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Can you make a tie-dye shirt with leftover easter dye? Apparently Not.

by Dot —

Sometimes I just don’t think. I blame it on mommy brain most of the time.

In the hectic aftermath of my son’s first real attempt at age 3.5 to really dye easter eggs “by himself”, I was looking at those lovely dye colors*.  I can’t just pour them out!  They are too pretty!  Maybe we can dye something else?  So I figured why not a “tie-dyed” shirt, a simple version, made by just pouring the egg dye over a tied up shirt, in stripes?  Easy to do, we’re already messy, and maybe (just maybe) if we make a cool shirt out of the deal, he’ll actually consent to wearing a shirt with buttons  (the child currently refuses to wear shirts with button or shoes with laces right now… No idea why.)

Tie Dye Shirt Fail

Tie Dye Shirt Fail

This was not too difficult, and actually looked really nice.  But I realized, as I started to rinse out the rag I’d used, that there was a small issue.

Now, if you stop to think about the inherent properties of egg dye, you might remember that it’s meant to be used by small children, and parents don’t really want their small children and their clothes dyed permanently.

The rag I’d used didn’t stain.  It rinsed out very cleanly.   Uh-0h.  If I rinse out the shirt, those pretty colors are just going to run together, and/or rinse right down the drain.  Hmm.  Maybe if it dries in the clothes, and it dry it in the dryer, the heat will set the stain a bit (I know this totally works on stains that I WANT to get out!).  So I spread the shirt out, let it dry overnight.  Even the next morning, it’s still a little damp, and I note its still staining my hands.  I wrap it in a towel and throw it in the dryer.  It escapes the towel, and leaves blue on the inside of my dryer.  I clean the dryer as best I can (it’s still a little blue, but maybe that’s from the crayons that went through the dryer mishap, and in anycase, it’s not coming off).  Shirt is now dry.  If you wet it, however, it still drips dye.  And I know the dye needs to be washed out, but I hate to ruin it before he wears it, since he’s actually considering wearing a shirt with buttons!

So this is the plan.  The Boy can wear the shirt one time in its current pretty but fragile state (hopefully he doesn’t sweat in it or get rained on) and then I’ll wash it and see whether any dye remains!  My bet is that some dye will remain, but it will be very washed out and pastel, or muddied with the blue.   (I’ll update when it’s done!)

*I have to add, I’m embarrassed to say that I actually did not do any of the really cool dye ideas I posted about on my blog, just used the storebought because we ran out of time!

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