This is a fun project full of hands on and parent/child collaboration. There are a lot of parent steps, but your children will be more than happy to assist you and watch as the project goes on. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Make these now so you are ready for your 4th of July weekend! it’s coming faster than you think
Step # 1 Rubber band both sides of your shirt as to define a bottom, middle, and top. Cut both ends off of a walmart bag… the handles and the bottom so that you have an open plastic “tube”.
Place tee inside the tube so that only the middle is inside with both bottom and top of tee hanging out.
Roll your tee inside the bag up tightly. Fold down ends of bag so that they are directly over the rubber banded tee area and rubber band again over top. This insures that no dye will get into the middle section of your tee.
Step # 2 rubber band the top of and bottom of the tee in any way you would like. You can evenly space the rubber bands one after another which would make stripes, or you can pinch pieces of your fabric up which would make firework type patterns. You may be asking at this point what your children are actually doing… I had my children count with me each time I wound the rubber band so that they felt involved and could practice their numbers. My 6 year old could do the rubber bands himself with just a little assistance. I also had them hand me the rubber bands and choose weather they wanted stripes or firework patterns.
Step #3 pour half your container of RIT dye into a bowl, if you have powder only use half of the box. Add 1/2 cup of salt to each bowl. Mix these with hot water and stir. Let your child do the stirring.
Step #4 Let your child hold their tee like a upside down “U” shape and put the bottom in the blue bowl and the top in the red bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Step #5 Pull tee out of the dye carefully and squeeze out on an open laid out trash bag, then move over and lay onto another trash bag as to not put it into the colors you have squeezed out.
Take care here not to mix colors.
Your children can wear plastic gloves and help squeeze their tees. I used another walmart bag.
Step #6 Rinse in warm water each side separately until they run almost clear.
Step #7 Do not cut off rubber bands yet or your plastic bag. Hang on a line to dry. When mostly dry (damp) cut off your rubber bands, open tee, and hang to complete dry. When completely dry wash in your washing machine each separate tee on cold.
Step #8 Optional Step… if you want, here you can cut a sponge into a star shape and let your child puffy paint stamped white stars onto their shirt. This is great if your child wasn’t able to participate enough in this project or if you wanted to do this ahead of time for your younger children and then present them with the tee to decorate.
Don’t forget to praise your children as they help you with this project. Completing projects and helping out, builds good self esteem. Smile, laugh, and have fun!