Solar Eclipse Tie Dye

This summer I was given a challenge by a family friend. She was looking for solar eclipse themed tie dye shirts to wear for the big eclipse event this year. Here’s what I did for her:

Step 1: Draw out your pattern

Before I drew on the shirts, I turned them all inside out. I do this in case my pencil marks don’t wash out. (One time I tie dyed an awesome yin yang, but the pencil marks have never washed out. It still bugs me to this day.)

Then I grabbed the nearest round item to trace a circle on each shirt. This circle served as a guide for the outline of the moon shadow:

Step 2: Tie your shirts

I folded each shirt in half across the center of my drawn circle. Then I gathered the the t-shirt fabric along the pencil line and rubber banded it in place:

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I added two more rubber bands to create a bullseye effect:

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Next I laid the shirt out flat on the table and scrunched the remaining fabric in toward the center design:

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Step 3: Prepare to dye

Next I pulled out this handy tool that I once got for $0.99 at the thrift store:

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I think it’s meant for cooking or grilling or something. I use it exclusively for tie dye. It easily opens up:

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I put my work inside, fold it shut, and then I have a super easy way of holding my shirts in place while I dye. It also makes flipping the shirts over super easy so I can dye the bottom. For this design I put the scrunched part of the shirt inside and pulled the center design bit out to keep it separate:

Step 4: Dye

I dyed the first section black (for the moon shadow). The second section I dyed with sun colors (yellow, red and orange.) The third section I also dyed black. For the scrunched part of the shirts I randomly placed navy, turquoise, purple and a little red. One the bottom I covered the whole shirt with black.

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Step 5: Rinse, wash and add final details

After 24 hours I rinsed all of the shirts under cool, running water. Then I placed them in the washing machine on a cold, hand wash cycle with no detergent. Finally they went in the dryer. After these steps they were ready to wear, but I wanted to add one more detail. I used white puffy paint and a fine paintbrush to add the date of the solar eclipse to each shirt:

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Final Product:

Here are all 7 shirts. It’s interesting how even though I followed the exact same steps for each shirt, they each came out a little different than the others:

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My only regret is that I will not be able to witness the total solar eclipse here in New Hampshire!

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