Friday, January 14, 2011

Sharpie Tie Dye

Sharpie Tie Dye

I just LOVE this one!  I friend had posted her Sharpie Tie Dye T-shirts on Facebook and I couldn't wait to try it for myself.  Not only that, I had wanted to do a tie dye project with my Brownie Girl Scout troop, but thought it would be a big undertaking.  This was the answer!  Who would have thought you could do something so cool with a few Sharpie markers?  I have the instructions here for you!

I found a great website that not only shares the directions for the Sharpie Tie Dye Shirts, but also explains the science behind it.  A fun art project and science lesson in one!  Check out the link at Steve Spangler's Science site HERE.  We have made several shirts, and tried a couple different techniques.  It is very important to remember to heat set the color before washing, otherwise, your colors will fade.  I do this by tossing the shirts into a very hot wash and dry cycle before using.

Supplies Needed
- Variety of Colorful Sharpie Permanent Markers (I've tried other brands with poor success)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Something to "Tie" Dye, such as a white T-shirt
- Plastic Cups
- Dropper
- Rubber Bands

I purchased a kit of Sharpies like this one... 


I can't tell you HOW many projects I have used them for!

Directions
Before you start, make sure you protect your work surface.  I didn't do so here, but I was careful not to place damp colors onto my counter top ;)

Step 1:  Preparing the Shirt
Place cups, open-side up, underneath, securing with a rubber band.  We placed as many as we could at one time.

Step 2:  Decorate!
Use your favorite Sharpie colors to make designs on each 'circle'.  We loved the way dots of color would look in the end, so we added lots of those.  You might want to test different colors, as some spread nicer then others too.

That's Tatum, my 3 year old, adding her artistic touch.


Step: 3:  Add Alcohol
Use a dropper to add a little alcohol at a time to the center of each 'circle'.  Don't over-do it!  The alcohol will continue to spread for a while after it is added.

Step 4:  Wait
And here is what one side of our shirt looked like after alcohol had been added to the designs.  Now you need to wait a bit to allow the alcohol to dry (so not to spread on parts of your shirt you don't want it to).



Step 4:  Dry
Once it is dry, you can remove the cups and rubber bands.  You may want to add designs on the opposite side of the shirt.  Here is the finished back-side of the shirt we were working on above.




And... if you want to try the more traditional tie dying method...

Step 1:  Tie
Grab sections of your shirt and wrap with several rubber bands.

Step 2:  Color
Add color to each section you have tied off.  We found the best results when we completely colored each section.


Step 3:  Add Alcohol
Use a dropper to add a little alcohol at a time to each tied section.  You'll want to add just enough to spread the color.  Don't over-do it.

Step 4:  Dry
Allow the shirt to dry for a while before you take out the rubber bands.  This will keep the color from spreading to where the rubber bands are - which gives it that cool, traditional tie-dyed look.


Here is our finished shirt, though I'm thinking we'll go back and fill in some of the empty spots.  I love the look.

***UPDATE***  
Many of you have asked about the colors bleeding or fading.  We have done it several times now. One time we had some bleeding/and colors were washed away. What I have learned is that you need to do a really good job of heat setting it. I don't think the iron does a good enough job. I would recommend you first wash the clothing separately in very hot water.  After doing that, your colors should be safe from bleeding/fading.

Another problem with success can be due to the fabric that you are using.  Best success will come from using a 100% cotton.  Blends are less likely to hold the color, and your beautiful designs may fade or wash away.

And... if you are looking for some tips on the more traditional form of tie dying, check out the Tie Dye Party we had for my daughter HERE.
Tie Dye T-Shirt

And there you have it!  A fun and educational project that you can share with your kids!  Enjoy!!!


85 comments:

  1. Wow, I've never seen this. What a cool technique! I bet it was fun for your kids, too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I saw it done where they put alcohol in a spray bottle, hung the shirts up on a line and sprayed them...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the first method. You can really get the kids involved.

