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I completely ripped this idea off from Michael’s. We were there searching for a shirt to tie dye for Grace’s Girl Scout troop and they had some version of tie dye pumpkin shirt on display.

I immediately breezed past it. I’m all for markers an crayons and even pendulum painting. But tie dye is a whole new level of mess even I’m not willing to go to. EXCEPT. At Grace’s troop meeting I was introduced to tie dye in a bottle. That is, they now have squirt bottles with the dye you don’t have to dunk your shirts in buckets  and the nozzle really controls the flow. Well now, tie dye suddenly seemed manageable.

I had to get the T-shirts from the boys department. Apparently no one thinks girls want to wear plain shirts anymore. Make sure you get 100% cotton, or at least 60-40 cotton, it will help the dye hold. This was a fun project and I think the shirts are adorable. I let my six year old do the dying and she only came out with some orange on her hands and a super cute shirt.

Tie Dye Jack o Lantern Supplies

  • White cotton t shirt
  • rubber bands
  • gloves
  • one bottle of orange tie dye (or you can mix up a bottle of Rit dye in a bucket or the washing machine, according to package directions). Found in the dye aisle of Michaels or Jo-Ann.
  • large plastic table cloth, newspapers or trash bags to cover every surface
  • plastic bags to put shirts in
  • black fabric or puff paint
  • crayon
  1. Pre wash your shirt. Leave it wet. Use the package directions or this guide on how to rubber band your shirt to achieve the pattern you want.
  2. Cover your driveway, sidewalk, kitchen table, etc in loads of plastic or newspaper. Put on your gloves and put some on your kid. Set them to work squirting the dye onto the shirt. NOTE: Make sure they squirt some in the nooks and crannies under the rubber bands as well.

    The squirt bottle cuts down on the mess, but it’s still fabric dye for heavens sake. Cover everything in plastic or newspaper and make your kids put on old clothes.

    No seriously, see how little dye comes out at once? It’s like a parents dream.

  3. Place dyed shirt in a plastic bag and seal 6-8 hours or overnight.
  4. To wash: fill your washer full of the hottest water allowed for your shirt and add 1-2 cups of vinegar. This will help set the dye. Wash your shirt. Dry without fabric softeners.
  5. Pull up some jack-o-lantern face examples online, show them to your kids so they have an idea what to draw. Let them practice on a sheet of paper then using a washable crayon have them draw the face on the shirt.
  6. Let them trace the crayon with fabric paint. Allow paint to dry according to package directions. NOTE: Place a piece of newspaper or cardboard inside the shirt, to keep the fabric paint from bleeding through to the back of the shirt.
  7. Awe your friends.

This is Grace giving her ‘spooky face’