Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sharpie Tie-Dye T-shirts

Recently on Pinterest, I came across something that I thought was pretty cool that I instantly thought my niece and nephew would love.  So, a couple weeks ago we invited Shelby over to spent the night and squeeze in some "craft time"...she loves to do crafts, which makes me happy because I love it too!

You need:
Sharpie markers
Rubbing alcohol
Small dish for the alcohol
Plastic cups
Liquid dropper (medicine dropper)
Rubber bands

Other helpful items:
Paper towels
Wax paper

To contain some of the "mess", I took the lid off of one of my large plastic tubs and put it on the table, we also put a small cookie sheet covered with wax paper inside the t-shirt to keep the colors from bleeding through to the backside of the shirt.

You place the plastic cups inside the shirt and stretch the fabric tight across the top of each cup and secure with a rubber band.  For the pink shirt, we placed and secured each cup and then Shelby used the markers to draw whatever she wants within the shape of the cup.  For the white shirt, we laid the shirt flat with a wax paper covered cookie sheet inside and drew the designs on the shirt, then added and secured the cups once we had our design planned out.


Now, the fun begins!  You use the medicine dropper to "drop" rubbing alcohol onto the areas that are stretched over the cups.  As the rubbing alcohol hits the drawing, the colors will start to bleed which mimics a tie-dye effect.  You will want to be careful which colors you put next to each other on the shirt because when some colors bleed together they may turn into a brown color (this happened in one spot on the white shirt).

As the rubbing alcohol dries, you can begin to remove the rubber bands and cups, either to re-position and being adding alcohol in new spots or to remove entirely if the area is mostly dry.  Our shirts came out pretty cool and Shelby had a great time!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of Shelby wearing one of her shirts, but here is a photo of the finished product as it was still drying a bit.

Going off of advice I saw on other websites, we did a heat treatment to both t-shirts to help keep the colors from bleeding when washed with other laundry.  You can do the heat treatment by either putting the completed shirt in a hot dryer (we did this on the anti-bacterial setting, which is really hot!) or by ironing the shirts with a very hot iron, preferably with an old towel between the iron and the shirt (so you are ironing on the surface of the towel).

I have already promised my nephew that we'll make shirts for him soon.  I just need to find a time that works when he can come over for an afternoon of "crafts" and baking!  I can't wait!!!

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