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How To Tie Dye T-Shirts

Kids love crafts at birthday parties. What better kids craft idea at a tie die party is to make your own tie dye t-shirts!

This is a fun and creative craft that'll keep the kids entertained at your tie dye themed kids birthday party.

Part of the fun is opening them up when they're ready and seeing how the design turned out. The shirts will need to sit for at least eight hours to absorb the dye, but over night is even better.

The best way to begin is by purchasing a tie dye kit from your craft store. The kits include three bottles with colored dye that you add water to, plastic gloves, rubber bands, and an instruction sheet. You will also need a large plastic trash bag to work on, a bucket of water, some saran wrap, and a plain white t-shirt.

Creating a Swirl Pattern

If you want to create a classic swirl pattern you can use a fork to help you out.

Step 1: Begin by soaking the t-shirt in the bucket of water and then ringing out the excess.

Step 2: Lay your trash bag on the ground and lay the t-shirt flat on top of it with the front facing down.

tie dye shirts 1

Step 3: Place the fork wherever you want your swirl to be located. Here we placed it in the center. Now begin twirling the fork as if twirling spaghetti and the shirt will become a small flat disc.

tie dye shirts 2

Step 4: Use the rubber bands and wrap several all around the shirt similar to the spokes on a wheel. This will help contain the shirt as well as give the tie dye pattern some texture.

tie dye shirts 3

Step 5: Now it's time to begin adding the dye. This is where kids can have tons of fun with the colors. Make sure to cover the front and back of the shirt with the colors.

tie dye shirts 4

Step 6: Once your shirt is covered in dye, wrap it in saran wrap to keep it damp, and let it sit for eight hours or over night for the most saturated color.

Creating a Star Burst Pattern

Another classic pattern to try is the star burst. This is similar to the swirl in that it has a center point but is created very differently.

Step 1: Again, lay your damp t-shirt flat on top of the trash bag, this time with the front facing up.

Choose the point at which you want your starburst to be located and pull up on the fabric and place a rubber band around it. You can also choose to do several starbursts if you like in which you would repeat this step in several locations on the shirt.

starburst 1

Step 2: Next, you simply begin gathering the two sides of the shirt in an accordion style until both sides meet in the middle. Place several rubber bands down the length of the shirt.

starburst 2

Step 3: Cover the shirt in dye.

starburst 3

Step 4: Wrap it in saran wrap for at least eight hours up to over night to set.

When the kids open up their shirts they will be surprised and excited to see just what was created.

Very important to remember -- wash the shirts separately in hot water once you open it. You may even want to wash it separately one or two more times just to be safe.

tie dye t-shirts



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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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