How to Make Your Own Captain America Tie-Dye T-Shirts
This is the last post for activities we did at our Avengers Movie Marathon (make sure you check out all the fun!). This was also a project all the party attendees were especially excited about making. The best part, is with all the summer holidays coming soon, this will also make a perfect Patriotic T-shirt, too!
This Captain America tie-dye t-shirt was inspired by this post from iLoveToCreateBlog.com … As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make this at our party. I learned a lot while making these shirts about tie-dying and will share my mistakes and successes with you.
Below you’ll find affiliate links to purchase supplies that might be hard to find – or to show you what to look for.
What You Need:
- T-shirts – one for every participant
- Zip ties and/or rubber bands
- Red dye
- Blue dye
- Soda Ash (found in the craft section right next to the tie-dye coloring kits)
- Freezer paper
- Star stencil (we will show you how to make it below)
- Laundry Detergent – non-harsh type for gentle clothes and with no fabric softener in it (I used the same kind I used for cloth diapering)
- Permanent maker to mark each shirt on the collar with initials of the owner
- White paint that works on clothes
NOTE: I would plan for Step 1 and Step 2 a whole 24 hours ahead of time. I only gave myself 12 hours and would have saved myself some extra work if I had done the prep 24-48 hours ahead of time. This prep takes less than 30 minutes (less than 5 minutes of actual work for you).
Step 1: Prewash all shirts you will be dying in hot water with mild detergent. Do not use any softener and dry in the dryer without a dryer sheet.
Step 2: Soak all the t-shirts in the Soda Ash water concoction for 15-60 minutes and then hang dry (I’m not sure what the Ash Water will do to the dryer). I did not do this. I zip tied all of my shirts and then soaked them in the Ash Water just before dying them. We were unable to get the red to go through all the way and ended up having to redo the red. I think if the shirts were dry all the way, then we would have had more success getting the red to go all the way through without bleeding into the wrong sections.
What is Soda Ash? – It’s supposed to make the colors pop and be a lot brighter. I went for it, since I really wanted a red and not pink.
Step 3: Prepare all your tie-dye colors at least 20 minutes before using. We had the hardest time finding red tie-dye in a single bottle, so we went with the large packet. It is supposed to make a gallon of red dye but it ended up more pink. Through trial and error we learned that if we added a half gallon of water instead of the gallon suggested on the instructions, we got more of a red color.
The center of the shirt was the dye we found that comes in a bottle and then we prepared 2 large packets for a bucket of blue dye to dip the shirts into instead of squirting. I think we could have done the same with the blue dye that we did with the red by making it more concentrated. NOTE: The dyes can last a few days, but the older they get the lighter the color. So prepping them just before use will get you the most vibrant colors.
Step 4: Lay each shirt flat. Grab the middle (make sure you have the back and the front pinched) to make the center of the shield. Secure about 2 inches down with a zip tie or a rubber band. Add 3 more ties about every 2 inches so you create 4 sections (not including the leftovers).
Step 5: Before dying each shirt (if they are not already dry, see step 2 what I wished we did), make sure you squeeze out all extra liquid. Explain to each child how you are going to squirt and what the pattern is.
Step 6: Time to tie-dye! We used cooling racks and a tray to lay our shirts on while we squeezed the dye onto each shirt. It kept the shirts from laying in the extra dye. Dye the center/first section blue, the next red, skip the 3rd section leaving it white and then dye 4th section red. Aim for the middle of each section and let the color spread to the divider. The final section dip into the bucket of blue dye and let it soak. They had to hold it there. The longer they held it the darker it was. NOTE: with the red, you may have to go back and re squirt after 20 minutes to ensure the red gets all the way through.
Step 7: Set each shirt in a plastic bag. Let the dye set for at least 8 hours.
Step 8: Remove the ties and rinse each shirt until the water runs clears. Because I was doing multiple shirts at the same time, I hung them up until I rinsed all of them so any leftover dye would not bleed on a neighboring shirt or surface they were laying on.
Step 10: Create a stencil by tracing a star onto freezer paper and cutting the star out. Since freezer paper is see through, you can trace a star from your computer screen.
Step 12: Paint the star white and once dry remove the freezer paper. Make sure you add a piece of cardboard or an old magazine under the section of the shirt where the star is.
Step 13: Wear and enjoy!!!