Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Imaginista™ D.I.Y. Tie Dye

Imaginista™ D.I.Y. Tie Dye

Fall 2013 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: The Orb Factory Ltd.
Price: $19.99

>The Imaginista DIY Tie Dye kit is a craft kit for turning a plain T-shirt, included, into a colorful, beaded shoulder bag and bracelets. The craft project can be managed by children ages 8 and up, with help; older children will be able to work independently. The dyeing process is easier than traditional tie-dyeing; the shirt is soaked in soda ash and dried, then crumpled into a plastic bag and squirted with dye, no tying necessary. The dyed shirt is cute enough to wear (but probably much too large for most children), but it is even more fun to take it a few steps further and turn it into a real craft project.

The shirt is cut, fringed, and knotted: care must be taken not to fringe quite as far along the neck as the diagram shows, or the straps will be a bit weak and the mouth of the bag rather wide; and the knots need to be very secure (again, younger children will need assistance) to avoid gaping holes in the bottom of the bag. The beading process is quick and easy, once you get the knack of threading the beads onto the fringe. The result is something that even a teen would be happy to carry, especially after the reasonable time and effort it takes to make.

The bracelets were less thrilling; the six-way braid is a bit too complicated for younger kids, and an older tester's results looked rather raggedy and yielded a bracelet too small for her to wear. A skilled adult could manage something that looked more like the picture, but that may be disappointing for the young crafter.

The price of the kit is higher than a basic tie-dyeing kit but reasonable given that it includes the soda ash, shirt, beads, and craft instructions, not to mention enough dye for several more projects. This was entertaining and the results were satisfactory; it would make a great gift for any crafty kid.

Emily Crawford   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
The Orb Factory Ltd.

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