Thank you, RAIN! It’s all my friend Rain’s fault that I had to go and try yet another style of tie dye.
Let me tell you how this all came about. It’s been kind of a blah-ish day; I’ve been sick all weekend, so today was a stay-at-home, take-it-easy, kinda day. I was Skype-ing with Rain, my dear pal, and she mentioned this new “sharpie tie dye” technique. She’s throwing one of her girls a tie dye themed birthday party, and she’s wondering if this style would be cleaner, easier, cheaper, less hassle then doing traditional tie dye with dozens of kids.
Shaprie Tie Dye – My First Try
According to the internet, it’s all the rage. It’s evolved past mere artwork and it’s being touted as science. Science! That’s so fancy. (I’m such a scientist now. Eeps!!).
Rain gave me a couple links to show me. And as we continued to discuss the idea, I realized I had all of the needed supplies on hand. So here we go!
I’m not gonna lie, some of the kids on these other links have done a cracker jack job with this technique! I think I did okay for my first try. Matthew is going to get some more sharpies/better colors tonight on his way home, and perhaps my next try will be even better or brighter.
What you need: a garment to dye, rubber bands, plastic cups, rubbing alcohol, and Sharpie markers in a variety of colors.
According to SteveSpanglerScience.com – it goes like this:
Warning: Rubbing alcohol is very flammable and must be kept away from any open flames or heat. This experiment must be conducted in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors or in a room with open windows.
- Place the plastic cup inside the middle of the t-shirt. Position the opening of the cup directly under the section of the shirt that you want to decorate. Stretch the rubber band over the t-shirt and the cup to secure the shirt in place.
- Place about 6 dots of ink from one marker in a circle pattern about the size of a quarter in the center of the stretched out fabric. If you like, use another color marker to fill in spaces in between the first dots. There should be a quarter size circle of dots in the middle of the plastic cup opening when you are finished.
- Slowly squeeze approximately 20 drops of rubbing alcohol into the center of the circle of dots. DO NOT flood the design area with rubbing alcohol. The key is to drip the rubbing alcohol slowly in the center of the design and allow the molecules of ink to spread outward from the center. As the rubbing alcohol absorbs into the fabric, the ink spreads in a circular pattern. The result is a beautiful flower-like pattern. Students often remark, however, that the design looks like the colorful surface of a compact disc.
- Apply as much or as little rubbing alcohol as desired, but do not let the pattern spread beyond the edges of the cup. Allow the developed design to dry for 3 to 5 minutes before moving on to a new area of the shirt.
- It is important to heat set the colors by placing the shirt in the laundry dryer for approximately 15 minutes. Teachers have also suggested rinsing the shirt in a solution of vinegar and water as a means of setting the colors.
Enjoy experimenting with various patterns, dot sizes, and color combinations. Instead of using dots, try drawing a small square with each side being a different color, or use primary colors to draw a geometric shape and accent it with dots of secondary colors. Half circles, wavy lines, and polygons all make unique patterns when rubbing alcohol travels across the ink. Your designs are only limited by your imagination. Try as many different patterns as you like. The secret is to keep your patterns small and in the center of the design area on the shirt.
I essentially followed these steps, but ended up getting bored and jazzing it up a bit. I used WAY more rubbing alcohol than he said to use! I added dots in weird places and not just a little cluster in the center. I also did lines and some squiggles. Sometimes they worked, sometimes I think they just kinda fell flat and the ink didn’t travel the way I thought it would.
A couple tips:
- the tighter you had the section of the shirt over the cup, the better it seemed to work
- the darker and more concentrated the color dots, the better
- open a window, your house will reek!