A very inexpensive art idea which does not take long, but has really pleasing results!
- wet wipes
- elastic bands (preferably 4 for each child)
- felt tip pens (the washable kind are best, as this can get messy!)
I have done this activity twice now, and both times it produced very successful results.
Tie and Die is a traditional method of staining cloth. It is still done today in eastern countries, where cloth will be dipped into huge pots of dye in order to colour them for scarves etc.
What you do:
- Initially, you need to take a wet wipe and find the centre point. pinch it and pull the rest of the wipe together – holding with only your thumb and index finger.
- Next, take an elastic band and tightly wrap it around the tip of the wipe, exposing only 4-5 mm of the top. Repeat this tying of the rubber band, again, 4-5 mm under the previous band. once you have done 2/3 bands, use the felt tips to colour in the exposed wipe. sometimes you may have gaps of wipe showing through the wrapped rubber band. Colour this in too.
- When colouring, it is best to dab the felt tip as the wipe is moist and will naturally bleed the colour.
- When all of the exposed wipe above the last band is coloured, carefully snip off the elastic bands and unravel the wipe to reveal a beautiful tie and die pattern. The wet wipe will cause the colour to bleed through, and the elastic will stop the ink from passing through the next section – creating a type of explosion!
- I usually give the children two bands and one wipe to begin with. When they become more comfortable, it is a good idea to get them to unwind the bands, as opposed to snipping them off with a pair of scissors. This will save elastic bands!
- Children will experiment with their own ideas, some folding the wipes sideways or from corners… some children will even create lots of tiny tie and dye patterns on one wipe.
I find it works well when children use colours which blend together well. The ink will bleed together and create wonderful effects (they will need to dry overnight). Once I had done this activity, children used glue and decorative beads to enhance their work. Some children even went further to make them into fabric bookmarks, surrounded by a thick card border. The results were fabulous!