Tie-Dying Mischief & Mayhem

So my daughter sends me a YouTube video the other day of this gal doing a tutorial on making tie-dye shorts and tells me that she’d really like to try it.  Well, I could hardly get to the arts and crafts supply store fast enough!  I’m not just a huge fan of tie-dye… I’m a gihugeic fan!  Gigantic + huge.  Yeah… I like to make up my own words.  😉  I love it so much in fact, that I would embarrassingly have to confess that at least 1/4 of my wardrobe consists of some sort of tie-dye or other variation close to it.

Funny thing is though… I have never tie-dyed anything myself before.   I actually find it a bit shocking that with all of the other creative endeavors I’ve explored and with my obvious love for tie-dye, that I’ve never thought to do this before now.  And an even more ginormous shocker to me is that my sis (who is the most “authentic” hippie I know) hasn’t either!  So, thanks to my kiddo (who it just so happens is not especially crazy about tie-dye) for suggesting it!

Here’s more pictures than you’d ever want to see that we took of our tie-dying mischief and mayhem…


On the video tutorial the gal made the shorts using cut off jeans, so my daughter found an old pair of jeans that she never wears and got down to business.

Here she is marking where she’ll cut.~

And then cutting.  Watch your hair there kid… ~

Next they needed to be frayed a bit.  She used a tweezers to pull at the edges.~

Fraying all finished.  Or at least good enough.  It was a bit tedious.~

Her dog Teddy was standing near her during the fraying process and didn’t even notice he was getting frayed upon.  He was too busy being on the look-out and guarding the patio from other dogs in the neighborhood.  Quite fierce looking don’t ya think?   😉~

Here’s the tie-dye kit that we picked up at the craft store along with 3 hobo style white bags, and my daughter’s freshly frayed shorts ready for bleaching.  She also found an old crusty white camisole she thought she could infuse with new life by tie-dying, and a pair of light blue shorts she thought she could bleach and then tie-dye as well.  ~

So now we’re all set to get started!

Right after I set up this fan…Who takes a picture of a fan?  (Apparently me.)  And what does this have to do with anything?  Well, it was way too warm out early in the day, and I absolutely hate being hot.  So being the weirdo that I am… I brought a fan outside.  Yes, and then I took a picture of it.  Funny thing is… it got super windy out as the day went on.  And we’re talking windy like “It’s a twister auntie Em!”  Guess my having a fan outside gave mother nature a little hint.  Maybe bringing a fan outside on a hot day is kinda like doing a rain dance…  😉


Okay, so first things first, it’s time to soak her shorts in the bleach.~

And then wait for them to process.~

“Meanwhile back at the Bat-cave…” 

We started binding up our hobo bags with rubber bands.

My daughter’s conglomeration ~ all loosey goosey with no rhyme or reason whatsoever.  So cute.  🙂~

My sis scrunched hers and bound it up real tight.  Not sure what she was doing using a piece of twine for that one little random part, but she always has danced to the beat of her own drum…~

And finally mine ~ I tried to be organized about it and spun the main part of my bag into a spiral.  I wasn’t so sure what to do with the strap though so I just kind of twisted it up.~

Finally it’s time to add the dye…

Here’s my daughter little miss free spirit just splashing on the colors (and making a mess ;)).~

My sis started by dabbing yellow here and there and then moved onto pink while going around in a circular pattern.~

Being the orderly person that I am, I decided to color mine in sections.  Never mind the fact that tie-dye, in it’s very nature, is not orderly.  At all.  ~

When my sis and I saw this photo my mom took of the two of us we laughed so hard!  For multiple reasons… first of all, our facial expressions ~ they’re nearly identical, lips pursed, furrowed brows, and we look “oh sooo serious.”  Usually, no matter what we’re doing, we are laughing our heads off without a care in the world, but apparently tie-dying is very serious business.  😉   Next, notice each of our left hands ~ again nearly identically posed.  What a couple of freaks!  ~

Here’s our colorful little bundles…

My sis’sAnd mine

Didn’t catch a photo of my daughter’s bag before we wrapped them all in plastic to let them sit overnight.


Here are our finished bags…

My daughter’s~

My sis’s~

And mine

Not too bad for a bunch of noobs!


Here’s my daughter working on her camisole.  I love the pink, purple and blue that she used!~

“Haste makes waste” and my daughter got sick of waiting for her shorts to dry so the first time around, the shorts ended up being a complete fail.  They hadn’t dried enough and there was still so much bleach in them that the colors didn’t take.  Ew the colors were all muddy… ~

So we had to re-bleach them and try again.  “Practice makes perfect” and the second attempt = success!  Beautiful vibrant color!~

It seems that my family never does anything in small quantities and while we were yet in the middle of all this tie-dye mischief and mayhem, we decided that we liked it so much that we wanted to do more.  So back to the store we went to get more dye…

And after watching the rest of us, my mom wanted to give it a try.  Here she is applying some color to her own hobo bag. Yeah, my mom is pretty cool… 75 and doing tie-dye!


Her finished bag~

As for me the second time around ~ I grabbed an old crusty white tank top of mine and pretended I was a sculptor (or something).  Hah take a look at this freaky binding job…and then I added color…Ta-Da!  Look at the fun results…

FrontAnd back…I got confused when I was binding and coloring it and thought that the designs along the bottom there on each side was the front shoulders.  Oh well it’s pretty having it on the backside too  😉


I also tried my hand at tie-dying a pair of socks.  I was bummed that the only ones I could find had gray on the toe and heel because I was worried about what it would look like once colored.  I also noticed as I was coloring them that the way they absorbed the dye was weird.  But look how they turned out!Talk about happy feet!


