Simple Saturday// Dyed and Painted T-shirt

This post is the beginning of a DIY t-shirt series that I will post over the next few Saturdays. It can be difficult to find reasonably priced, unique t-shirts so I'm going to share some techniques that will hopefully inspire you to make your own!

I have a bunch of rit dye leftover from a tie-dye party from a year or two ago and I've been wanting to play around with it. I decided to do a really simple dye and then use my stencils and fabric paint on the back. I don't know about you, but whenever I use rit dye I tend to get frustrated with how much it fades from its original vibrant color right after dying so I looked up some tips and tricks to, hopefully, maintain a nice color. Here's what I did:
 I took four rubber bands to create lines around the sleeves and two bands in the middle. The great thing about dying fabric is that every piece is unique. This is another really customizable project. My favorite :)

 Next, you'll need a large bucket to hold your dye solution. I heated my water, 4 cups at a time, in the microwave and then dumped it into a larger bucket. In the last batch of water that I heated, I added the powdered dye and mixed it until it dissolved. Then I added it to the rest of the bucket. This promotes a more even blending of color and prevents the powder from sinking to the bottom of the bucket and splotching up your t-shirt. Add a tablespoon of laundry detergent to the dye.
 Now the dye bath is ready. Place your t-shirt in. Submerge it completely in the dye and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then add a cup of salt (I used a 1/2 cup of kosher salt and this worked fine).
 Stir in the salt and move your t-shirt around pretty constantly until it is darker than the color you desire. **After rinsing, your shirt will not be as dark as it looked like it would be so if you want intense color, leave your shirt in for a while. For the blue color I achieved, I left my t-shirt in the dye for about 30 minutes.

 Rinse your t-shirt thoroughly, wringing out all the extra dye, until the water runs clear. Remember, you are working with dye. Rinse someplace it won't matter if the dye leaves a slight residue or splashes. I used the basement sink.
 Unwrap your rubber bands and look at your handiwork! :) Throw your t-shirt in the wash with a little detergent and wash on cold. For the first few times that you wash your shirt you may want to do it separately just in case it bleeds a little color.
 After I dried my t-shirt, I chose a phrase and stenciled it on to the back of my t-shirt using white fabric paint. It's a pretty simple project with endless possibilities. If you make your own I would love to see what you come up with! Happy crafting and stay tuned for next Saturday's t-shirt post! :)
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