Tricolour tie-dye

With Homecoming soon approaching, now is the perfect time to get back into the Queen's spirit by making your own pair of tricolour shorts. It's a great way to add our school’s colours to any wardrobe and avoid spending big bucks on a pair of Queen’s shorts that you plan to drag though the chaos and mayhem that is HoCo.

Step 1: Find a pair of shorts that are very light in colour and that are, preferably, made with cotton. Other tie-dye acceptable fabrics include linen, rayon and hemp. You can definitely experiment with other types of fabrics, but if you do I can’t guarantee how well the dye will show.

Step 2: Go to any local craft store and pick up a tie-dye set. Most stores usually offer a surprising variety of options from individual satchels of dye powder to premixed dyes in spray bottles. The dyes that I decided on for this project were included in a simple “Imagine8 Tie-Dye Kit” from Michaels. It was a great choice because it included rubber bands, plastic gloves and premeasured dye bottles for a very low cost.

Step 3: Set up your crafting station. Since I’m a dangerously clumsy human being, I like to take extra precaution when there’s a possibility that I could coat my house and body with unwanted tricolour. I laid out a bundle of old towels and put layers of plastic wrap beneath them just to ensure that if any colour saturated through the towels, it wouldn’t stain my table. Then, after I donned my apron and rubber gloves, it was time to do or “dye.” (Sorry, the pun options are endless).

Step 4: Carefully mix warm water with the bottles of red, blue and yellow dyes. Make sure to add just the right amount of water. You want to add enough water to be able to completely dye the shorts, but not too much water or else you run the risk of having very light colours that won’t show on the fabric after washing.

Step 5: Set the bottles of dye aside and prepare the shorts. This entails measuring three even parts of the shorts so that you have an equal amount of colour on each section. I used the belt loops on the front of my shorts as measurement markers. After you have your sections, roll up the shorts and wrap rubber bands tightly around the two section markers.

Step 6: Now it’s time to put the dye on each section. For the first section, take one of the colours and slowly pour the dye making sure to completely saturate the fabric. Repeat this step with the other sections. The order of dyeing each section doesn’t matter, but please, for the love of Boo Hoo, stay true to the Queen’s flag and put the yellow section in the middle. When dyeing the fabric, you also want to be sure not to put too much dye near the adjacent section or else the colours will be muddied. In case you need to do colour touch-ups after you unroll your shorts, it’s a wise decision to leave a small amount of dye in each bottle.

Step 7: After the shorts are completely saturated with the different dyes in each section, take some plastic wrap and wrap them up. In order for the dye to fully stain the fabric, it has to sit tightly sealed in the plastic for at least six hours.

Step 8: When the six-hour time limit is up, cut the rubber bands off of your shorts and unroll them. If there are spots of missing dye, apply the leftover dye and wait for at least another three hours. If no more dye is needed, you may proceed to hand wash the excess dye out with cold water. Let the excess dye run out, dry the shorts and then hand wash them again, but this time with warm water.

Step 9: After they have dried for the second time they are ready to be worn! Study in them, party in them — these shorts are ready for any Queen’s U event! Do not add these shorts to the warm water wash with other clothes or you’ll be getting a lot more school spirit than you bargained for.

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