    I have a giveaway on my blog. $15 store credit to select any hair accessoriesfor a little girl. check it out
    http://houseonashwelllane.blogspot.com/2011/02/fancy-headbands-and-hair-clips-giveaway.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. I LOVE this! I've always wanted to do tie-dyeing, but didn't want to deal with all the dye and water! This is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is AWESOME! I'm bookmarking it for when my Cuties come home from day camp and tell me TOMORROW is tie dye day and we don't have any on hand and they want to make new shirts! Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Amazing! Your shirts look so cool, and made with sharpies?! Brilliant, definitely want to try this!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow- that's so cool! I've never seen it done like this. Makes it SO much easier and less messy! Thanks for linking this up too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. WOW! Very cool! Thank you for sharing!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. So clever LOVE it!! Please link up in my Sweet Links Party!!! Smiles~ Noelle

    http://sweetcraftcakes.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweet-links-party-no-8.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. Such a great idea! I tried this tonight and this is definitely a keeper for our Summer Boredom Bucket! I made sure to link back to you in my post :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Amanda@
    sleepytimeproductions.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi, friend! I'm admiring all your creative posts here. Can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey!
    Such an awesome tutorial.I wanted to let you know that I linked to your post in my blog.
    My blog: acupofsparkle@blogspot.com

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/ACupOfSparkle

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is very cool and I think I'd like to do this with my granddaughters. Just a question...how well do the colors hold up to washing? Thank you for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I made this and wrote about it here. We did this as a craft at my daughter's 6th birthday, and the kids had so much fun. I had some trouble with bleeding when washing, so just a heads up to anyone else who makes this, wash your shirts separately, or with darks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Mrsblocko,

    Thanks for your note! So glad that you tried this. We have done it several times now. One time we had some bleeding/and colors were washed away. What I have learned is that you need to do a really good job of heat setting it. I don't think the iron does a good enough job. I would first wash the clothing separately in very hot water. Sorry you had trouble with the bleeding. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you wash it before or after you have applied the colors/alcohol to heat set it? I'm guessing after but just want to make sure.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Always wash your shirts well before doing any artwork on them.. The factory will have put a ''sizing'' on the fabric and you need to wash that out before you start. A Hot wash is a good idea.

      The best way to heat set anything is to wrap it in some tin foil or wax paper. Heat your oven to 180 deg C or 350 deg F .. turn the oven off and then put your items into the oven. leave them there till the oven is cool. You will find that that there is little or no 'running' or 'leaching' from your items.

      I'm a textile designer and I dye fabric and hand paint items for quilters. I don't have any trouble with my fabrics running.
      I hope this helps you all. :^D
      Cheers
      Sylvie www.sylviesdesigns.blogspot.co.nz

      PS: I deleted the first reply because I forgot to answer Robyn's question about when to wash.. LOL

      Delete
  16. cute fun idea...cant wait to do this!! BUT first tell me exactly when do you heat set? And does that mean ironing it? And you mentioned washing in hot water...is that BEFORE you do the sharpies?
    Thanks !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm wondering the same thing. Wash in hot water before or after using the Sharpie's???

      Delete
  17. This is adorable. I love to tie dye, but live in an apartment now and don't really have a lawn or garage or other place where i feel like I can handle the mess. I am thinking of making onesies for my new niece with this method. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm not good at these comments things and don't know how to do anything but anonymous - sorry - I don't mean to be anonymous...anyway - how do these wash up - do you do anything to them to hold the color? They are DARLING btw!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi "Anonymous"... sorry I can't reply to you directly. I didn't have your e-mail to do so. I have a note posted above answering your same question. Perhaps I should add this to the instructions above (I'll do that next). Here is my response as found above...

    We have done it several times now. One time we had some bleeding/and colors were washed away. What I have learned is that you need to do a really good job of heat setting it. I don't think the iron does a good enough job. I would first wash the clothing separately in very hot water.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just to clarify...washing it in hot water helped. And we are talking about just washing machine hot. Or would boiling it on the stove work better? I've NEVER done anything like this so if it seems like a novice question, it's because it is.

