Easy tie dye for kids

Nov 30, 2007 at 8:52 a.m. ET

Watch your child's face light up when you remove that first rubber band from your tie dyed t-shirt. It is truly amazing the designs that one can create with so few tools. Try these super easy tie dyes, and see what our kids were raving about!

Purple tie dyeFor the purposes of simplicity, we chose to use one color per garment, rather than multiple colors that are so often seen. You can also use colored garments and use a contrasting dye color to achieve the same results.

You will need:
various colors of fabric dye*
rubber bands
rubber gloves
tap water
garments such as t-shirts, cotton shorts, old jeans, etc.

*Rit Dye is usually available in the housewares department of your local grocer or discount department store.

What you do:
Begin by rubber-banding your garment according to the design you wish to achieve. (For ideas, see the pictures below, each of which is followed by the method to use to reach that result.)

sunburst pattern

sunburst pattern
marble and several rubber bands

circle pattern

circle pattern
marble and one rubber band

lines pattern

lines pattern
rubber bands only

Prepare dye according to package directions. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands! Dye can be just as damaging as bleach to your unprotected skin. Please take the proper safety precautions recommended.

Once your garment is ready, place in the dye for at least 15-20 minutes. The longer the garment remains in the dye, the darker and deeper the color will become. Remove from the dye and rinse according to package directions, usually in cold running water. Wring out the garment until water runs clear.

Carefully remove rubber bands and marbles to reveal your new design! No two patterns will be the same, and different effects can be created by combining the different methods mentioned above. See below for our results, and be sure to have a good time!

sunburst yellow shorts

pink shirt

red shirt

These tie-dye items also make great gifts! Don't just limit yourselves to items of clothing, either. Think pillowcases, aprons, dishtowels, baby onesies -- you can even just make a great wallhanging from a square yard of fabric.