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How To Work With Tie and Dye Without The Usual Mess

How To Work With Tie and Dye Without The Usual Mess- fun kids activities
How To Work With Tie and Dye Without The Usual Mess- fun kids activities

Love tie-dye but hate the mess?  Here’s a quick and easy way to create the same gorgeous retro effect without all the buckets and mess.

To get started you’ll need to grab a few things:

  • Package of colored sharpie markers.  These are sold at your local office supply store or in the office supply section of your grocer.  They come in a wide variety of colors ranging from red, blue, yellow, purple and so on.
  • Rubber bands.  These are used in the same manner that they’d be used in a traditional tie-dye project.  They’ll be used to make bulls-eyes.  
  • Something to tie-dye.  This can be a t-shirt, bag, table cloth, pillow case, anything that you feel inspired to add a colorful retro feel to.
  • Rubbing alcohol.  This is the key to the whole project!
  • Spray bottle.  This will be used to spray the alcohol.  

Taking your shirt or socks or whatever you’re going to be dying, grab a bit of fabric and wrap a rubber band around it leaving a bit of fabric poking out.  Do this as many times as you’d like.  Varying the size of the fabric inside the rubber band will create different sized color swatches on your finished project.  To create the bulls-eye pattern, layer the rubber bands on the same piece of fabric, so one handful of fabric will have a rubber band an inch down, two inches down and so on depending on how many rings you want in your bulls-eye.  

Now take your markers and start coloring in the gathered material.  Color it however you choose.  If you’re making a multicolored bulls-eye you’ll want to color each banded section a different color.  

Once you’ve finished coloring the sections, grab the fabric and take it to a well ventilated area.  An old plastic chair, bench or even a bucket outside is ideal.  Using your spray bottle full of alcohol, start spraying the rubber banded sections.  Continue spraying until the entire shirt has been tended to.  

Now you can sit back and watch.  The alcohol will start to react with the colors causing them to bleed into one another.  It’s a great and dramatic effect and it is fun to watch.  Let your fabric dry.  Once it’s dry, you can remove the rubber bands.  Launder it in cold water to set the colors.  Dry and wear.

Tie-dying with sharpie markers is a much easier, faster, and less stressful way of creating the same fabulous projects the buckets and dye powders offer and without the mess.  

Written by Editorial Staff

Our Editorial Staff consists of Certified Health Education Specialists and freelance medical writers with a passion for holistic kids health and wellness. From natural kids health articles to complex medical writing, our editorial staff works to help educate and engage parents in their kids holistic and healthcare decision-making.

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