Well, I'd planned on letting the kids draw and paint their own skirts for a while but hadn't got around to it. Seeing that awesome explosion of colour gave me the push to sort it out for them. I know I wanted one for myself, but that'd be a lot of material to paint and I'm sure they would be much more excited about making one they could wear themselves.
Another post some of you old timers around here might remember is way back when we made the dollar store dish towel skirts? Those are still being worn and loved, so I figured we might as well make use of the plain white cotton "flour sack" tea towels/dish towels they are selling at the Dollar Tree at the moment.
I washed one to get any factory chemicals out and get any shrinkage that was going to happen over with, then cut it in half and sewed the two parts together into a long strip.
Then I taped it to the kitchen table with duct tape (If your table is nice and untrashed then you might want to protect it with something first). I left the bottom hemmed part untaped, so they could get the colouring and painting all the way to what was going to be the bottom hem of the skirt. The dollar tree has also got sets of coloured permanent markers (non sharpie brand) in their back to school supplies, so I got a couple of packets of those for the kids to start drawing with.
They drew a few flowers and coloured them in with the sharpies and while they were doing that I got out some of my acrylic craft paint and watered it down. A good couple of years back we did some glue batik using watered down acrylic paint as the dye, here's that post. Of course you could totally do the glue batik for this project too, but I wanted something that they could do in one sitting, rather than having to wait for glue to dry and then come back to it. I gave them five colours of watered down acrylic paint in cups with brushes to have at the cloth with.
They got very creative with it! I have to warn you though that if you get this watered down acrylic paint on anything that you don't want it on, then wash it off right away because the stuff will not wash out when it's dried (that's the point of using it as cloth dye) My two managed to spill FIVE pots of the stuff! Seriously! Five pots!
Anyway, cack-handedness aside, they did a fabulous job and covered the whole thing. Here it is hung up at the kitchen window to dry.
I let it dry very thoroughly before giving it a bloody hot ironing, to set the pen and paint as much as I could. Then laundered it and sewed up a hem all along the top. The colours stayed a lot more saturated than I thought they would, which was a pleasant surprise. I threaded elastic in the waist just like I did with the original tea towel skirts and it was all done.
Here's my four year old modelling it. She's the most girly of the two. My older daughter is likely to request tea towel shorts rather than a skirt.
Here's one of her rocking out, because you can see the gathered waist quite well.
We'll be doing this again, and I'll probably be doing a few all on my own too, because it looked like a lot of fun! I'd love to make one covered in giant green leaves with watery looking sun flowers all over it! I also fancy one where only the bottom half is painted like a border, because the paint is watered down enough that it would bleed upward in a really cool way, but leave the very top white.
I really like the way the watered down acrylics work, because you get more control than just painting with dye and you don't get that gross stiff fabric feeling that most fabric paints give you. I was wondering how well the colours would set from painting on concentrated kool aid rather than the acrylic paint too. You could easily do other clothing like tshirts if you want to go for the full on Haight Ashbury look.
Sorry, no ladybug roadkill yet ;) I was going to start on it last night and then realised that if I took photos for you in progress they would be all dark and dingy at night time and also I am not OK with making my daughter a replica of the Pillow Pet version because it's a ladybug with only four legs! Pulling legs off insects is not cool people!