You can tie dye mostly anything and there really are no rules to follow and most importantly no mistakes to make. Instead of using real dye we chose to use liquid watercolors for this project.
Wrap Gumballs with Natural Twine- Several days before encourage the children to wrap twine around the gumballs. It might be difficult for the younger child; you might want to help them with this part of the project.
Wet Gumballs-There is several ways to do this DIP or SPRAY... I prefer the dip method; submerge balls in water for about a minute or two. Although it can be messy, it’s more effective rather than spraying with a bottle.
Pick up twine and lay it on top of a paper towel just enough to absorb water that has gone into the holes. I would say that a minute should do it.
Set up Liquid Watercolors- Arrange liquid watercolors in a way that the child can easily pick out their color choices. I like using a Lazy Susan because the child can spin it around to find the perfect color needed.
It is best to put a pipette in each paint individual container, as it helps with accidents and spills. I personally like using small glass jars with this kind of paint, one gets to admire the beautiful and vibrant colors better.
Tie Dyeing Balls- If twine is too dry you will not get the tie dye effect!
Encourage the child to squirt different colors of paint all over the gumballs. When the child is happy with the effect, lay out on top of paper towels to dry. It might take a day or two.
This is why tie dye is great. You just can’t make a mistake...
Please do not throw your colorful paper towels away; you could use them for art projects at a later time. They are great for collages!