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A Lesson in Tie-Dying

Howdy! Well, I survived the tie-dying party, and after asking around for tips, I thought I'd throw out my, that is.

First things first, never, ever throw a tie-dye party for 7 eight year old girls, plus two little tag-along boys all by yourself. Ever.

Case in point:

"How do we...", "But how will it...", "Mama, can you put...", "I wanna go first...", "No I wanna go first...", "Mama can you put this...", "I'm gonna have the prettiest one...", "No, mine's gonna be the best...", "Mama can you put this on..." and so on and so forth (and, poor Little A., he finally just gave up with trying to get his "safety shirt" on...threw his arms up in the air and said, "the hell with it"...well, not really, but I know that's what he was thinkin'.).

Okay, back to business...Step #1, The Supplies:
Go to your nearest (large) craft store and buy yourself a "high quality" tie-dye was recommended to me to use Jacquard (this kit has everything in it...'cept enough gloves). Then go out and buy a bazillion more gloves. And a big bucket. And don't forget the shirts or the pillowcases or the underwear you plan to tie-dye. Set it up all nice and neat and pretty, so the ungrateful little snits the little darlings will appreciate it more.

Step #2, The Support:
Take a little nip of this:

Step #3, The Process:
Soak the shirts in soda ash for at least 20 minutes, this does something or other to the shirts to help set the dye. (And this is where your big bucket comes into play)

While the shirts soak, put on your best teacher voice and instruct the kids on tie-dying technique (explained in aforementioned kit), emphasizing the fact that the dye is in never coming out...put the fear of God in them if you have to (I worked)...and tell them they must put on a safety shirt and there is no...and I mean NO squirting the dye anywhere but on their shirt to die.

Step #4, Further Support:
Repeat Step #2

Step #5, More of the Process:
Please, don't forget to impress upon the children that it is imperative to "stay within the rubberband boundaries"...lest they get a brownish blackish oddly hued shirt, not that, you know, I'd forget to tell them that. I'm just sayin', is all. Ahem...

Then, proceed to attempt to kind of, in some sort of way, pay attention to the going on's around you...which is why I have no photos of the actual dying. Of the shirts. No one died, although, I kinda wanted to...

Step #6, Stress Relief:
Repeat Step #2, again...optional.

Step #7, The End:
After shirts are sufficiently soaked, drenched, annihilated, throw 'em all in plastic bags to "soak" for 24 hours.

Step #8, The Mess:
I had already begun a weary clean-up when I finally thought to take a picture, so this is what you get:
In reality, it looked like a tornado had passed through, gloves, rubber bands, dye bottles all strewn haphazardly about...sigh...makes me tired just thinkin' about it.

Step #9, The Next Day:
Take a few ibuprofen to get rid of your throbbing headache (from the booze or the party, who can be sure?)...then, rinse the soaked shirts in cold water, until the water runs clear.

Then, hang 'em up to air dry, and wash (with darks or alone in cold water)...and voila...a masterpiece (and one heck of a hangover!!)!

The end.

Okay, I'm totally really wasn't that bad! At all! And, honestly, I would do it again, 'cept this time, I'd have one more adult, and I wouldn't forget to tell them to "stay within the rubber bands" willy nilly color meshing allowed...or something.

Nor did I drink tequila, you see, me and Jose don't get along well, so I don't really recommend it!

Tie-dying was a great time killer! After we finished, I felt like we had to hurry up to fit everything else in that I had planned.

Like the pinata:

And the presents:

And the cake:

And then? It was time to go.

Buh-bye little eight year old girls...buh-bye.


  1. What a cool birthday idea that I will never try! lol Hope she had a great birthday.

  2. That looks like a lot of fun and I'm sure your little one truly appreciates all the work you had to do for it! Thank you for the tips. Jose and I don't get along well, either, so I'll just omit that ;-)

  3. Such a good Mama!! She will never forget this birthday. (Please don't give my children any party ideas! I think we will stick to the mouse...or bowling. Bowling sounds great right about now.)

  4. I LOVE this idea!!!!! This is so great. I haven't tie-dyed since 8th grade...sounds like some forced family fun to me...I may have to bring in some and tequila are not friends either!!

  5. Very brave!! It really looks like you had a great time. Plus those are some good looking tie dye shirts. Happy Tuesday!

  6. Awesome idea. I've used the same tie-dye kits the past three years in my classroom. They are awesome, but messy. I sure wish I would have had step 2, maybe that would have helped :)

  7. Looked like a lot of fun....I showed K your daughter and she says "she looks just like me". LOL

  8. Lots of fun! as your humor! good to hear that you made it through the fine art of tye-dying with a party-ful of partiers :o)

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (and congrats on your Honest Scrap award and fun to read your NOT me post.)


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