TIE DYE - Step by Step Guide

Tie Dying is something I've wanted to try for a long time.  And, as I never sell anything I haven't tried myself, this was the perfect chance.  I thought Sophie (aged 4) could probably manage it with supervision so after checking a few YouTube videos on how-to - off we went.  Here's my basic guide for the novice...

Step 1 - Preparation is key

Tie Dye How To

As with all things kids and craft - being organised is important (limited attention spans and all that!)  So I set up a small table out the back, lined it with a plastic table cloth and then covered it with paper towel.  Then we went crazy with the lacky bands - tieing off our fabric in different sections to create various patterns.  In my opinion, the more random the better - but that's probably personal taste!

The dye only lasts for a relatively short period of time and once you get started, you want to keep going - so my tip is to tie everything before you activate the dyes (much easier in the long run!) And don't forget gloves for everyone (I used some of the elastic ties that are supplied in the kit to keep Sophie's on her small hands).

Tie Dye How To

Step 2 - One Colour at a Time

We used our tie dye on some leggings, apron and a hat (t-shirt was done in a different method - see below).  Sophie squirted the dye direct from the bottle onto the fabric - keeping within the sections created by the lacky bands.  It was pretty easy and, as you can see from her concentration, she really enjoyed it!

Tie Dye How To

The instructions that are supplied in the kit say to ensure good penetration with the dye on the fabric, so once Sophie had finished, I added a few more squirts to make sure it had gone through all the layers.

Once we'd finished with the three colours, these went into plastic zip lock bags.  I then replaced the paper towel and got ready for our next project - tie painting!

Tie Dye Tshirt Painting

For the painting we squirted the dye from the bottle directly onto the t-shirt and then 'painted' it with the help of a wide brush and some water.  This was fun and easy too - and the nice part was Sophie realising she could make light and dark colours just by adding extra water.

Step 3 - Zip Lock Bags

If you've got some large zip lock bags - put all your fabrics in there and zip it close for at least 24 hours (glad wrap would probably work just as well).  Throw away any excess dye.  Its recommended you let the dye penetrate the fabric for as long as possible.  I was probably a bit eager to see the result so they're a little light - hence my suggestion to show patience!

Step 4 - Rinse under Cold Water & Wash

When you first take the clothes out of the bag and start running them under water A LOT of dye comes off.  Don't panic!  There will be colour left, I promise!  Rinse them off until they run clear - then put them in the washing machine for a normal cycle.  I'd recommend washing them on their own for the first few times to be safe (don't want to dye your favourite white pants).  I haven't had any problems - but you know, better to be safe than ...

Step 5 - Let them Dry then Show them Off

Tie Dye Bucket Hat

Sophie's Hat - one of my favourites because of the white space between the colours which I think adds a nice element.  One thing you can notice on the top of the hat is the slightly 'muddy' colour between the pink and the green.  This happened when the two colours got a bit muddled when Sophie was applying the dye.  Just something to be mindful of and a reminder to stick between the sections created by the lacky bands.

Tie Dye Apron

 Love the apron!

Tie Dye Tshirt & Leggings

 And the finished tie 'painted' t-shirt and dyed leggings.

My verdict with tie-dying is that its a lot of fun!  An easy, no-stress activity that the kids can do with supervision.  Plus, they look super cool and totally unique.  We thoroughly enjoyed it and Soph loves wearing them.  Plus, an hour + of child concentration = a win if you ask me!

Here's the direct link to our tie-dye kit - HERE

If you have any questions about your tie-dye project, you can contact email me here.

Happy dying

Sonia & Sophie