Craft Wars: The Tie Dye Challenge

In Shift’s biweekly Craft Wars feature, two master crafters take each other on in DIY challenges. The game kicks off today with the great spring Tie Dye face-off between Sugarlaws blogger Katy and I Spy DIY blogger Jenni.

Shorts by Sugarlaws and a skirt by I Spy DIY.

It’s spring! Which means it’s time to tie dye. It’s not only a fun and easy activity, the look is also on trend. (Really.) So we asked two of our favorite crafting bloggers to face off in a tie dye challenge for the sake of arbitrary competition and to learn how to do it at home. First up, Jenni from I Spy DIY.

Her steps are as follows:

1. Start with a white skirt and one bottle of RIT (or comparable brand) dye.

2. Fold the entire skirt back and forth accordion style.

3. Wrap your rubber bands around the skirt, spaced 1.5 inches apart. Make sure they are tight, so the dye can’t seep in. (This is the tie in tie dye, so: important!)

4. After wrapping the rubber bands around your skirt, it’s time to dye! So grab your handy bucket, fill it with warm water, and add the dye according to the manufacturer’s directions. Stir until dissolved.

5. Submerge the skirt in the dye for 5 minutes. (You might want to wear latex gloves to avoid turning your hands into eggplants.)

6. Remove the skirt, ring out the excess dye, and cut off the rubber bands.

7. Let the dye set overnight then wash out excess dye in cold water. Allow the skirt to dry. (Unless you want a purple ass, in which case you can ignore this step. Your call!)

And voila! Styling suggestion: cream shirt and blazer.

Next up, Katy from Sugarlaws explains how to make nifty dip-dyed shorts.

Her steps are as follows:

1. Start with a pair of white shorts (like this glamorous $13 pair from T.J. Maxx), a bucket, and 1 bottle of RIT (or comparable brand) dye.

2. Dissolve 2 tbsp of the dye in 1 gallon hot water. Feel free to make the water hot easily by microwaving it for three minutes like your favorite Lean Cuisine. Then dip the shorts about halfway into the water, and hold them there for about ten seconds.

4. Dump out the water, and add about half the bottle of dye to an additional 1 gallon of hot water. Dip the shorts into the darker water roughly one-third of the way up the shorts, and hold them there for about 30 seconds. As you can see here, plastic clothes hangers make excellent tongs for this.

5. Gently wring out the shorts and hang them up again.

6. Add the remaining 1/2 bottle of dye to the water. Dip just the bottoms of the shorts in the water, and stir the water to distribute evenly. Hold the shorts there for about 5-7 minutes.

7. Dump out the dyed water. Rinse the shorts under cold running water until the water runs clean, and then hang them up to dry. In a few hours, you’ll have your own unique pair of ombre shorts!

Styling suggestion: heels and a long-sleeve top.

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