i recently had the opportunity to review an item of my choosing from CSN Stores. they asked me to choose whatever item(s) i'd like (within a dollar range) and in exchange i would provide them with a review of those items to post on their website. win-win.
at the time i was looking for stuff to entertain the girls during their spring break so when i came across this tie-dye kit by Jacquard i was sold and immediately added it to my cart as one of my desired items!
tie-dye has always been one of those things that i avoided because of the age of my kids, not so much because i'm afraid of getting a little messy. i must get that 'not afraid to get messy' gene from my dad, because tie-dye would have sent my mom over the edge. LOL. me and dad are a lot alike in that we'll both tackle a project without knowing what kind of mess we'll get into in the process. i don't know about him, but i think that's part of the fun of projects like this. no expectations, just experimenting. :)
the recommended age on the kit is ages 8 and up. i think that's a good suggestion, unless you want to hover over your younger child throughout the entire process. the biggest concern i think is with the dye being accidentally squirted in the eyes of a younger child. we had a couple small oops splatters on the skin and while it stained the skin immediately, a nice quick wash & rinse in the bathtub afterward was enough to lighten the stain considerably, if not completely.
spidergirl is in kindergarten, but with gentle repetitive reminders to be careful where she's pointing the bottle, she did just fine. i think it really just depends on how well your younger child can follow directions.
while it's not so much a difficult process, it is an involved one. one that takes 24 hours from start to finish......but only about 30 minutes of hands-on time.
first you have to gather your materials. the kit comes with: instructions, a slew of rubberbands, one pair of gloves, package of soda ash & three bottles of powder dye.
additional materials you will need: plastic table cloth, roll of paper towels, warm water, large bucket, plastic wrap, and up to 5 shirts. (additional gloves if more than one person is dyeing)
you need to first saturate the shirts in plain water, wring the excess out, then fold/twist them in the desired pattern (several shown on instructions), and rubber band them to hold in place. then you soak them in soda ash water for 20 minutes.
all of these steps were followed according to easy-to-follow illustrated instructions included in the box.
then you start saturating the shirt with the dye. it comes with blue, yellow and fuchsia. as you squirt the colors on, you will see how they blend easily to make up the other secondary colors---green, purple, orange. so mixing of the primary colors in the bottles themselves to make secondary colors is not necessary.
the girls were a little afraid to saturate the shirt at first. partly because of ashlyn's constant anxiety about things 'wasting out' (aka: being used up). i mean we had to work on 4 shirts afterall.
oh wait....i didn't mention that did i? this was a family activity that all four of us participated in. we each chose a different method for twisting/bundling our shirts before banding them up just to see the various results.
ashlyn was a big fan of mixing two colors at once as you see here. the yellow really made all the other colors so much more vibrant! i'm tempted to get another kit just so i can do a shirt with only yellow. :)
by the way, there was PLENTY of dye for all four of them. 2 of them were short sleeved, kids' size small, 1 of them was a men's XL white undershirt and 1 of them was a long-sleeved men's XL. and we had dye leftover when we were done.
and another note: you don't have to do all the shirts in one sitting. the dye, once mixed, stays good for 2 weeks.
here's the shirts in various stages of dyeing....
once you have completely saturated them according to the instructions provided in the kit, you are instructed to let them set, covered, without touching each other for 12-24 hours. we waited the full 24-hours because of our schedule.
i also chose to wrap each one individually to keep little fingers from constantly poking them. then simply folded the plastic table cover over them. out of sight out of mind. the instructions say to cover them, not necessarily to wrap them in plastic wrap. but it did no harm.
24-hours later, you need to don your gloves again, remove the plastic, head to the sink, snip off the rubberbands and marvel at your creations.
they will look super saturated with color and in some spots downright icky (notice all the dark, almost black color). this was ashlyn's prior to rinsing.
but, then you'll put them in the sink and run warm water over each one individually until the water runs nearly clear. (by the way, the shirt in the sink isn't the same shirt ashlyn was holding...kinda confusing--i'm sorry).
i must admit i was a little nervous doing this part because i was afraid all the dye running out was going to mix together and make all the colors muddy and just blah.
but that wasn't the case at all.
the shirt above was one of the men's XL shirts. as you can see there were lots of white areas not dyed. that is a direct result of our folding and rubber banding method....and also being stingy with the dye. all a learning experience. the method of folding and banding that ashlyn used ended up being our favorite. i call it the caterpillar method, at least that's what it reminded me of. she had virtually no white showing through after rinsing.
after rinsing, you just wash them in the wash as instructed and you can hang dry or tumble dry. after the first washing you can wash them with your every day clothes. :)
only suggestion i have would be: buy additional gloves. the kit only comes with one pair, so we had to improvise and put one glove on each child and then use a hair tie and plastic ziploc bag to cover their non-dominant hand. it worked well for us because we have a lefty and a righty, but could be tricky if that weren't the case.
someday all the shirts will be clean again at the same time and i can snap a picture of the different finished results. :)
definitely would be money well spent! we plan on buying another kit soon so we can try our hand at tie-dyeing some stonewashed jeans. i'm hoping to pick up a set of white bedsheets and try those too! i think it'd be perfect for a summer picnic tablecloth. :)