Monday, July 11, 2011

Make it by Monday Challenge

  I love a good challenge, don't you?  It gets you out of your comfort zone, gives a push in a certain direction and holds you to completing something.  Well, Jill at Made it on Monday agrees with me.  She competed in both So You Think You're Crafty and Crafting with the Stars and she missed the weekly challenge format that the contests provided so she's set up a non-competitive version on her site called Make it by Monday (nice play on words, Jill!)
make it by monday

  Our first challenge was "Outdoor Games and Activities."  It's so broad I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with it.  At first I thought of something for the beach (since we're going next week!!!!!!!) and then I thought of something to do right now like an obstacle course or something.  Chris suggested weeding the flower beds and getting the kids to help, but I didn't think that was quite what Jill was going for...

  After some thought I kept going back to tie-dyeing something, I don't know why.  But the thought of tie-dyeing with a 7-yr-old and a 5-yr-old on my back porch made me cringe a little.  Then I remembered an idea I'd saved from Family Fun magazine when Emma was little.  I found it online to make sure I was remembering it right.

  And then, if you can believe it...neither kid had a plain white tee shirt that I could find to get a trip to Walmart later and here we go:

You'll need:
  a tee-shirt for each child (preferably white or light colored)
  cardboard to put in each shirt so the dye doesn't run through
  1 cup flour
  a 4-cup measuring cup
  a squeeze bottle
  Fabric spray paint (I used Tulip Brand)
  a sunny afternoon

1.  Prewash your shirts so there'll be no funny shrinkage issues later.  When dry, put the cardboard inside the shirt to make sure your design stays on just the front!  Our cardboard didn't quite fill in all the space and neither the flour mixture or paint made it to the back, so this step is optional, but I would recommend it just in case.
2.  Mix together your flour and just enough water to make a thick liquid (FF said it should look like mustard...) and then pour it into your squeeze bottle.
3.  Squeeze your design onto the front of your shirt.  FF used a sunburst idea, but my kids went with a peace sign and a monster truck.  (I have to admit that the part of me that is a control-freak that usually stays hidden came out and I drew on the design as the kids told me what they wanted.)

4.  Leave the shirt in the sun to dry for a couple of hours.  So,  there was absolutely no sun when we did this because of the tropical wave that has been hanging over us, so we did this part indoors and I used the blow-dryer...

5.  When the flour paste mixture has dried and hardened on the shirt, begin spraying on the color.  We did this one kid at a time, one color at a time, and laid down LOTS of newspaper first.  (I will also admit that we did this before the flour paste was all the way dry and in retrospect, that was the best choice!!)

7.  Leave the shirt to dry again.  This time we left them on the back porch so the heat would dry them but I got impatient and used the blow-dryer again.  I mean, really...who has 4 hours to wait when there's a blog post to be written???

 8.  When the paint is fully dry, pick the flour mixture off to show off the white underneath.  This was harder than you might think where the flour had fully hardened.  The softer parts were doughy and messy, but much easier to peel off.  And yes, Chris and I did most of the peeling.  It was a family affair!

9.  Launder as your fabric paint recommends and wear with pride!!  And we obviously haven't laundered yet, but I let them wear them for the picture.  The paint actually says to let it set for 72 hours before laundering.  

  So these shirts aren't the most fashionable thing around, but the kids thought this was SOOOO fun.  Since I bought a set of 6 shirts, I told them we could make more at the beach next week using the sun to dry them instead of Momma's hair dryer.  Oren's already decided his will have a shark on it...

  In all, this was a fun and easy project.  The kids had some trouble with the spray bottles, their little hands weren't quite strong enough, but they thought it was great fun.  I think I'd like to make one using a stencil of some kind...I may be using my silhouette to cut something to take to the beach with me too!!  :)

  Thanks for the fun challenge, Jill.  I might not have got around to doing this otherwise and it was really a great time.


  1. That looks like fun! Of course you had to take over and draw the designs...they had to come out right for the blog :) haha!
    When my kids are older we will have to try that! I remember the tie-dyed t-shirts we used to make using rubber bands and some kind of dye in a bucket. Have you seen the bleached out shirts that people make now on a colored t-shirt over stencils? That looks pretty neat too. Have fun at the beach :)

  2. How fun!!! Your husband's idea of weeding made both me and my husband laugh! I'm so glad you joined in with Make it by Monday and I'm going to totally do this project when my son gets older.

  3. I love your tutorial. I think we will be trying it before school starts.

  4. Fun project! I love making silly t-shirts for my boys and they always love it!


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