Library event teaches new way to tie dye

HOLIDAY — Tie-dying shirts is a fun craft for children to create something of their own that they can actually wear. But there is an easier and more creative way to do this popular craft.

On a recent Saturday, the Centennial Park Branch Library held a tie-dye event for elementary school children. Instead of creating the colorful shirt by tying up sections and applying different color dyes, Cindy Benson taught the kids a fun, new way to tie dye.

The process was pretty simple. First, the children took markers and drew anything they wanted on the shirt. After they finished drawing their designs and patterns, they used eye-droppers and cotton balls to put rubbing alcohol directly on top of the ink. The rubbing alcohol causes the ink to bleed and blend together.

After she explained the craft, Benson was honest with the participants and said: “It’s either going to be the coolest thing you’ve ever seen, or the ugliest.”

The children were eager to start. As soon as Benson finished the instructions, they quickly crowded around a table that was covered in stamps and ink. Stamp designs ranged from letters and words to animal shapes.

Benson has worked at the Centennial Park Branch Library for 12 years, and she loves teaching and entertaining the kids.

“It’s one of the best parts of my job,” Benson said. “It gives them something creative to do. When you look around the room, you see nothing but smiles. You see their imagination at work.”

Even though the program is aimed toward elementary-age children, their parents had no problem helping out. Some even made their own tie-dyed creations, like the Ramirez family. Natalia Ramirez and her parents, Ana and Juan Ramirez, each made their own shirt.

One of the participants, Elisabeth Gaffney, 10, stumbled upon the program by accident.

“I originally came for a school project and then we saw the sign for this,” Elisabeth said.

The Centennial Park Branch Library offers many programs for children, including “Lego Creations” at 2 p.m. on Sept. 14. The library is located at 5740 Moog Road in Holiday. For more information about programs and events, call (727) 834-3204.

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