We Make Shirts. Again. We Fail Again. It's Now Tradition.

Last year we made tie-dyed shirts for Independence Day. Maybe because they didn't turn out as planned, we did it again this year. We were trying to make right what we made wrong, or something like that. Plus, even if they weren't successful, it was fun. So we now have a family tradition of making tie-dyed shirts for the July 4th holiday. Twice in a row makes it a tradition, right?

Last year we purchased bottled dye and dipped our shirts in buckets of color to make the designs we wanted. The colors bled together in the laundry creating rust instead of red and blue. Interesting, but not our intended end product. This year, I saw tie dye kits, and decided that maybe it had more instructions on it than the bottles did. Plus it came with handy dandy squirt bottles, which would be awesome at getting color exactly where you wanted it rather than making a shirt half and half with the dip-in-the-bucket technique. How cool would that be?

So we started.

We employed a fun twist to our project. Elmer's Gel Glue will allow you to draw a design on the shirt, write your name, paint pictures, or trace your hand's outline as neatly as a fat felt tip pen on paper. And once it dries, you can then dye the shirt and the glue area will not retain dye. Bonus - it washes off in the laundry with no problems whatsoever. We got the fun purple glitter gel glue, because that's the only gel kind the store had. But glitter is fun, and purple is awesome.

We then waited for glue to dry.

And while we waited, I read instructions for the dye kit. We'd already failed to pre-wash our shirts. Oops. But seriously, what would that matter? Let's get down to mixing colors and filling bottles. There are shirts to squirt!

So we squirted. But there were problems. First of all, the bottles were more sensitive to touch than Micah anticipated. There were arcs of dye sprayed liberally across the lawn. (And that, my friends, is why it was done in the grass and not on the patio.) The red dye was especially fun in the grass. It looked like a gruesome murder was committed.

I warned the kids to watch where they stepped. But apparently I warned them too late.

I say if you're going to do something, to it all the way. Why stop at dying shirts? Dyed feet are going to be the Next Big Thing. Just remember that we pioneered the look right here. That's right, we're trend setters!

We also learned that wearing plastic gloves was a good thing. That's probably why they were included with the kit.

And THEN we realized why pre-washing was a really genius idea. Apparently, it'll remove the starchy sheen and allow the dye to penetrate the shirt, rather than run off it like water from a duck's back.

So we got rather meticulous in our application of dye.

And then we followed directions (imagine that!) and rolled the shirts in plastic wrap, letting them sit and soak for a few hours before washing.

Maybe it was the plastic wrap thing, but the colors did not run together this year when they were laundered. Success! Kind of. Had we actually pre-washed the shirts, they may have been more colorful than they ended up being. But hey, we have this tradition of making epic failures of tie-dyed shirts for the 4th of July, and we rock it.


Cindy said...

Oh that's just too funny! The prewashing, the gloves, the bottles... you DO rock it!! :)

Eternal Sunshine said...

Hey, at least you're not quitters!! Try and try again, and all that...