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Party Part 1: Tie Dye Shirts

We just celebrated Charlotte's 8th birthday with a rainbow-inspired slumber party.
Because our lives are so chaotic right now with our move to China, I tried to keep things simple.
Like a house full of 8 year olds over night is calling it simple, right?  ha ha...

My original activity for batik shirts fell through when I couldn't locate the glue I needed at Walmart the night before.  So I went with plan B... a Tulip Tie Dye Shirt Kit.  All I can say is AWESOME!  Why the heck didn't I do this sooner?!

Here are a couple of the finished shirts...

It really wasn't as complicated as I always thought Tie Dying had to be.  I thought I needed boiling hot water with dye which doesn't make a good combination when you include kids in the mix.

I LOVED this kit.  And for $15, you really can't go wrong.  We easily got more than 20 shirts out of it.

Here is how it works....

1) Prepare your work surface.  I did it outside (good plan) on a table I covered with plastic garbage bags.
2) Pick the design you like best.  We chose one that required us to use damp shirts, so we had to get them wet ahead of time, then bundled them up with the rubber bands provided as the instructions directed.
3) Add warm water to the bottles provided in the kit.  Each bottle already has dye in it, which makes it such much easier (and less messy).  I do have to admit, I made quite a mess when I used the refill packets of dye for round two.  I recommend using a funnel at the sink for those ;)

4)  Put on some gloves (both hands, no matter how good you think you are, unlike you see the kids doing here... we didn't have enough in our kit for all of the kids), and add dye to your shirt.  What we learned here is MORE is MORE!  The shirts that I thought were too soaked in dye actually turned out the best!  Just remember, colors will blend.  So if you don't want browns, then try to avoid over-lapping colors.

5) When you are happy with the dye you've added, wrap your tie dye up in plastic wrap (the only thing not included in the kit... other than the shirts, that is), and let it sit.  The longer you let it sit, the more intense the colors will be.  We left ours over night.

6) Rinse the excess dye out of the shirt under warm water WITH GLOVES ON!  I had purple hands for days because I was out of gloves for this step.  Wash your shirts in hot water with a little bit of laundry soap, and dry (without mixing in other laundry).  You will want to wash your shirts alone for the first few washings to avoid the dye bleeding on other clothing.

Love them!!!
The kids and the shirts ;)

I should add... this was so much easier then I expected it would be that my sis and I ran to Old Navy the next morning to stock up on white shirts from their clearance section.  Our second batch of shirts turned out AMAZING!  I wish I had known it would be so easy sooner.... I think my entire wardrobe would be tie dyed! ;)

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