In case you didn’t know, tie-dye is a fashion must-have these days! And if kids want to get in on the trend by crafting their own tie-dye masterpieces, the Just My Style Tie-Dye Design Studio from Horizon Group USA is a great place to start.
Designed for kids ages 6 and up, this kit comes with a majority of the materials that kids need to complete tie-dye projects, including seven bottles of dye (Just add water!), rubber bands, five pairs of disposable gloves, and a tie-dye maker to help make the process less messy.
This tie-dye maker (a plastic container with holes on the top and bottom to squirt the dye through and handles to easily flip it over, which sits on a tray to catch extra dye) is designed to make the process less messy and is definitely the most distinctive feature of this set. However, there are a decent number of materials that are not included with this set that kids will want to have on hand, such as trash bags or newspaper to lay down over the workspace, paper towels, a resealable bag, and — most notably — fabric to tie-dye. This is definitely the most important thing to know before buying the kit: You’ll also need to get your hands on some white T-shirts, scrunchies, socks, bandanas, etc., for kids to decorate. Fortunately, these items are readily available at most major retailers and craft stores!
Overall, the process of using this kit isn’t incredibly difficult, but it involves a decent number of steps and patience. This is an activity that will absolutely benefit from, if not require, adult assistance. The directions that come with this kit are very detailed, complete with explanations on how to create different types of tie-dye designs and helpful “Tie-Dye Tips.” However, the result is a fairly wordy instructions page that may feel daunting for kids who are reluctant readers. The good news is that an adult can help them through the process, which is very hands-on and fun.
Setup includes washing the garment, then soaking it in cold water, and mixing the dye colors — Kids will love shaking the dye bottles to mix them! Then, it’s time to pick which type of pattern kids want to create: rainbow swirl, trendy twists, stylish sunbursts, cool crumples, trendy triangle shibori, dreamy double spiral, or beautiful bullseye. There is a handy photo lineup on the instructions to help kids visualize what each of these patterns will look like. Using the instructions (and possibly an adult’s help), kids will learn how to fold, twist, and/or spin their fabric and secure it with rubber bands to get their desired pattern.
Then, kids put their fabric in the tie-dye maker and follow the instructions for how to apply the dye for their chosen design. Once kids have finished applying dye, it’s time to follow the “Lock in Your Colors” instructions for finishing the garment. This includes letting the dye set, then rinsing the garment in the sink. This is another portion of the activity that will benefit from adult assistance, to avoid getting the dye in unwanted places.
The kit comes with enough dye (and enough gloves) for up to 18 projects, so kids can use this kit multiple times as they become a tie-dye pro, or they can have a full day of back-to-back tie-dying fun! Just be sure to rinse out the tie-dye maker between projects to avoid unwanted colors getting on a new item! Also, be sure that kids only mix the dyes that they want to use that day. While the dye bottles do have caps, the vibrancy of the dye starts to fade after about 45 minutes, so you don’t want to mix a color too early.
No matter how you approach it, tie-dying is a big activity to take on, but this kit makes the process a lot easier! The tie-dye maker cuts down on the mess, while having instructions for so many types of tie-dye in one place will save you from scouring the internet for the clearest how-tos. And the payoff is totally worth it because kids will end up with a piece of clothing or an accessory that they designed themselves!