Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Clothes to Make

When the boys were small they loved it when I did t-shirt embellishments. I did pooh bear shirts for Scott and for Karl I did football and Ninja Turtles. They wore them all the time day and night. 

Remember, if you are going to tie dye shirts it should be with Adult supervision for sure. Depending on age of child they will be able to help with some parts. Here are some ideas…..

Solar Flare T-shirt


Materials:  Plastic tablecloth or garbage bags and tape, Large bowl of soapy water and paper towels, 100-percent-cotton T-shirts, Buckets or dish tubs (4-quart minimum), 2 or more colors of fabric dye (see Tips below), Salt (1 cup per dye bath), Rubber bands and marbles and/or coins. Spray bottles and plastic squeeze bottles, Sealable plastic bags, and Latex gloves.

Instructions with some pictures:

To begin, choose one or more tie-dye techniques. Here are 3 that can be mixed and matched for far-out fabulous results:

Marble Tie With Spray-bottle Dye

Knotted Tie With Squirt-bottle Dye

Twisted Tie With Dunking Dye

Set up a dyeing station:

Set it up outside if possible. Cover the work area with a disposable plastic tablecloth or a few garbage bags and tape your cover in place. Have a trash cans and some paper towels nearby as well as a large bowl of soapy water for the kids to rinse their hands. Most importantly, keep some extra white T-shirts on hand to allow for mistakes or in case some grown-ups want to get in on the fun. 

Prepare the Tees:

To make sure the shirts are fit to be tied, soak them in water first. They'll be much easier for the kids to work with. If the dyes come with soda ash, dissolve it in a tub of water. After the kids have tied their wet shirts, soak the shirts in the soda ash solution for 20 minutes. This helps the dye to bond with the fabric more easily. If the dyes didn't come with soda ash, you can purchase it separately at your local crafts store and soak the tees in it for brighter, longer-lasting results.

Make the dye baths:

Prepare the dyes according to the manufacturer's directions. If the directions don't already call for it, dissolve 1 cup of salt in hot water for each dye bath and add it to the bath to help set the dye. See the box below for our dye recommendations.

Do your tie-dyeing first:

To save time and simplify the process starts the party off by dyeing the T-shirts. After each shirt has been dyed, wring it out and place it in a sealable plastic bag. Set it aside as you commence the party activities. When the party's over, send each kid home with his or her bagged shirt, an extra pair of latex gloves, and a set of instructions (below).
Washing and Drying Instructions:

1. Allow the T-shirt to set in the plastic bag overnight. Put on the rubber gloves and rinse the shirt, starting with warm water and then cool, until the water runs clear. Remove the rubber bands during rinsing. This is permanent dye, so be careful not to get any of it on your clothes.

2. Wash the shirt by itself in the washing machine with cold water to avoid shrinkage. It's a good idea to run the washer again with warm water and some soap to make sure that no dye is left in your machine.

3. Hang up the shirt to dry or dry it in the dryer on the coolest setting.

4. After your child wears the shirt, wash and dry it separately once more in case the dye is not completely rinsed out.
Throw a complete, colorful, Tie-dye Party!

We used Rainbow Rock dyes at this party. These dyes are sold individually at most craft supply and fabric stores and can dye up to 10 adult-size T-shirts. They are also sold in kits with 3 dye colors good for up to 8 T-shirts. For those who prefer less intense, pastel colors, consider powdered Rit dyes. One package of Rit dye makes a pint of dye bath and is good for dyeing 2 T-shirts, so you'll need several packages of each color for the party.

 Nature T-Shirt

Materials: Solid-colored T-Shirt, Assorted natural objects (leaves, ferns, flowers), Rubber gloves, Spray bottle, Bleach, Bucket, and Water.

Lay the shirt outdoors on a hard, flat surface, such as cement, away from anything that might be damaged by bleach. Arrange the leaves, flowers and other objects in a simple design on the shirt. Only the silhouettes of the items will show, so objects with distinctive shapes work best. If there's a breeze, place stones on the objects to hold them in place.

This step is for adults only: Wearing rubber gloves spray the shirt lightly with bleach around all the edges of the design. Let the shirt set until you see the color start to change—about 1 minute or so. Carefully remove and dispose of the flowers and leaves.

Submerge the shirt in a bucket of water and thoroughly rinse it. This stops the bleach from eating through the fabric. Put it through the washer and dryer, and your masterpiece is ready to wear. Note: Be sure to label the spray bottle, or empty and rinse it immediately.

Shirts in bright hues of pink, blue and green work best.

Thumbprint Garden T-Shirt


Materials:  T-shirts, Cardboard, Fabric paints, Paper plates, and Green fabric marker (we used FabricMate from Yasutomo, available at fabric stores).

Set up your decorating station by first cutting a piece of cardboard to fit snugly inside each shirt, separating the front and the back layers. Line up the shirts on your worktable and squirt small puddles of fabric paint onto paper plates. 

For each shirt, have the girls each dip a pinky finger into a puddle of paint and press it onto the T-shirt for a flower center.

Next, have them each dip a thumb into a different color of paint and press it onto the shirt around the pinky print to make petals.

Use a fabric marker to paint stems and leaves. 
Finally, have each guest use the fabric marker to write her name under her thumbprint flower on each shirt. 

Leave the cardboard inside the shirts while they dry and refer to the fabric paint bottle for washing instructions.

Again, I get the newsletter with great kids’ crafts ideas at:

Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog either here or e-mail me at  I look forward to hearing from you!


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