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Lil' Tickle learns to tie-dye her tee !


One of the advantages of having time on your hands, (unfortunately) due to the quarantine, is to think of ways to get the little one more involved in the Tickle Tickle way of life.

We did so, and had a brilliant idea….

A Tie dye messy play with natural colors was one of the best activities she enjoyed last week.

We kept it simple and age appropriate, while using ingredients commonly found in our kitchen. 
We used a mix of Vegetables, Herbs and Grains.

You can choose more complex substances and advanced techniques depending on your child’s age and interest.

We will pop some more ideas below just in case you want to give it a go…..

A few notes/precautions before you get the young ones involved;

  • Choose a pure cotton or pure linen garment as color tends to best absorb in cotton and linen, using synthetic or polyester mixed fabrics does not hold the color.

  • The water temperature should be boiling hot, so make sure they stay away and are extra cautious.

  • Use tongs and gloves while immersing the t-shirt in very hot water as a precaution.

  • Set the right expectations: Prepare the little ones that this is a fun home activity and the desired outcome won’t be as seen in pictures since we don’t have iron or copper mordants to bind the colors well with fabric or the industrial expertise 😊

All knotted up, favorite old tee!

We chose our Lil’ Tickle’s old white t-shirt that was well used and needed a little upgrade.

She wanted a dreamy lavender tee, we however used a few other colors just to have some of our favorite old tees colored as well.

Prepare your t-shirt to create unique designs before dyeing it, we twisted our t-shirt as seen in the pic and then used rubber bands to tie our t-shirt at different points to create a creased line effect.

You can use beans and tie knots around the t-shirts to get a polka dot effect.


Color fixation process:

  • Put ½ cup salt for 4 cups of water as a ratio

  • Put your t-shirt in the water and let it boil.

  • Let it then simmer for an hour or so

  • Remove the t-shirt and rinse under cold water

Dyeing process:

  • Chop your plant or herb into small pieces.

  • Put them in a pot and bring to boil (Ratio is 1 cup veggie or herb to 4 cups water)

  • Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the water and let it boil along.

  • Now dip your t-shirt in the water and let it soak. Make sure its fully submerged in water.

  • Let it soak overnight for the color to get rich and darker.

  • In the morning rinse in cold salt water and hang it to dry

Viola!! your new color tee should be ready to wear!

Success !!

In order to minimize water wastage, you can use this water for your plants as it only has natural ingredients

Or to dye other clothing items such as old pillow covers, face cloths or stoles. (Sometimes the second item dyes a lot better in the same color pot)

You can also store this water in a jar and use it again later to color another outfit.

Other ingredients that can be used:

1. Pomegranate plus skin (Pink)

2. Onion Skin (Pink)

3. Indigo (Blue)

4. Marigold flower (Yellow/Orange)

5. Coffee beans (Brown)

6. Activated charcoal (shade of black)

7. You can make your own Iron Mordant or purchase the same to get better results

8. You can use your creativity and get multiple colors on the same tee.

Hope you enjoy this fun indoor activity as much as we did. Our little Tickle loved her new tee and couldn’t wait to wear it !

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