Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fireworks T-Shirts - A Tie Dye Tutorial

I was asked about the T-Shirts the boys were wearing for the 4th of July party. At Scout's Red-White & Blue Birthday party - we decided to do Tie-Dyed T-shirts as a take home gift instead of a grab bag...

Here's what we did:

1 white cotton T-Shirt for each person
1 box of Red Rit Dye
1 box of Navy Rit Dye
2 cups salt
2 Tablespoons laundry detergent
2 Stainless Steel pots
2 spoons and a pair of rubber of gloves
several rubber bands

Dissolve the two dyes in two separate pots according to the package directions - we used 1 box of dye - 1 cup of salt and 1 Tablespoon of laundry detergent in 4 cups of water in each pot - bring almost to the boil.

Transfer the entire process outside at this point.

Pinch up little knobs of material through both layers of a clean white T-Shirt wherever you want a 'firework' spot - twist a rubber band around this knob about 2 inches in...

...dip the knob into the red dye almost up to the rubber band...

...lightly squeeze or wring out the excess dye - you'll get lots of 'milking the cow' jokes at this point...

...gather all the knobs together at the top and dip the bottom into the navy dye - being careful not to submerge the rubber bands - we don't want any purple and we do want a nice 'flash' of white - you'll get more 'udder' jokes at this point with the knobs all sticking up out of the blue dye...

...show off your creation...

...hang it on a line (or a garden fence) - and hose them down with cold water - the bright colors will lighten somewhat (I've heard there are cold reactive dyes that you can use that will not lighten - but of course they are not available 'locally') - allow shirts to dry...

...don your shirt and line up for a group shot...

...and wear your shirt to the local small town parade and grab as much candy as you can...


  1. You are so creative. What are we going to do for the August birthday? Sure looks like the boys enjoyed it all. E

  2. what fun! always something neat going on, isn't there?

    love, k

  3. Doesn't it feel wonderful to have accomplished something really cute and had so much FUN!?
    You've been given a, well deserved, award at Thistle Cove Farm.

  4. What a great activity idea! I can't recall the last time I tie dyed.

  5. Wow, the colours came out really nice and strong. I Love!! tie-dye stuff and went through a spell about 20 years ago when I would tie-dye everything...including socks. ;-) I haven't done much of it since my boys were really little and I did it to hide all the food stains in their t-shirts. ;-) Must try it again.

  6. Those came out so awesomely! Wow!

  7. They look like great fun!

  8. Great Ts! I should do this with my kids.