    So wash in hot and then dry in hot. Right? Trying it this week. Found you on Pinterest!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just quick a question, what sort of alcohol did you use? Ethanol based rubbing alcohol? We're in Australia thus don't have the same names for things. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isocol works well :-)

      Delete
  22. How do you recommend heat setting with the iron?
    I will repeat the question I read above because it's a great one...could you boil them, do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would suggest heat setting the dyed t-shirts in the dryer, after the alcohol has dried of course. This is the technique screen printers use when doing a large number of items. Easy peasy.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This may be silly would it be rubbing alcohol?

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have done this before, and just set mine by putting it in the dryer. It works great and your colors don't bleed that way.

    ReplyDelete
  26. We're doing a variation of this project in my Boy's Only Art Class using large white handkerchiefs to create one of a kind flags for Capture the Flag game. The guys are loving it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. We use vinegar to set colors when dying. Perhaps it will work with the sharpies. Add about a cupful of white distilled vinegar to the last rinse water to help set the color.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Just stopping by to let you know that I've featured your craft on Family Fun Crafts! You can see it here:
    http://funfamilycrafts.com/sharpie-tie-dyed-tees/

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, I'd love it if you would submit them. :) If you would like to display a
    featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi....great tutorial...I just wanted to let you know I shared a link to it on my website:

    https://www.Lileesgram.blogspot.com

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have been looking for a fun project for my 3 yr. old and I to do! I love this! thank you!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. It is really cool!!i will definitely apply it thanks for sharing it!!http://www.gotapparel.com/

    ReplyDelete
  32. Love this idea. I have tried out both techniques with great results. I think that this is a terrific craft to do with the grandkids--much less messy than dyes and enables them to leave their own creative touch on their shirts. Simple, fairly quick, and fun!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love this.Its a fun to do with old stuff. I like to renewed old things. tie dye shirts
    are best for wearing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love! However, the few we did were completely drained of color after a normal wash. I prefer not to hand wash. I did heat seat in the dryer and that still didn't preserve the beautiful, vivid colors. Any other ideas? info@prjewelry.com

      Delete
  34. Would like to say that I did this crafts with our youth at Vacation Bible School this week and the kids LOVED it. They had a blast and a great imagination. We put a cardboard box between the tee shirt and pulled it tight. It worked well. Many of the adults that helped were wanting to do it also. Thanks for the great idea!!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Just did this with my kids and their friends and they LOVED it!!! We did it on white pillow cases...as something a little different!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I've thrown the dry garment into the dryer for 7 - 10 minutes for heat setting.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm not understanding the heat thing. Do I do the designs on the shirt and then the alcohol and then put it in the dryer? Or do I do the designs on the shirt and then the alcohol and then wash and dry it? I'm Michele, BTW, not anonymous but I had no way to do the other way to comment. Thank you. I'm sure this is a great activity for your little ones, grandkids and VBS Kids, but personally, I can't wait to do this for me. Looks super fun =)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Has to be Sharpies, I tried bic permanent and they didn't run like sharpies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i tried bic mark.it permanent markers annd they ran better than sharpies for me...i dyed an x-large white tee then cut it and make it a new sew tied edges pillow....its amazing!

      Delete
  39. Okay I have the question about the setting it too. I have done three different shirts. First one just through it in the dryer after it had sat for 12 hrs then washed and dried. The colors and spread all over the shirt. Then I tried soaking in vingar to help set it. That spread the colors while in the vingar. It didn't spread as much as just in the dryer then washing. I also tried with an iron that didn't help either. I am at my wits ends trying to make these shirts. We are going to Disneyland and am trying to make Mickey Head shirts for everyone. I hope I can find a way to fix the bleading and fading problems.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Try this for setting the dye:
    Add a cup of white vinegar to the first wash using hot water and NO detergent.
    Then dry as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think this is easy and I will try on child T Shirt. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  42. When we got done with each cup design I used the hair dryer to dry the decoration before removing the cup and placing it on another spot and the heat setting was hot. Then when all were dry I rain the iron over the top of the design and then I put them in the dryer on high for 70 minutes. Did all this and it still faded. Not a happy camper and love the idea.

