Ever feel that white clothes are not really worth buying? After a few wearings, no matter how hard you try to keep them new and clean, they get a little dingy. Well today my niece and I decided to give a new life to old whites with some tie dye fun! I thought it would be a light, summer blog to share with you!

Walk in to any clothing store this spring and you will see tie dye is back with a vengeance. Skirts, scarves, hats, tops in all crazy designs and colors. Tie dye  is an art of the ages. Don’t be tricked  into spending money on something new. Just look in your own closet and find something white that you never wear and get tie dying!

Sarabeth and I tie dyed over 40 clothing pieces in just an hour. So here’s what we did. Work time doesn’t count when you are watching TV or chatting, or relaxing so we used some of that time to tie up the clothes in various ways.

Here are some of the interesting ways to elastic your whites….

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Tie elastic tightly about 3 inches apart going up each sleeve and center separately.

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Bunch your clothing piece into a ball and wrap elastic back and forth over the ball.

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Twist your clothing piece first and then tie elastics every few inches apart.

You can get pretty creative with this. Try making a bulls eye/target design by pulling the center of a shirt first wrap an elastic and then work your way out to the bottom every few inches. Avoid making targets on certain parts of the body…If you know what I mean!

Then mix your tie dye colors. Boil about a gallon of water for half a box of Rit Dye.  You can get Rit at your local drug store, Walmart or Target. You can use more dye if you want a stronger color. Add 1/2 cup of salt (check the box because I tie dye like I cook -no measuring), to the mix to help the colors set. Colors will fade a bit on the first washing but the salt helps to keep them strong. We mixed 7 colors; orange, magenta, denim, royal, teal, red and taupe.

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 Once the items are tied up you can dip them in many different ways. Each technique creates a totally different design. Start by dipping about 2 inches of an item into one color. Squeeze the excess back into the bucket and then move to the next color, dipping another few inches. Squeeze the excess and continue the process.

IMG_4374IMG_4376We combined like colors for a more subtle look and added taupe to tone down brighter colrs. After each item is totally dipped. Just leave it on a tarp to set for a few hours.

IMG_4370 IMG_4369Dipping one item entirely into one color can look awesome. Also you can open up the inside of the items and dip the center a bit to avoid having too much white when you are finished.

We also did some dying without using elastics. The color has a washed out and softly dyed look.

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 Then we also did the “multi color dip method” by taking the item without elastics and dipping it slowly into a few different colors. This is great for  skirts, pants and things you wnat to be more  muted. Try teal, denim and taupe. Gorgeous! Or do a shirt crazy and bold. I think I ended up redipping this one!

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Mini skirts are much cuter on a teenager!   So Sb got to take this one home!

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After a few hours, untie the items that have been tied with elastics. The items will still be damp.

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Once untied. Lay each item out to complete drying in the sun.

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Can you believe some of these were ready to be rags!IMG_4380

Wash the like items together without any of your other clothes for a few cycles before including them with your other laundry. (I always add a little extra salt into the first wash, about another 1/2 cup) If you want the colors to fade a lot, wash the clothes in hot water, otherwise cold is fine.  Always do whites separately or they’ll end up in the next tie dye pile!!!!

Although I am not a tie dye expert, the clothes came out great. There are so many more techniques you can investigate on line. But it does not take any expert to have great success on the first try.  Hope you find some old dingy white clothes and have a fun, cool time tie dying this summer!

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