Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summer Camp Tie Dye Mickey Tee Shirts!

It's Tee Shirt Time At Summer Camp

Color me happy! Today at Summer Camp, we are making Tie Dye Mickey Head Tee Shirts.  This project took a little planning ahead of time but the results are totally worth it. The best part, even if you are a craftily challenged person as I am, you can still create these fun tee shirts for the entire family. Let’s get started!

Supplies for Mickey Tie-Dye Shirts

Tie-Dye Supplies or Tie Dye Kit (we got ours at Wal-Mart for under $10)
Soda ash (if not part of the tie-dye kit)
100% white cotton shirt
Waxed dental floss
Sewing needle
Rubber bands
Plastic wrap
Ziplock Bags
Plastic tablecloth to protect your crafting area (we did this project outside)

This project can be very messy. Be sure to wear junk clothes and a pair of gloves during the tie-dye process.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making a Mickey Tie-Dye Shirt
1. Pre-wash the 100% cotton white shirt.
2. Soak the shirt for about 20 minutes in soda ash. The soda ash helps to make the tie-dye colors more vivid in the finished product.
3. Draw a Mickey Mouse head silhouette on the paper. I actually used my Cricut machine to make the Mickey head using the Disney Font cartridge.  You can also find Mickey silhouettes online.

4. Trace the Mickey Mouse head onto the shirt using a pencil.

5. Use waxed dental floss to hand sew a running stitch (basting stitch) around the Mickey head. The waxed dental floss helps to keep the dye from leaching past Mickey's head.

6. Pull the dental floss tight so that the Mickey Head puckers upwards. Pull it towards you.
7. Take one rubber band and wrap it around the shirt just under Mickey's head. Be sure a little of the shirt is between the rubber band and the dental floss outline.
8. Grasp the base of the Mickey Mouse head and choose one tie-dye color to apply. Die the Mickey head from the top down until you reach the dental floss. The rubber-banded area will give you a nice white area surrounding the tie-dyed Mickey head.
9. Cover the dyed Mickey head portion of the shirt in plastic wrap to protect it from getting other colors on it.
10. Grasp the Mickey Mouse head and begin to twist the shirt gently in a circular motion.

11. Keep twisting until the shirt is a round shape. Larger shirts will take more twisting while kid's shirts will twist up more quickly. Your twisted shirt should look rounded with multiple pleats.
12. Take the rubber bands and band the shirt across the diameter until it resembles a sliced pizza. Be sure the rubber bands are tight and hold the shirt together completely. You should be able to pick up the banded shirt as one unit without any pieces of the shirt falling out of the round pizza shape.

13. Use the remaining colors in your tie-dye kit to dye the bottom pizza shaped portion of the shirt. You can overlap the colors to make interesting patterns and to produce different shades of color. Just be careful to think about our color wheel-too many colors will leave you with a brown shirt.

14. Place the tie-dyed shirt in a Ziplock bag and let it sit for at least 6 hours. You can let it sit for 24 hours for maximum vividness.
15.  Take out the shirt from the Ziplock bag, remove the rubber bands and rinse until the water is clear.
16. Wash the shirt one time in the washing machine with soap and cold water and dry.
17. Wear your shirt and make every day a Disney day!

Mickey Mouse Tie-Dye Shirt Embellishment Options 
You have unlimited embellishment opportunities. Use your imagination. 
1. Add hot-fix crystals for extra sparkle.
2. Write the person's name under the Mickey head using fabric paint. 
3. Write the event/location/family name on the back using fabric paint. 
4. Use glow-in-the-dark fabric paint for a fun night look.

Thanks to all of you for putting out the challenge to create these shirts! A special thank you to my daughter in law Nicole who was the real brains and talent behind this week’s project. Be sure to send us your pictures of how your shirts turned out and see you next week at Summer Camp.

I "heart" Mickey

Looking for other fun ideas to use with the kids this summer? Check out our other posts from Summer Camp

Summer Camp Easy to Grow Seeds

Summer Camp Homemade Ice Cream

Summer Camp Lowe's Build and Grow and other Free Field Trips

Gayle is a Disney Gal that loves churros for breakfast, still gets giddy with delight at the first sight of the “Disneyland next exit sign”, loves the overwhelming emotions and memories that come with each and every return to the Happiest Place on Earth and dreams of one day being the Captain of the Jungle Boat. To learn more about Gayle, click here


  1. Wow! The shirts look great! We need activities for family week at the cottage soon and I am sharing this idea with my MIL. I think this could work!! Good job Ms. Gayle :-)


  2. Okay I will now have to try this one with the kids~

  3. Suz and Judy, They were definitely fun, messy but fun! And if I can do them, anyone can do them. The ones that didn't quite look like a Mickey, perfect hearts for sure and if you're lucky enough to have a creative helper as I did in Nicki, there's nothing you can do! Homemade playdough and glow in the dark flubber is on board for next week!

  4. I love your article about Clothing & Laundry. It makes me think to buy some new clothes.