While it’s fun to go on day trips throughout the summer…with gas prices being what they are, we also try to find fun adventures around the house too. Sometimes, to my husbands chagrin, the ideas for these adventures come when I am in Wal-Mart or Target. What may have started as a simple trip for a few groceries turns into so much more.
This was the case a few weeks back when I spotted a Tie-Dye kit at Wal-Mart. I got to thinking back over the spirit days my son had at school and remember feeling like an “EPIC FAILURE” as a parent since my child did not have a tie dye shirt to wear. So, when I saw this kit, a light bulb went off in my head (a lot like what happens to your favorite cartoon character) – I can have a fun crafts day at home AND solve our no tie dye shirt dilemma! I was SOLD!
There were many kits to choose from, it was hard to pick just one. After looking them over I decided on the 5 color tie-dye kit from tulip. This kit fit the bill for us as it had green & yellow for my John Deere fanatic and fuchsia & purple for my little princess with a bonus of turquoise. The kit said it could dye up to 20 shirts so we invited over a few friends to share in the crafty experience.
I opened our kit a few days before our planned event and was pleasantly surprised to see it had instructions and tips for 8 different tie dye techniques. There was something for the beginner (ME!) and for those who are super crafty too. I was glad I had read all the instructions because, even though we bought new t-shirts thinking we would be ready to go, it instructed us to wash new fabrics to remove the sizing.
When tie-dye Friday arrived it was one of the hottest days of the summer. I debated canceling but instead set up our kiddie pool and the sprinkler figuring we could craft a little and cool off as needed. After setting up our old table with a dollar store tablecloth we were ready to get started.
My son decided to go with a swirl design. I was shocked when he decided to use every color and not just green and yellow but he was on to something. My daughter followed his lead and also used every color. My friend’s two-year-old wanted only yellow and green on his shirt and they made the sunburst style of shirt. My two cousins were over and they both picked different styles and colors so we had a little bit of everything made that day. In fact I even made one for myself. It was a lot of fun to make!
With this type of tie-dye, you add the color and then wrap the shirt in plastic wrap for a few hours, to let the colors intensify. I had a hard time waiting the 6-8 hours to see how the shirts looked. Luckily we had the pool, sprinkler and lunch to help pass the time.
After unwrapping the shirts you need to wash them out with warm water until extra dye is removed and water runs clear. It was immediately apparent, after washing out the first one, these shirts were going to be a big hit. It took a bit to get all of the shirts ready because they each also needed to go through the washer individually and then the dryer too.
A few words of caution….this is a MESSY craft. I used the enclosed gloves which helped to keep the mess to a minimum. We worked outside, used a dollar store tablecloth and wore “junkie” clothes. So, no matter how messy we were nothing got ruined.
Messy or not, I would rather have the experience than pass on it just because there could be a mess. It was worth any mess to see how proud my kids were to show off the shirts they made to friends and family.
Most people say you are only a kid once but, if you stop and enjoy even messy things like kids do, you can have a second childhood. Plus another summer day came and went without anyone saying “I’m Bored”. That alone is worth a mess 🙂
Michele Evans Wieland (pictured below with her husband, Charles)
Check out the other adventures Michele has enjoyed with her kids this summer:
Turkey Hill Experience (August issue of The Zone Magazine, page 8 )