My son Cameron is doing summer camp at St Columba’s (for the DC locals, it’s really great and I highly recommend it!) Some of the older campers tie dyed their camp shirts, and Cameron really wanted to get in on the action. I told him we could try and do tie dye at home…. but I was secretly thinking, “this could be messy….” I was talking with one of the teachers at camp and she told me that you could create a tie dye effect with sharpie markers – I immediately started googling!
Indeed, this seemed like a really easy solution. I found a very helpful video made by Martha Stewart which clearly showed the method. Cameron and I watched it together, and then we were ready to go.
Cameron decorates his camp t shirt and goes crazy with the rubbing alcohol
Here’s what you need:
a rainbow assortment of sharpie markers (or some kind of permanent marker)
A white cotton t shirt (if it is new, wash it first)
Rubbing alcohol (get the 91% kind, it works better than the 70% kind)
A spray bottle, or dropper to use to apply the rubbing alcohol
A cookie sheet
A piece of cardboard
An iron or a dryer
Here’s what you do:
Put the cardboard in the shirt (this will keep the pen from going through from one side to the other.) Draw on the t shirt – watch the Martha Video – the shapes she makes seem to work the best. We made ours bigger and of course, they weren’t as perfect. In the end it really didn’t matter that much and I was more concerned with Cam having fun than the look of the final project.
Take out the cardboard and insert the cookie sheet instead. Drop or spray the alcohol on the areas with the marker. The marker will begin to bleed and take on the tie dye look. Cameron went a little nuts with the alcohol and eventually the entire shirt was basically soaked. This was fine… your kids can’t really go wrong and that’s why this works so well with them!
Let the shirt dry (if it is totally soaked like ours was) and then iron it, or put it in the dryer for 20 minutes to set the color. Enjoy your cool shirt!
Front, back, and showing off!