Our gender neutral tie-dye baby shower and 3 tie-dye styles to try

Guest post by Pisces
Photos by Pisces.

We decided to completely frustrate our friends and families: we decided to wait until our baby is born to find out if we are having a boy or a girl. Several people have had a hard time with this, but as a not very “girly girl” and a boy whose favorite color was pink growing up, we just weren’t that pressed to find out. Not to mention, we were really looking forward to the surprise.

To have a fun baby shower with our friends we decided what could be more fun and gender neutral than tie-dye! We had a great time, our friends created awesome keepsakes for us and we now have baby outfits for every month of the next year.

What you need

  • two tie-dye kits. We used Tulip One-Step Super Big Tie Dye Kit, 12 Colors and found we could have easily used more. I like these kits because they have the squeeze bottles included. You could buy individual colors instead if you have a particular scheme in mind. Go to your local fabric or crafting supply store to find these dyes and kits.
  • Soda Ash — buy next to the dyes in the fabric or craft store or at your local swimming pool supply
  • four plastic bins at least 12in. deep
  • Nitrile gloves (buy 1 pack each in small, medium and large)
  • Hundreds of rubber bands in a variety of thicknesses and sizes. The more the better!
  • 1 pack each of plain white onesies sizes newborn to 18 month (you could also have white old-fashioned cloth diapers or burp cloths). These packs usually contain three to four onesies each.
  • Ziploc bags — one pack of quart sized and one pack of gallon sized bags
  • smocks, aprons or large shirts to wear to protect you and your friends’ clothing.
  • Drop Cloths to protect tables
  • 1 fabric marker
  • 1 large permanent marker

Tips and tricks

  • Prep the items you are going to dye by pre-washing them in warm water to remove sizing.
  • You can soak the onesies in a Soda Ash solution to help them achieve brighter colors or add a Soda Ash solution to your dyes. Read the instructions on your dyes for measurements.
  • Your items can be dry or wet when dyeing them. Wet will let the colors run more and make the colors go farther.
  • For a fun keepsake write your guests’ initials on the inside of the onesie with the fabric marker. Do this before you tie up the items. This way you will always know who made what.
  • You can never use too much dye. Tell your guest to go nuts, because if they think they have used enough they probably haven’t. Saturate that sucker!
  • Place each individual item into a zip-top bag. Label these with your guest’s name with the permanent marker. This is just in case the fabric marker fades.
  • Let the items in the bags overnight to fully saturate them in the dye.
  • Rinse the next day. Use a hose or utility sink. When they are no longer leaching color, machine-wash in hot water. This will lock in the dye and keep them from graying. If you notice any graying wash them a second time.
  • Dry as the garment’s directions state. Put an old towel in the dryer to help agitate all the tiny garments while drying.

Tie-dye styles to try

So the great part about Tie-Dye is you can just let your guests go nuts with tying up the onesies. Have your guests dye over the tubs or in them to contain the drippy mess. Where ever you place a rubber band you will get a white spot. If you want a particular outcome try some of the techniques on the next few pages:

Spiral

  1. Pinch the center of the item between your thumb, index and middle finger.
  2. Twist clockwise.
  3. When it looks like a cinnamon bun wrap the rubber bands around it to keep its shape.

Rosettes

  1. Pinch small sections of fabric and wrap a rubber band at the base. You can do this in a random pattern or make a fun shape.

Stripes

  1. Roll the item into a cylinder shape
  2. Tie rubber bands around cylinder to make stripes along it. The stripe will go throughout the garment.

Disclaimer: Results will vary; that’s the fun part! Enjoy your year of Tie-Dye baby clothes madness!

Comments on Our gender neutral tie-dye baby shower and 3 tie-dye styles to try

  1. I work in a craft store and have a comment on the type of dye you should use. If the project is for babies or small kids, go for a fabric reactant dye. They tend to be less bright, so I am not sure how well they do for tye dye, though. It is important because babies suck on their clothes, and fabric reactant dye bleeds less, so it is safer.

  2. OMG! I don’t have kids yet, but I have always thought this is exactly what I would want for my baby shower. I even told my husband about this a week or two ago. Thanks for the handy guide.

  3. Oh my goodness, this is AWESOME!
    I just got so excited – and I’m not even pregnant! What a fun way to have a shower! And you end up with amazing clothes filled with memories!
    Filing this away in my brain….

  4. Great idea! I love how you got your friends and family involved in creating outfits for your little one. It sounds like a wonderful way to create happy memories and make the outfits extra special. Keeping the outfits gender neutral is a nice bonus too.

  5. How cool! I just had a tie dye rainbow themed baby shower! We probably should have paid better attention to the type of dye we used, but we did onesies and they turned out fabulous! I’m super excited for baby to wear the custom presents from people who will love her so much.

  6. I am so glad you all enjoyed this. We had so much fun making them, and we are just a week away from being able to post photos of our baby in these outfits! We washed each outfit 3 times in hot or warm water. They appear to have retained their size and shape.

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