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 test out my tips on tie dye shirts for kids with kids!
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 DIY tie dye blanket, but I really love it and bought some of the refills this year.
I highly recommend looking at your kid’s current clothes and tie dyeing something they already own, it’s a great way to cover stains! Or shop second hand for a white dress or tshirt on Ebay, Thredup, or Kidizen.
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. Like I mentioned, you can buy powder refills for the bottles or reuse them with liquid RIT dye, so don’t toss them!
You might be interested in these other posts while you’re here!
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.
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!
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!
Tip 5 really only matters if you’re doing this as a big group, and it 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.
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.
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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?