DIY Tie-Dye Jamboree! Shirts, shoes, and a jillion tiny socks.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been attracted to things that are tie-dyed. I love the fluid shapes and patterns and the vibrant colours. Fortunately for me, tie-dyed clothing is one of the 80s trends I like that came back! (Along with some that make me wince a little, such as crimped hair.)

I have also always wanted a pair of Converse high-tops, ever since Grade 9 when I spent many hours drawing a beat-up black Chuck featured in my culminating still-life in art class. (We got our still-life materials from a closet in the art room that was full of interesting crap.) At age 14, I did not feel I could pull off the necessary coolness/attitude for high-tops. Now that I’m an adult, I know what’s important, which is: I don’t care if I pull them off.

I ended up putting those two ideas together after getting all excited about design-your-own shoes on the Converse website and then having my dreams crushed because Converse.com DOES NOT SHIP TO CANADA and furthermore DOES NOT ACCEPT PAYMENT FROM ANY CANADIAN INSTITUTION INCLUDING PAYPAL ACCOUNTS FROM CANADA. (Not that I’m bitter.)

The solution? Dye my own. (IN YO FACE, Converse.com!)

I went out and procured two “One-Step Tie-Dye” kits by Tulip. I had to get two, because I wanted all the pretty colours, please.

IMG_6176 IMG_6177

If you’ll notice, one kit says it will dye up to 20 projects, and the other up to 30 projects… and the dye apparently starts to lose potency after 45 minutes. Ergo, by my calculations, that meant: dye a whole truckload of stuff!! Or as much stuff as I could reasonably afford.

tie-dye preparation
E was raring to go. What better activity for a balmy Victoria Day weekend?
tulip one-step tie-dye bottles
Dye bottles from the kits form a nice rainbow.
tulip one-step tie-dye bottles 2
Then you fill ’em up and shake ’em. E was good at the shaking part.
dye your own converse
There are my Converse, actually off-white, carefully taped up with painter’s tape because the Interwebs were inconclusive as to the stainability of rubber soles.
dye your own canvas shoes
It was surprisingly hard to find these little canvas shoes for E – I eventually did at Old Navy. The adult ones came from Ardene.
tie-dye toddler socks
I told you – a jillion socks. (If you count them, I think you’ll find it’s exactly one jillion.)

Here are a few things I learned from the DIY Tie-Dye Extravaganza chez Dilovely:

  • Paper towels: YES.
  • Plasticized tablecloth: YES YES YES. (Dye washes right off with water.)
  • Plastic gloves from the kit: nice idea but they SUCK. Rip at the slightest provocation.
  • Reading the whole instruction booklet first: a good idea. It’s full of solid advice.
  • I would add to the advice: if you don’t want to have droplets of the wrong colour in random places, put your fingertip over the tip of the bottle when positioning it.
  • Also, if you want lots of control over what the dye does, use a sponge to apply dye instead of tipping it straight from the bottle.
  • We tried three of the different techniques for shirts described in the instructions: bullseye, spiral, and “scrunching”.
  • They all work! Make sure you use lots of dye to penetrate the folds.
  • If your helper is a small child, make sure he has had a full snack before you start.
  • If your small-child helper is a mini-perfectionist, working with liquid dye might produce tears and/or screaming.
  • If the end result is cool enough, your small-child helper will forget all about the tragic parts of the adventure.
  • The rinsing part takes forever – but you can make it more efficient by squeezing in a top-down direction.
  • As to the staining of rubber soles: tiny spots that got in around the tape washed right off the Converse and the adult shoes, so my precautions were probably unnecessary. The only soles that seemed to stain were the kid shoes. I’m hoping it’ll come off with baking soda and a toothbrush.
  • We kept the bottles, and there’s a refill dye packet for every colour… so I may be ready to try this again in a year or so.
tie-dye kids socks
It’s like a party in your socks and all the colours are invited!!
kids tye-die socks
He’s very invested in his stripes.
tie-dye canvas shoes
RIGHT??
IMG_6175
You have to bag everything for 6-8 hours to let the dye set. We ended up leaving them overnight.
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After the rinsing, our clothesline looked like this…
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… and my hands looked like this.
hand dyed converse
Supa-cute! The middle ones were bottle-dyed, the Converse were sponge-dyed, and E’s little shoes were a combination of both techniques (with only a small calamitous meltdown in the middle).
hand dyed chucks
YEAH baby.
tie dye kids clothes
Tie-dyed children! xoxoxox

Don’t you want to go try it yourself? 🙂

P.S.: If you’re a shoe-lover and a Canuck, I can recommend ShoeMe.ca. My Converse came from there, hassle-free, free shipping and returns on everything – but they ONLY SHIP WITHIN CANADA. Just so you know. The company tells me you can get $50 off $100 with your first order – just for being MY friend!! – by using this link. http://shoemeca.refr.cc/4822RKB

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Advent Awesomeness

Hey everybody,

CHECK THIS OUT.

homemade advent calendar

It’s basically the coolest advent calendar EVER. Auntie Beth has some serious crafty skillz! That polar bear is very soft and fuzzy, as is the snowman’s hat. I would love to say that I made it myself for my beloved firstborn, but no… I think he’d be about sixteen by the time I pulled off something of this magnificence.

{My first instinct, when I saw it, was to blog it that very moment. But I took the weekend off! And it felt weird, but nice.}

She gave it to E on December 1st, as is appropriate, and each morning since then, he has needed to see it and check the new numbered pocket immediately after waking up. He is obsessed with it (especially the number 13 pocket, which is mysteriously bumpy… as more of them will be, as soon as Mama manages to get time to fill things properly). So far, he has a collection of three little temporary tattoos.

I love advent calendars. When we were kids, we each had our own advent calendar. None of your temporary chocolate-based calendars, but beautiful artisanesque ones where finding the numbers was tricky, and inside each window was a beautiful festive picture. My calendar – the best one – was the snowy elves’ village, where the windows to be opened were mostly actual windows and doors in the scene, so when you opened them they revealed what was happening in the elves’ homes.

It was the same every year, but I LOVED IT. It was so, so exciting.

We were fortunate, where we live, to have a light, pretty snowfall on November 30th, so that December first looked fitting as advent-calendar day.

I have a blogger-mama-friend whose holiday-inspired posts last year thrilled me to no end. Here’s one with a beautiful pic of the advent calendar she made for her boys… So great. (Keep browsing for reindeer cookie photos!)

Happy December, Di-hards!

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Auntie Beth Rocks the Craft Table

Wordless Wednesday! Ok, seven words: Have you EVER seen awesomer dancing craft-cats???

"snow-persons"

handmade dancing cat paper dolls!

and stars and evergreens

E in his royal crafty crown

E's "camera smile"

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