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Easy Tie Dye With Kids

Tips for tie dye with preschoolers! Tie dyeing with young kids doesn't have to be a disaster - and they will love wearing a shirt they helped make! Easy tie dye tips for any parent.

Tie dye with kids can be easy and fun! This summer I ran a co-op day camp with some of my son’s buddies, and I wanted to have “camp shirts”. I hear people talk all the time about how tie dye is too messy but I knew how much he’d love making his own shirt, and we forged on! I googled for some tips before we started, and the posts that came up were intimidating. It really wasn’t that hard with a little prep work, so I’m sharing my quick tips and hoping you’ll dive in and try tie dye with your kids!

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tie dye kit from tulip

My first tip is to buy a specific product; Tulip makes a one step kit in a variety of colors and sizes* that is perfect for tie dye with kids – there is no salt, no ash, you just add water, mix it up, and squirt. I did get mine for free when I made this upcycled tie dye t-shirt quilt, but I really love it and bought some of the refills this year.

tie dye bottle

The kit includes rubber bands, gloves, and a picture tutorial for different techniques. The squirt bottles are a good size for kid hands, just make sure not to lose the caps.

hand in glove

My second tip is to secure the gloves! The gloves that come with the kit are adult size, so I put some of the rubber bands around his wrists.

tie dye process

I think I’m going to order a pair of kid size rubber gloves* that are reusable – we could use them when we pick up trash, too!

kid tie dyeing

My third tip is to do it outside; tie dyeing in the grass made for easy cleanup. Fourth tip would be to have the kids wear socks – otherwise they will end up with dyed feet!

tie dye bag

Tip 5 is to pre-label ziploc bags and put each kid’s shirt inside. I tried labeling on the clothing label, but it was quickly covered with dye and illegible. Ziploc bags made it easy for parents to take their shirts home without making a mess.

tie dye shirts

That’s it! You can see my son & daughter’s shirts above, they were so thrilled to wear them each week. It really wasn’t that much clean up; I just hosed down the lawn, threw away the gloves, and put the dye bottles away for next year.

Tie dye with kids can be easy and fun! Check out these tips for tie dyeing that makes a minimal mess - perfect summer craft for older kiddos and a great "camp shirt" idea.

Are you willing to let your kids get potentially messy for some fun? Any favorite tips for tie dyeing with young kids that I can share?

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This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. Stephanie, you are one of the bravest people I’ve ever met! Tie dyeing with preschoolers!! I’m old enough to have tie dyed in the 60’s and have some not-so-fond memories of the mess, but I’m still crazy about the results. I love that there’s a kit with everything in it–just checked out your blanket post and it’s too adorable–these shirts, too. Now. . . if that daughter of mine would just present me with a long-promised little one πŸ˜‰ I could get a kit of my own and follow your terrific directions. Thanks for a much neater trip down memory lane with a very brave mom and an adorable model thrown in πŸ™‚

  2. You are a brave woman, I’m a senior citizen and I want to try this. Off to hobby lobby for supplies. Your posts are always so interesting and varied.

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