No matter what the party, I usually tell everyone that I am providing x (for this party it was Mai Tais for the grownups) and to please bring a snack/side dish to share. Since this party was also a tye-dye party, I asked for people to kick in to pay for the dye, and I offered to do a group buy for shirts and have people reimburse me. I found an awesome place to get tie dye here. They have group kits, so I used that as a starter and got a few more colors to add to the mix.
We had 19 kids, and everything went totally smoothly. Here are my tips:
- Mix the dye (and with kids this little, we only had the grown ups touch the dye.) and soak the shirts in the soda ash ahead of time.
- I had a table where the kids could do the tying (we used elastic bands) and only showed them 4 easy ways to tie (great tutorial here. I showed the spiral, the bulls eye, the fan and the little circles.). I didn't get all complicated.
- Aaron sat right next the table with the dyes - the kids would direct him which colors and where on the shirt to put it.
- The rest of the night, the kids ran around and just had a blast. We ended up ordering pizza and playing until we got rained out.
- I let the shirts sit for 24 hours and then had a friend help me rinse all the dye out (omg this took forever). Then we used the detergent that they included in the kit, and the shirts were done.
- I delivered them right away so the kids would still be excited about them, and I've been getting the cutest pictures all morning of everyone wearing the shirts!
- Have this party earlier in the summer, so the kids have longer to actually wear the shirts!
- Get more detergent, and send each family home with their own shirts to rinse. That was a bit too much work after also hosting the party.
- I would mix up about 50% less dye in the beginning. I ended up throwing a lot of mixed dye away because it loses it's potency after time.
- And I will buy orange instead of trying to mix it myself. It's my son's favorite color and I didn't really get a true orange myself.