    ReplyDelete
  43. We did this this afternoon and it was really fun! I recommend using the lids from mason jars rather than cups though, because it keeps things lower to the table and easier to manage.

    I haven't yet heat-set or washed ours, but I wonder if part of the issue has to do with the fibre the shirt is made out of? I wouldn't be surprised if 100% cotton behaved differently with respect to holding the colour than if it was a poly/cotton blend.

    ReplyDelete
  44. This works best on a cotton shirt and when you are done and the shirt is COMPLETELY dry you pop it in the dryer for 20 minutes to set the colors, then you can wash and dry as usual

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm planning to do this next week and have read through all the comments, paying special attention to all the issues with fading and running colors. Having dealt with textiles for several decades now, I figure it has something to do with the fabric content. Natural fabrics hold color best -- fabrics with synthetics added in such as polyester and nylon don't allow the colors to saturate each fiber -- they're more resistant to absorbing anything, no matter how much heat setting is done. Think in terms of synthetic clothing and how they don't tend to fade -- the color is infused into the composition of the fibers as it's woven into cloth. So natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, linen, silk would have longer-lasting results when it comes to keeping the color intact -- check the label of whatever it is you're working with -- it will probably make a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love this idea. I used to paint shirts for a living. The one thing I found that was a sure fire set for my colors. Was vinegar. A light spray and a hot press with out steam. Then wash as usual. I Hope this will help some of you get a more lasting project.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Always wash your shirts well before doing any artwork on them.. The factory will have put a ''sizing'' on the fabric and you need to wash that out before you start. A Hot wash is a good idea.

    The best way to heat set anything is to wrap it in some tin foil or wax paper. Heat your oven to 180 deg C or 350 deg F .. turn the oven off and then put your items into the oven. leave them there till the oven is cool. You will find that that there is little or no 'running' or 'leaching' from your items.

    I'm a textile designer and I dye fabric and hand paint items for quilters. I don't have any trouble with my fabrics running.
    I hope this helps you all. :^D
    Cheers
    Sylvie www.sylviesdesigns.blogspot.co.nz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sylvie, does this mean you wash the shirt first before doing any artwork and then once the designs are all done and dried you advise people to do the heat set thing? I am confused. We are planning on doing this at my daughter's birthday party next weekend. Thanks!

      Delete
  48. Great Spanish Summer Camp Idea....LOVE IT!

    ReplyDelete
  49. thnx my little angel is gonna luv this
    sincerly,
    daddy's do it better

    ReplyDelete
  50. thnx my little angel is gonna luv this
    sincerly,
    daddy's do it better

    ReplyDelete
  51. This blog is really informative i really had fun reading it.

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  52. This blog is really informative i really had fun reading it.

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  53. Does anyone know if this will work on wool ? I am thinking I could knit socks with white sock yarn then color them like his ? Thanks. Maria

    ReplyDelete
  54. Does anyone know if this will work on wool ? I am thinking I could knit socks with white sock yarn then color them like his ? Thanks. Maria

    ReplyDelete
  55. I'm thinking of doing this with my 5th grade science classes. I have to teach variables and the scientific method, so each of my five lab groups will control and test different variables.
    My ideas are: 100 percent cotton handkerchief vs a mixed blend
    Heat set with iron vs without iron.
    Vinegar wash vs no vinegar wash
    Sharpie markers vs those Bic things
    Use 2 different alcohols

    ReplyDelete
  56. HOW did you get the colors to stay? I was so disappointed - ours were gorgeous. We let them dry, I ironed them, and put them in a hot wash - and they totally faded! Advice???

    ReplyDelete
  57. I loved this craft so much that I did it at one of my daughter's sleepover birthday parties. We did this on a pillowcase as a keepsake from the party. The girls loved doing it! I posted a link to this on my blog www.cindyscreativecuts.com. Thank you for great inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm so going to have a go at this, what a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  69. You might do some research as my granddaughter and I spent quite a while designing her shirt to have the yellow fade all over the shirt. I did try and heat set it in very hot water. She lives out of state so we didn't have time to try again : ( I'm reading other sites that suggest cold water. Anyone have the same problem as we did?

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