Last year we made painted stripe and handprint flag tee shirts. Sadly, the boys have grown and the shirts are going to be too small and too short to wear this holiday. To make new Independence Day tees, we used dye.
150 ml of water (or just shy of 5 oz.) for each bottle of dye
1/2 tbsp. powdered dye (bright red and royal blue)
sprinkle of salt
two small plastic bottles with a nozzle
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (1/2 cup for sink full of water)
Rubber gloves - more than one pair for each person (the more the better)
Rubber bands (2 for each shirt)
Plastic cling wrap
First we filled our stainless steel kitchen sink half full of water and added 1/2 cup of Washing Soda. Since I make my own laundry detergent, I had this handy. Stir so that the soda dissolves. The water will still be murky.
Add your pre-washed tee-shirts to the soda water mixture. Let soak for at least five minutes. We had to run a quick errand, so ours soaked for 30-40 minutes. From what I've been told, this step is essentially to lock in the dye so you have brighter, more vivid colors.
Squeeze the shirt(s) to remove as much excess water as possible.
Apply two rubber bands, twisting and re-looping them around the shirts many times so they're tight. When finished, the shirt will be divided into thirds.
Mix your dyes. I used Tulip brand dye, adding about 1/2 tbsp. of each dye to 150 ml of water and a sprinkle of table salt. This amount of dye will make two child size tee shirts. Once inside a small bottle with the cap on tightly, shake the bottles vigorously until all the contents are combined. NOTE: Begin wearing gloves at this step. If the dye splatters on your clothes, it will stain.
Lay plastic sheeting (we used trash bags) on the ground outdoors. We did this project in the garage to avoid the wind catching the corners of our bags. Place the damp, rubberbanded shirt on top of the plastic.
Apply the colors so the middle third of the shirt is left white, dousing the top and bottom sections of shirt with the tie dye in the applicator bottles. Use the rubberbands as a guide of where to stop applying the dye. Don't worry if the dye seeps into the white area.
Gently wring out excess dye from the two ends of the shirt and wrap in plastic wrap. Lay in the hot sun (if possible). Let the dye cure into the fabric for as long as 24 hours.
The next day, remove the plastic wrap and while wearing plastic gloves, take off the rubberbands and rinse the shirt until the water runs clear.
Launder the shirts in the washing machine. (Do this without any other clothes in case any dye leaches into the water during washing.)
Once dry, wear proudly!
I saw this project on I love to create blog.