This summer has flown by! We’ve executed a handful of amazing weddings and are in the process of planning many more that will take place this fall. Although the summer has been busy, we’ve definitely enjoyed this lovely season! My kids are at such a fun age (my son is 5 and my daughter is almost 3) so I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with them this summer. We checked almost all of our “Summer Bucket List” items off the list including making homemade ice cream, going to a water park, hosting a summer bbq/pot luck, checking out a few local museums we’d yet to explore, and of course, tie dying (still need to have a lemonade stand, and grateful that we technically have a few more weeks of summer to fit that in)!
Anyone that knows me well knows I love to tie dye and we’ve done it every summer for the past couple of years. To me, it’s not summer until you tie dye, so to celebrate the end of the season, I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to tie dye. Earlier this summer I invited some other moms and their kids over for a tie dye party! We used a few different techniques including spray dying, a vat of indigo tie dye, Rit dyes, and of course the classic tie dye kits that you can pick up just about anywhere in the summer. One of the things I love most about tie dying is that no matter what materials you use or how you do it, the outcome is always so cool! It is really hard to mess up tie dye. I enjoy all of the different materials and techniques but I have to say that ice dying is my all time favorite! I only learned about this style of tie dye last year and it has quickly become my obsession and I fear that soon, I will own nothing white (since it will all be ice dyed!). It is unbelievably simple and you only need a few things. This method often goes unnoticed, but it is SO entertaining and enjoyable – and it is probably the most kid friendly way to tie dye so big yay for that!!
I know there are plenty of tie-dye instructions floating around, but let’s face it – sometimes we just want to get to the basics! So, below you will find a few simple steps to the art of ice dying.
What you’ll need:
- Powdered Rit Dye
- This kit can be bought at any craft store – Joann’s, Michael’s…even Amazon!
- T-shirts, towels, cloth napkins, bed sheets maybe…anything white!
- An open space to get messy!
- I let my kids do this on our grass in the back yard, but others do it over a bucket or a foil pan!
Choose your fabric!
We’ve ice-dyed t-shirts, towels, table cloths/runners, cloth napkins (one of my favorites), and kitchen hand towels! The world is certainly your oyster with this decision and anything and everything goes!
Wash your fabric in soda ash! (Suggestion)
It’s suggested that before you ice dye, the fabric that intends on being dyed should be washed in soda ash before-hand. However, if you barely have enough time to breathe (like me!), there is simply no way we can get around to do this – so I’ll let you in on a little secret…my dye turned out just fine without the soda ash!! 😉
Steps 3 and 4:
Wad, Fold, and Scrunch…then add the ice!
Once you have your fabric and space for magic, it’s time for the fun part! You are going to want to wad up your fabric and bunch it in any way you please. (Somewhat like the picture below!) There’s tons of folding techniques for indigo tie dye and traditional methods, but when ice dying, this good ol’ crumple method is best!
No rubber-bands are needed with this technique mostly because the natural melt results in the watercolored effect that is desired when ice dying.
After you have wadded up your fabric, it’s time to cover it inch by inch with ice. The more ice, the greater effect you will see in your dye. Go ahead and pile it on!
Sprinkle the Dye!
Once the fabric is covered with ice, sprinkle the powdered Rit Dye all over the ice and fabric – cover pretty much every part of the garment (using as little or as much as you’d like).
*TIP: I wouldn’t go crazy with a rainbow assortment of colors… (I know this might be tough with kids who would love to sprinkle every color in sight!) But instead, try and pick a palette of colors that go well together so your fabric doesn’t end up turning brown. Think blues, purples, and pinks or maybe some yellows and oranges!
Let it melt!
Last but not least, its time for the ice to melt and for the masterpiece to come alive! Now, you can either let the ice melt naturally in the sun, or for a more fun and interactive way for the kiddos (or if YOU just can’t wait!!), you can use a squirt bottle filled with water to speed up the process.
Wash the fabric!
Before you throw the fabric in the washer, be sure to RINSE first with cold water until the water runs clear (if you are dying outside on the grass, a hose works great for this). When washing in the machine, I would highly recommend washing the pieces of fabric separately for the first couple washes to avoid any color bleeding!
Now that I’ve shown you the steps to Ice Dying, it should be made clear that this new trend is certainly not just for children or a wacky t-shirt! The result is really beautiful and the watercolor effect is anything but psychedelic. Ice dyed pieces can be incorporated into special events including baby showers, birthday parties, even weddings! If you just pick the right color palette (maybe grays and whites) this tie-dye DIY can be super chic and absolutely gorgeous. Trust me when I tell you that all this fun can be used for unique occasions, as I have done it myself! Click on this link which showcases ice dyed table cloths I made for a baby shower I designed last year – told ya this tie dye can work wonders!! Before summer officially comes to a close, I encourage you to give this technique a try!
Below are a few photos from our tie dying party. The kids chose different techniques and they enjoyed showing off their masterpieces. My son and I made matching indigo tie pieces for our little family because a family that tie dyes together, stays together, right?! My husband is a really good sport – don’t you think?
Photos courtesy of Jenny Quicksall Photography