Monday, October 22, 2012

Sharpie Tie-Dye

A couple of weeks ago, it was Homecoming week in this little town I call home. Being a smaller town, everyone gets in on the festivities, all the way down to the Pre-K level! They had a different dress-up day for each day of the week. One of those days was tie-dye day. I knew my daughter did not have a single item of tie-dyed clothing, so we made our own with permanent markers and rubbing alcohol!

First, I want to say I use the term "Sharpie" in place of permanent markers. We ended up using generic permanent markers, because all I had on hand were pastel Sharpies, and they do not work as well for this project.

The set up:
You will need permanent markers in various colors. You will also need rubbing alcohol, an eye dropper, rubber bands and small plastic cups.

First, place a cup underneath your fabric and then put a rubber band over the fabric and around the rim of the cup. Draw your design inside the circle created by the cup, and then add a few drops of rubbing alcohol, and watch the ink spread!

Here is K, drawing her design. As you can see to the right of her free hand, the pastel ink from the Sharpies did not do as well as the darker ink from the generic markers.
 As the rubbing alcohol spreads through the fabric, it takes the ink with it. There are tons of websites out there explaining the science behind this, but K just thought it was really cool!
 The design K drew, before the alcohol was placed on it.
 And, after a few drops of alcohol. Start with just a few drops, you can add more later. If you add too much, it will just wash out the colors.
 Here is a design that has finished "spreading." It continues until it reaches the edge of the cup.

Remove the rubber bands and cups, and allow it to dry on a protected surface. Then, iron with a hot, dry iron to set the ink. You can also soak in vinegar and then dry in the dryer to set the ink. As you can see below, some of the designs had too much alcohol put on them, which faded the colors, and created a sort of faded effect.

Experiment with different designs. This one was done after K went to bed. I just placed alternating dots of color in a small circle, and then put rubbing alcohol on top of it. I also did not use a cup/rubber band for this method, I had it laying on a flat surface. If you do it this way, be sure to place a piece of cardboard behind it to protect from ink bleeding.

Have fun with this project, I know K thoroughly enjoyed it! 

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