellow shirt. The colors are very intense and all in all fantastic!
This tweet was great information for a how to establish creativity in the classroom. Just like I did with my 2nd graders and their tie dye activity. I could have incorporated some type of technology into that lesson. For example, possibly showing a tutorial video of how to tie dye may have helped my students create.
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”
- – Albert Einstein