Lifestyle Tries: making colorful tie-dye shirts

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Tie-dye is a colorful and fun way to add personality to various products. This is a great activity to do alone or with company. There is a vast spectrum of items that can be tie-dyed: socks, shirts, tote bags, bandanas and many other products all have the potential for a tie-dye makeover.

Craft stores and many department stores sell a selection of tie-dye kits, making the process much easier. Some basics that will be needed are bottles for the dye color, tie-dye pigment, rubber bands and gloves. In addition to the tie-dye kit, you will also want plastic bags and a protective surface to work on (we used a large trash bag and taped it to a table to protect any furniture from the dye).

Step 1: Now that all the materials are gathered, the first step is to tape down the trash bag or something similar if you are working on a surface you do not want to stain.

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Step 2: Take the items that you wish to tie-dye and use the rubber bands to strategically (or randomly) scrunch the item. There are various patterns that have online tutorials if you desire a specific tie-dye pattern. We went with a traditional spiral pattern for our shirts.

Step 3: Put the gloves on and take a bottle with the liquid dye and use the sections made by the rubber bands to make your colorful design.

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Step 4: With the gloves still on, place your item in the plastic bag and seal. Let the bagged tie-dye creation rest for at least 24 hours. We put ours outside for sunlight exposure, but this is optional.

Step 5: After at least 24 hours, carefully take your creation out of the bag. Take off the rubber bands and hand-rinse your item. We rinsed our creations in a sink but made sure not to leave any dye in the sink basin to avoid staining.

Step 6: Use a washing machine to thoroughly rinse out the rest of the excess pigment. After the rinse cycle is complete, your craft is ready.

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