It's a lot less involved than traditional tie dye, so that's a plus. Just use a Sharpie marker to draw a design on a cotton surface and add rubbing alcohol to bleed it out. The instructions I've seen tell you to lay the drawing over a plastic cup and secure it with a rubber band before you add the rubbing alcohol with a dropper. We didn't have a dropper, so I just used an old syringe we had from a round of antibiotics and it worked fine.
This works great, but the cup also makes a definite edge to the bleeding. We also tried a couple of spots with words.
And agreed that pictures work better.
Really easy, and we had fun discovering the results with different designs. Instead of tshirts, we used cotton bandanas and plan to put a couple in simple frames for Ben to hang in his room. Once we were all done, I heat set the bandanas in the dryer. I also washed one to see how the color would work on a t shirt in case we decide to try that route later on; the marker definitely loses some of the vibrancy that way. Still fun, but very much like tie dying a tshirt with Rit dye.
Ben also drew a giant heart on one of the bandanas, and since that wouldn't fit over any plastic cup we had around the house, we laid that out over waxed paper and added the rubbing alcohol along the lines.
We had a great time and we'll definitely be trying this again. We've already gotten a couple more bandanas in solid colors to give it a whirl without the stark white background--I'm thinking that if we make smaller designs and cut them out with decorative edges, we can use them lots of different ways....little pictures to use in frames or stretch over embroidery hoops, maybe even a way to dress up the lids on jarcakes we send out for gifts.