Summer Dreams

by Lisa Bates and Sue Lowell Gallion


old clothes
white pillowcase
rubber gloves
plastic 6-ounce squeeze bottles (one for each color)
permanent fabric dye, your choice of colors
rubber bands
plastic grocery bags


1. Before you begin, wash pillowcase with laundry detergent. Do not dry.
2. Lay damp pillowcase flat on the grass and plan your pattern. For a bull's-eye, begin with a 2-inch handful of fabric in the center of pillowcase. Tightly loop a rubber band around fabric. Repeat at 4-inch intervals. Use your imagination to create any pattern with the rubber bands.
3. Put on rubber gloves and follow package directions to mix dye in squeeze bottles. Adjust the water-to-dye ratio depending on your preference for vivid or pastel shades.
4. Squirt dye onto fabric. Open the folds of fabric near the rubber bands and squirt more dye. Do not saturate the item to the point that it drips or the colors will run together.
5. Place pillowcase in a plastic bag and let it sit overnight.
6. Wearing rubber gloves, rinse pillowcase with hose until water runs clear. Remove rubber bands and rinse. Squeeze out excess water.
7. Wash pillowcase alone, without soap, on hottest washing machine setting. Dry it alone. Wash separately one more time. Then item can be safely washed with similar colors.

Note: Try tie-dying other items: T-shirts, beach towels, headscarves and tablecloths.

This article first appeared in the July 2007 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2007 by Lisa Bates and Sue Lowell Gallion. Used by permission. Photo © Ron and Karen Nickel.