Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baby Tie-Dye

Here is a fun and easy new baby project to do with kids. It's inexpensive, doesn't take too long, and is great because each piece is unique and special...just like the little peanut who will wear it.

Start with your basic 100% cotton baby onesies. I didn't wash mine beforehand, though I know that's usually recommended in order to eliminate any fabric sizing that might be in the clothing.

I bought an assembled dye kit at JoAnn Fabrics which included three little bottles with squirt caps, powdered dye, rubber bands and gloves.

The process is simple: take a dry onesie and fold and/or gather it before tightly wrapping it with rubber bands. There are many different folding techniques that produce cool effects, so experimenting is the fun part.

Once we got our fabric tightly folded and banded we ran the whole thing under water and squeezed out as much of the excess as possible. This was to allow the dye to be wicked into the design. If you don't wet it some, the dye water has a tendency to run off the fabric and not soak in enough to get the effect you want. You can also just dip the whole thing in a dye bath, but I've found that this allows too much dye to permeate.

We squirted the dye in the areas between each rubber band to get some fun stripe and sunburst effects. After the dye was added, we wrapped the whole wet thing in saran wrap.

Ordinarily, I would have left it overnight to set, but we didn't have that much time so I tried something new. I put the whole thing in the microwave for 3 minutes to cook. The heat helped to set the dye and sped up the whole process. After microwaving the fabric, we unwrapped it and let it cool. After and hour or so, we removed the rubber bands and set the onesies out on the counter overnight to completely dry.

The next morning I threw them all in the washer on cold, then into the dryer to be finished. Voila!