Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How to Tie Dye with Sharpies: Family Fun on a Budget

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Continuing our series of low-cost summer activities, I present the Moldy Boys and Sharpie Tie-Dye.

As my son points out, all you need to do this craft is a shirt or "article of clothing," Sharpie permanent markets, and rubbing alcohol.

Chances are you have a few Sharpies around the house. Or maybe you don't label your child's items as obsessively as I do. If you don't have any, you should be able to pick up an entire rainbow of them for under $20 and they will last for years. They are great for all sorts of craft projects and you'll be glad you have them. Just don't let you little ones use them without supervision as their marks are permanent.

You need a t-shirt or two for the project. Who doesn't have a few extra of those around the house? In the video, my boys decorated shirts they received for joining the local summer reading club. Michael's craft stores often have plain shirts on sale for two for $5.

If you don't have rubbing alcohol amongst your first-aid supplies, you can pick up a bottle for about a dollar. You only need a few tablespoons per shirt.

We find it helpful to use medicine droppers to dispense the rubbing alcohol, but you can improvise.

Finally, we use pie tins to separate the front and back of the shirts, but you can substitute plastic sheeting or even cardboard (though that could get messy).

We've been having a lot of fun with this low budget art project. I hope you family will, too. If you do this with your family come back and leave a link to your t-shirt photos. I'd love to see how they turn out.

More Family Fun on a Budget.


The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Thats a great project and he's adorable! I loved when he said clothing article ... something about it tickled my funny bone!


TheAngelForever said...

What a fabulous idea. Will definitely check it out and try it with the boys this summer. May even try some bags or aprons and work on early Chanukah gifts.

Naomi said...

Fun! We'll have to try it sometime.

I can't believe you didn't even mention your sons' awesome '80s throwback hairdos!!! Super cool. They look like all the boys I remember from jr high...

2KoP said...

Very cute.

Michele@Integrated Mother said...

OMG - I love the simplicity of this project! All three of my kids can do it, even the 3 y.o. - thanks for sharing it!

2KoP said...

Hi, Kim. I wanted to report back to you on our version of this project. We went to a 4th of July party with 15 kids. I bought kids large Ts at the dollar store and some adult small and mediums at Walgreen's for $1.99 each. Armed with a 24 pack or Sharpies, all the kids created their shirts.

The eyedropper thing seemed a little unwieldy for our group, so I put the rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and manned it (womaned it?) myself. It worked great. A good time was had by all and everyone got a souvenir. Thanks for the idea. — Susan