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No green clothes? No problem! You can DIY your very own dyed, green Leprechaun costumes for St. Patrick’s Day! RIT Dye is a fun and easy fix for this, and many costume woes.
Now, I normally do all my dyeing in the washing machine. However, the boys’ shirts I was dyeing were 55% cotton, 45% polyester. Synthetic materials don’t “take” dye as well, so I thought the added heat and constant stirring required for stove-top dyeing would produce more vibrant and permanent color.
- Clothing/fabric to dye. Wettened thoroughly
- Pot for dyeing (do not use for cooking)
- Rit dye
- Tongs (do not use for cooking)
- Large plastic container (do not use for food storage, afterward)
I mixed one cup into the water and heated it to nearly boiling.
Then, I poured the entire bottle of green dye into the pot.
Now, what exactly was I dyeing? Well, I had two dress shirts that I wanted to turn into vests for the boys to wear. I also had a darling, white top for Annika. They just needed to be green! Here’s Oliver’s shirt:
Here’s Elliott’s shirt. I was really lucky to find two shirt with the same fiber content! This would help them to turn out in an identical shade of green.
And here is Annika’s shirt. It was so sweet that I almost didn’t want to dye it!
However, once the water looked hot enough and the dye was mixed in, I gave these three garments a serious soaking in water before adding them to the dye pot!
The stove top dyeing directions advise you to constantly stir the fabric for 45 – 60 minutes. This is to ensure an even dye job, since the material likes to float to the surface. This hour-long interval gave the kids plenty of time to notice that I was doing something weird in the kitchen. I told them I was making “Leprechaun Soup”. Afterward, I realized that it looked like I was actually cooking Leprechauns, clothes and all. Oops! Poor kids. I hope I didn’t scar them for life!
After an hour, I carefully dumped the super hot dye water onto a bed of pebbles in our backyard. (I didn’t want to stain our white, enamel, kitchen sink!) Then, I used the tongs to pick up the scalding hot clothes and put them in the plastic salad container for transport to the washing machine. I ran them through the rinse and drain cycle to remove excess dye. Then, I washed them in a normal cycle with cold water and vinegar to help set the color. As you can see, they turned out a lovely, vivid green!
Here are the dyed clothes in action! Follow the links, below, to see how I repurposed just about every scrap of the boys’ shirts into their vests and accessories for the girls.