Saturday, September 28, 2013

Make a Sharpie Tie-Dyed T-Shirt

     I started this project during the summer when I was still thinking I would be incredibly productive AND crafty during my time off, and not loll around drinking coffee and dreading September.   I had found this project on Pinterest, and I thought my daughter and I could each make a shirt while my son and husband went upstate on a guys fishing trip.

We started with these supplies:

     The site I found this on via Pinterest recommended an embroidery hoop to hold the shirt taut, but I was too cheap to buy two of those with my "I now have the summer off budget," so I used from flat pieces of cardboard instead.  

     I had no specific design in mind, I just wanted to make something with curvy lines that was colorful.  I sketched out a few lines with a pencil to make sure my center squiggle was roughly symmetrical, and then I started with the markers.  

     My daughter, who is now 11 and has a highly developed sense of crafting herself, rapidly got frustrated with this craft.  I think for something like this, since you will ultimately be using rubbing alcohol to spread and smear the colors, you need to keep that in mind when planning your design.  She picked a design that was dependent on precise line placement, so she wasn't happy when the marker started bleeding into the surrounding lines before she was done.  She gave up on her shirt way before it was finished.  

     It was hard for me to continue with this when she had given up.  I thought we would have worked on this project together! :-(  But kids move on from disappointment more quickly than we do.  She was on to another craft llooonnnggg before I was done with this one!

     Speaking of long, this took HOURS.  I can make a few recommendations, though.  Don't leave the markers lying around when you have a small dog that likes to chew things like markers...



Open your mouth!"

 (Oh good, her tongue's not blue!)

     If I do this project again, I would try the embroidery hoop or I'd cut the cardboard so that it's bigger than the shirt.  That would hold the shirt more taut, and I wouldn't get those annoying skips in my lines when the marker bunches up in the knit fabric. 

     I worked the design around the side of the shirt from front to back, over the shoulders and around to the back from the top, and also down the sleeves.    Below is the finished shirt - BEFORE the alcohol application...

     I like it with the rubbing alcohol applied - I like that smeary, blended look, but I also like the before version, too.  You decide which one you like better.   

     I think I'm going to wait for the rubbing alcohol to dry completely and then, just to set the colors, hit it all over with a dry, hot iron (with some paper towels or something between it and the iron - just to protect my iron!)

I want to see other shirts! If you've attempted this craft, let me know how yours went!

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