We’ve done some fun shibori dye projects in the past (like these placemats, towels, and embroidery!) and I love the technique. But truth be told, it’s a lot of work and a huge mess to prepare that indigo dye bath. I wanted to create some shibori-style tie dye kids’ shirts for the kids to wear around this summer, so we combined the best parts of those two styles and created these!
The shibori technique of resist-dyeing is what really makes these stand out. It’s a little different from your standard tie-dye rubber banding technique, and it creates all kinds of cool patterns on the garments that you dye. So if you have a hankering for shibori with a tie-dye twist, this is right up your alley. This project was also particularly easy because we used Michaels’ new buy online & pick up in-store feature! I kind of love it because if your local store is out of stock of a certain item you want, or if you just want to shop from your couch and swing by to pick up your items, you can have your things shipped to the store and pick them up as you grab any other last minute items from the store. (You just head to the framing counter and they’ll have your order all ready!)
Shibori-Style Tie Dye Kids’ Shirts
Make Time: 30 Minutes Plus Drying Time
Step 1: Dampen your shirts with water and squeeze out any excess moisture. Start by folding your shirts into a pattern. The resist technique used in shibori dyeing depends on the way that your garment is folded. The edges of the folds will receive the dye, and the inner sections will stay white, and that’s how the patterns are created. So get creative and fold your garment as you like — in halves over and over, or in an accordion, or on the diagonal, etc.
Step 2: Once folded, cut two pieces of chipboard that are a bit smaller than the surface of your folded garment. Sandwich the garment between the two pieces of chipboard and use rubber bands from the tie-dye kit to secure it all together.
Step 3: Prepare your dyes by adding water to the bottle fill lines and shaking until dissolved. Apply dye in your desired color to the open edges of the folded garment. You want to be sure that the dye reaches the inner layers, but also ensure that it’s not so saturated that dye is dripping off of the fabric.
Step 4: Once dyed, set the wrapped garment on the plastic wrap from the dye kit and cover with the plastic. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours to ensure maximum color saturation. At that point, remove the rubber bands and chipboard and rinse the garment in cool water until the water runs clear. Then unfold and run through the laundry according to the instructions on the packaging.
Once your garment is washed and dried, let your kids rock out their shibori-inspired tees all summer long! My little ones are just a bit too young to apply the dye themselves, but if you have older kids this would be a perfect summer project to tackle together. They could choose their favorite colors and patterns and just have a ball. Happy dyeing! xoxo