101 Ways to keep your mind occupied when your boyfriend ends his own life — Part 1

Okay so I can’t actually think of 101 things but it sounds a little better than ‘5’ which is all I could come up with. But, in all seriousness I have never been so productive in my day to day until the catastrophic day my soul mate left the earth, where is the logic in that?! 
It’s worth mentioning that I have bi-polar so, in true maniac fashion I tend to start projects and have wicked, wacky schemes that never really ammount to much, well sometimes they do, for instance, buying a £1000 dog, enrolling on a part time online degree, moving house, moving house some more and having a baby. All fun things.

But in the last few months I found myself starting little projects, some of which I tried to make money from, win win!

1. Tie Dye

One of the shirts I hand dyed and sold

I found myself lumbered with all these baby clothes, white vests, baby grows and what not, and why I didn’t get the idea to upcycle them before she wore them I do not know, hindsight. But anyway, white is boring plus it is crazy in practical and always ends up covered in poo, vomit, urine and weaning stains anyway so what better way to disguise the crap than tie dye the little fuckers?!

My first port-a-call was to get a tie dying kit, now this is not as easy as it sounds, there are a LOT on the market, some are really really cheap and I’ve tried a fair few, store bought ones from places like The Works and Wilko are often marketed at kids and although they’re super easy to use they don’t work very well, leaving you with dull colours that bleed into your white spaces, particularly blue. But, it’s fun to do and if you don’t want to spend a lot of cash it’s a fun home project to do with the kids.

I also tried a dylon packet tub dye which gave really bright colours and very little run off but the colours didn’t bleed into each other well so it wouldn’t be ideal for some designs. The one that finally stuck however, was the ‘Tulip’ dye kit which gave a really lovely result, it was simple to use, just add water and apply but the kits aren’t that cost effective if you plan on selling. My advice would be to buy a rainbow kit and refill packets of the colours once you’ve used them up, that way you can make up dye as and when you need it without waste.

This is the kit I bought first as there’s a good variety of colours to make cool designs with!

So once I finished up-cycling and experimenting with old white clothes I began ordering t-shirts from amazon in bulk, kids sizes, they work out around £1 each so when you factor in the cost of the dye depending on how good your design works out you can sell items from upwards of £5 pretty easily, people love it.

It is messy and time consuming and part of the reason I cut back on doing it is because people would request an item but not be happy with the result once it was dyed, unless you are shit hot at tie dying it’s a bit of a lottery, I’m a really scruffy person, my attention to detail SUCKS so my designs were never perfect but I used a few helpers along the way.

The first tutorial I stumbled upon was this one which is quite literally fool proof, with clear instructions and step by step pictures. I figured it made more sense just to share links for those that are interested in doing it because knowing me I’d probably massively over complicating things.

I stumbled upon a number of questionable videos in my quest for the ultimate reverse arc designs (Note: I haven’t been all that adventurous and technical with my dyes, like I said, sloppy) but this is by far my favourite, Mr Tie Dye has a channel on youtube FILLED with tutorials on tie dye and if that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.

So- check him out if you’re interested.

This isn’t one of those blogs that tells you how I made a massive success and now run my own tie dye business from home earning hundreds of quid a week selling t-shirts, if only. Tie dye for me was the first thing after Ben that made me feel good, other than cigarettes and alcohol of course.

Putting on an audiobook in the kitchen late at night while the kids are in bed asleep and just soaking the shirts, tieing them, adding the different colours is so therapeutic, I never realised how stress relieving it could be which is why I am only keeping it as a hobby because doing it for money takes away the enjoyment somewhat. Then there’s the reveals, I’m telling you I was like a kid at christmas on reveal day after twenty four hours sitting in my airing cupboard, rinsing off your designs and unfolding them to see the result is just fantastic and it’s so satisfying when you improve every time, particularly if you are planning on selling your items.

In terms of selling the finished garments, some sold better than others, people love the swirl designs, anything with rainbow colours, pink is popular too. I sold a few baby items very cheaply on ebay to start with but then went down the route of facebook selling pages, ones focused at children and baby items mainly and friends and family (they make great gifts too).

Tie dye can be a bit of a mine field in the UK, there’s a huge dye company called ‘Dharma’ don’t bother googling it if you want to dye you’ll only torture yourself. Their dye is legendary amongst american tie-dyers however you need to take out a mortgage for the extortionate shipping if you want to order from the UK, you’d need to sell the shirts at £20 a piece to make your money back! But I would whole-heartedly recommend tie dying as, not just a hobby but a therapy too, it’s something anyone can do, you don’t need to be artistic or creative, just have a box dye kit and some old clothes and off you go!