Tie-dyeing can be a great team-building activity for your company, team, or organization. It’s also a really low cost way of printing shirts because you can choose a white shirt with a simple black design for the best effect but still get something original and colorful.
To do this activity, you’ll need custom printed t-shirts and some other supplies. Shirts for this activity should feature a simple design. Since you’ll be dyeing the shirts with bright colors, it might be overwhelming if you choose a colorful or elaborate design for your custom t-shirts. Depending on how you’re using your shirts, you can take orders for your group members or order a bunch of different sizes to sell at a festival or event. Be sure to also get together supplies for tie-dying: different color dyes, squirt bottles, a table and plastic covering, a hose, rubber gloves, rubber bands, and plastic bags.
At your event, set up a tie-dying station on a table covered tightly with a plastic tablecloth. Set out rubber bands, your t-shirts, and different squirt bottles full of all the different colors you chose. Having access to water is ideal but not necessary as long as you plan ahead and have a few buckets of water on hand for cleanup.
To dye shirts, wet them completely and then have participants wrap up their t-shirts with rubber bands to create different exposed areas and designs. Use squirt bottles to add dye to the shirts. Be sure to have participants use the gloves to keep from dyeing their hands. After shirts are dyed, put them in plastic bags with the rubber bands still attached.
Participants will need to take a few steps once they get home and you can print out these handy instructions:
Leave the t-shirt to set in the bag overnight. In the morning, put on rubber gloves and rinse the shirt out, starting with warm water and working towards cold until the water runs completely clear. Remove the rubber bands and be sure to not get dye on the clothes you’re wearing because it is permanent. Wash the shirt by itself in the washing machine with cold water to avoid shrinkage. Run the washing machine a second time with nothing in it to get rid of any excess dye. Hang the shirt up to dry. After wearing it once, wash and dry it separately to be sure the dye is completely rinsed out.
Have participants wear their shirts to the next group meeting or event so everyone can see the creative results.
Tie dyeing shirts is a great way to turn t-shirts into a fun activity and get more people involved! If you try it, send us photos and we’ll share them on our Facebook page.