I am always interested in new crafting techniques, and when the folks at Design Dye offered me the chance to try out some paper coated with a safe, non-toxic, non-liquid dye that can be used to dye fabric I was instantly intrigued! They sent us their starter kit, and we used it for Mike’s Father’s Day present!
It was super easy to trace the kids hands onto the Design Dye paper and then cut them out, and to draw the letters and heart and cut them out as well. I did luck out with this particular shirt, because I wasn’t thinking about letter orientation. W, E, A, and D are all reversible/flippable, but I almost wound up with reversed letters! Draw letters on the paper (not dye-coated) side of the Design Dye paper to keep this from happening!
The kit comes with some prep spray that you are supposed to put on the fabric and let dry before you make the finished product. We did this with a navy blue shirt, but that didn’t work! I was thinking of the paper as iron-on patches, but it’s dye – so it won’t show up on a dark fabric! So we sprayed a white shirt of Mike’s I found in his drawer at the last minute, then ironed on while the spray was still wet. It worked all right, but I think it (combined with somewhat sloppy ironing) is why the design didn’t come out perfectly on the shirt. We decided to roll with it, because we like imperfect art. And we were supposed to be packing for our camping trip, not crafting… I do recommend spraying the fabric FIRST, letting it dry overnight, and THEN ironing on the paper. I do really like that you can achieve a gradated effect (see the letters for We and Dad) by applying more iron pressure at one end than the other. You want to make sure you are moving the iron back and forth to avoid bottom-of-the-iron dots (see Johnny’s orange handprint). You could make some incredibly elaborate designs using a craft knife, and I love that even a small child can safely cut out shapes from the paper that can then be applied to a shirt or bag!
What would you make with Design Dye?
We received the Design Dye Basic Fabric Kit to review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are my own.