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To wrap up a great year in 3rd grade, we celebrated with a colorful tie dye party. Tie dye is such a fun activity to do with kids – even large groups of kids!
HOW TO TIE DYE T-SHIRTS
There are lots of strategies for tie dye designs on Pinterest. Depending on the way that you wrap and bunch your shirt, you can get a variety of different patterns and styles. Once you have planned out your design ideas, you will need a few supplies to get started.
The two main ingredients are white t-shirts and dye. We used 100% cotton shirts from Shirtsinbulk.com. For a large group of kids, purchasing them in bulk is the way to go! Plus, with Shirtsinbulk.com if you spend $50, you get free shipping. The shipping was very fast too, we received our shirts the next business day! Once you have your shirts ordered, it's time to decide on the dye method. There are a lot of tie dye kits available in the stores. Since we had a group of 45 kids, we chose to dip the shirts in the dye rather than giving the kids squirt bottles. We were able to dye all 45 shirts with 2 bottles of Rit Dye.
- Blank White T-shirts from ShirtsInBulk.com
- RIT Dye in a variety of colors
- Rubber Bands
- Disposable Gloves (otherwise your hands will stay purple for a couple days like mine did!)
- Clothes Pins
- Tubs or containers for the dye
- Trash bags or plastic covering to protect the area around the dye baths
PREP THE AREA
We setup the tie dye containers outside to avoid a mess in the classroom. Even though we were outside, we still lined the ground with trash bags just in case. Follow the mixing instructions on the bottle of RIT dye by mixing with warm water. We mixed the dye in several tubs since we had around 45 shirts. Once the dye baths were ready, we started inside preparing the shirts.
Step 1: Start by putting the kids' names or initials on the inside of their shirt. This will be a huge help at the end when you are trying to sort out the shirts!
Step 2: Spin, spiral, twist or bunch your white t-shirt. We used a fork in the middle of the shirt to start a spiral.
Step 3: Secure the spiral with rubber bands. It’s important to keep the bands tight. Some of the kids needed help with this step.
Step 4: Drop part of the shirt in the first color. Use clothes pins to keep the rest of the shirt from falling into the dye. We put the kids initials on the clothes pins so they could keep track of which shirt was theirs. Head back into the class room while the shirts soak. We waited about 30 minutes.
Step 5: Switch your shirt to the 2nd color, getting the remaining white part of our shirt soaked in the second color. Wait 30 minutes and remove the shirts from the dye baths.
Wait at least one hour (longer if you want darker colors. We waited until the end of the day.
Step 6: Remove the rubber bands and reveal your shirt design.
Step 7: Rinse your shirt in warm water.
Step 8: Wash and dry the shirts on the hottest setting.
HOW TO SCREEN PRINT ON TIE DYE
Now that your shirts are done, you can personalize your shirts with a screen printed design.
We choose a saying that was meaningful to our class. Throughout the year, the teacher would use the phrase “Class, Class, Class” to get the kids’ attention. The kids respond with “Yes, yes, yes” and it’s amazing how they immediately knew to focus and get quite. We added to the design “of 2028” because these little 3rd graders will be high school graduates before we know it.
You can learn more about how to screen print with craft vinyl and your vinyl cutter here.
Not only was this an exciting class party idea, tie dye is a fun summer project with kids of all ages. The final result is a memorable experience and a cute shirt to commemorate the end of the school year! Enjoy your summer break!
Do you think screen printing first, then tie dyeing would still work?