My daughter colored a pair as well…~

My sis had a different idea for her second project.  She bought some white rayon fabric and made herself a nightgown/dress of sorts.  Here it is all bound up…And this is how she colored itIt reminds me of a dragon.  🙂

And now for the grand finale of our tie-dying adventures…

I don’t know about you, but I think the way this turned out is absolutely amazing!  Everything my sis touches with her unique creativity becomes a beautiful masterpiece!  These pics don’t even do it justice…l absolutely love the colors she ended up with on this sleeve!


I have been stealing my big sis’s clothes since I was a little girl ~ sometimes to my detriment (ie getting the crap beat out of me for it), and even though this new nightgown/dress of hers might not fit me, I still may have to sneak into her apartment one day when she isn’t home and nab it.  Her own fault… she never should have given me a key.  😉  That or make her help me make one of these for myself.  Although she has already said she has no clue how she even did it.  She’s always winging it and ending up being amazing.  When I grow up I want to be just like her.  ♥


So tie-dying was pretty fun!


19 responses to “Tie-Dying Mischief & Mayhem

  1. OMG That was a TIE DYE FACTORY! What fun and every piece is a work of art. Well done all of you … especially your mom! 🙂


    • Thanks so much Teresa! I know we went a little overboard, but that’s just how we do things. 😉 It was fun! My mom is such a trooper joining in, and her bag turned out really pretty! 🙂


  2. Well, now that the lil’ ones have seen those amazing pictures, guess what we get to do next week? LOL Thanks for the great project idea. 😉 Those are some great pictures, and I love the nightgown/dress and those shorts were great. My daughter wants your bag so bad she can’t stand herself. 😀 You have some great talent there, don’t ever doubt that. Amazing stuff with all the ginormous tie die art you really should be proud, from your mom, to your daughter. Great stuff.


    • Oh, are you guys going to try it?! Fun! The grand-babies may be a bit young ~ the box of dye said even up to age 14 it should be done with adult supervision. So be careful of accidentally tie-dying everything in your immediate vicinity. 😉 My poor daughter got annoyed at me a few times because I was hovering around her worried about her staining everything and she’s 20! Haha! She does tend to be messy though so I have good reason. 😉 I wish ya’ll lived closer so we could do it together ~ I absolutely love doing crafts with little ones. ♥ I’m so glad your daughter likes my bag so much! I like the way my sis’s turned out the best. I know… I have a bad case of big sister envy ~ guess that’s something I’ll never grow out of.


  3. What fun! The results are very nice. Almost makes me want to try tie dying again.


  4. Wow, I love the bags especially! Really nice, looks like you had a fun time making them as well 🙂


    • Thank you, I really like them too and would like to make more. We did have a fun time making them ~ and everything else too! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. 🙂


  5. Ha ha, your daughters dog made me laugh, completely oblivious to the frayed jeans on him. It looks like you had loads of fun, I’m loving the bags.


    • He was oblivious. He loves being outside and was so intent on “keeping watch” that he could have cared less what we all were doing. He’s such a cute little thing. I’m glad he made you laugh. 🙂 We did have fun, and thanks, I would like to make more of those bags ~ I can think of a few friends who might like them as gifts. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Chris.


  6. That look like so much fun, Jewels! It’s great to see such a happy and close family too! And the picture of you and your sister, uncanny!
    Looks like everyone had a fab time and created some super fad clothes! I want that dress!


  7. great tie-dying, everything looks great. love that dress.. : )


  8. I love tie-dying! It looks like you guys had so much fun! And everything turned out so nice. My favorite part of this post is seeing your mom getting into it! Also, I’m passing an award your way. 🙂 http://lisarochon.me/2012/06/04/id-like-to-thank-the-academy/


    • I know, my mom is such a trooper. She’s the best! 🙂 Wow thank you for the award! I am honored! I don’t know exactly what this means, but I am honored. 😉


  9. SideCapers Macrame

    What a great family project. Your right the color combos turned out wonderful.


  10. So, I found myself here on a tangent – I’d been looking at how to make tie-dyed cupcakes (another tangent completely unrelated to tie-dying (my life is a series of tangents (and parenthesis apparently))). Having seen the jean photos, I wasn’t exactly sure I would read the entire post since the last time I wore shorts was about 20 years ago (trudging downstairs to the treadmill once a month doesn’t count). But then I read about your outdoor menopause countermeasure – and you had me hooked.

    Waaay back when, sometime in the mid-70s, my mother tried her hand at tie-dye. If I remember correctly (and I usually don’t), by the time she was done she had us all wearing her handiwork – her, me and my two brothers. It was “cool”. By the time my own daughter came along it didn’t seem so cool anymore. But now, your diary makes tie-dying seem like… awesome, you know.

    In a few months we’ll be visiting the latest installment to carry on the family genes – Miss #8. She has a very crafty sister who’ll be spending time with Grandma after school. By the time we head home a week later she’ll be wearing her tie-dye instead of eating it.

    Thanks for the beautiful, delightful and hilarious inspiration! =^o^= (Love the photo of you and your sister.)


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