“Sorry kids, but Grandma can’t knit and Grandma can’t crochet.” This is my apology to my future grandchildren. Unless a miracle happens, they won’t be receiving lovely knitted sweaters or soft crocheted blankets from me. Odds are they will receive one-of-a-kind creative gifts from this funky Grandma. They might even get colorful tied-dyed-looking garments decorated with Sharpie Pens. But don’t worry, future grandkiddies, Grandma is practicing her technique!
1. Rubbing alcohol
2. Liquid medicine dropper
3. Small bowl
4. Plastic cups in varying sizes
5. Rubber bands
6. Sharpie Pens
7. Prewashed white cotton t-shirts
8. Old t-shirt to practice technique
9. Paper towels
2. Select the Sharpie Pen colors for your design. Keep in mind that primary colors are red, yellow, and blue and that secondary colors are any two primary colors combined. With that in mind, be careful not to blend too many secondary colors together or else you will end up with a muddy brown mess.
3. Draw a small design on your fabric area. Like watercolors, the ink is going to flow, so you want to keep your design on the smaller side. Your design could end up double its size when finished. I tried to keep my drawings between 1/2-inch to 1-inch in size.
4. Pour rubbing alcohol in a small bowl. Fill the medicine dropper with alcohol and place drops strategically on your design. Think about where you want the colors to flow. For a circular design, like a tie-dye style, start in the center. In the case of the small circles I drew, each received a its own drop.
7. Heat set the colors in your dryer. Wash separately at first to make sure the colors do not run onto other fabrics.
1. I used a small medicine dose cup, when I was working on an infant t-shirt.
2. In some cases where I did not want my design to be round, I did not use a cup under the fabric. I folded a piece of paper towel into quarters and placed that underneath the top layer of the shirt, to prevent colors from running on to the back layer. After smoothing the surface of the shirt, I drew my design on the front and then dropped alcohol on it.
3. This art form is fun, but unpredictable. I experimented with color combinations and practiced my technique on an old t-shirt before creating a design on the “good” t-shirt.
4. After my designs were dried, I went back with the Sharpie Pens and added embellishment and definition where needed – fish fins, bubbles, etc.
5. This would be a fun project to do with children!
Have fun and let the colors and your imagination flow!