Teens tie-dye tote bags at Tahlequah library | Arts-entertainment

Teens and their families made messy memories at the Tahlequah Public Library on Thursday during the Tie-Dye Crafts event.

This event was part of the library’s 2022 Teen Summer Reading Program. Halfway through the hour-long session, Youth Services Coordinator Michelle Newton estimated that about 20 people had come in to craft and learn new dyeing techniques.

“They’re tie-dyeing bags and learning different ways of folding,” Newton said. “The accordion fold, the spiral fold and the crumble fold.”

Delayed gratification is a feature of tie-dye experience.

“The fun is you don’t get to see [your bag] until 24 hours later. Sometime they are amazing and sometimes they don’t turn out quite like you expected,” said Newton.

Many teens attended with their families. Elizabeth Burba helped her son Caleb fold his bag.

“We’re having fun,” said Burba. “I think we’re doing a fan fold. Not sure what it’s called; we’re not experts.”

Some children also participated in the program. Kaydence Willige º a youngster who had “sneaked in” to the teen event, as Newton joked – got messy with her craft project.

“I’m just putting all the colors on top of each other,” said Kaydence.

Kaydence showed off her colorful, bare hands.

“I don’t like gloves,” said Kaydence. “I want to dye my hands, too.”

As the crafters worked, Newton flitted around, offering assistance and words of encouragement.

“You’re never sure what you’ll have at the end,” said Newton.

The freshly-dyed bags need to sit for 24 hours before they can be put in the washing machine and completed. To inspire the adolescents, a finished sample was displayed at the front of the room – a tote bag Library Volunteer Joanna Martinez tie-dyed last week with an “attempted” spiral, as she put it.

Abi Sweet and Madison Retherford sat together at the end of the worktable to craft their bags. Abi said she was just going with the flow.

“I have no idea [what technique this is]Abi said.

Madison applied the crumble technique to her bag, pinching sections of cloth with rubber bands to create a dappled dye effect. She said coming to the event was a spur-of-the-moment idea.

“I wasn’t going to come, but Abi invited me last night and it worked out,” said Madison.

Abi had planned to come.

“I like crafts,” Abi said.

Newton spoke to an upcoming event for the Teen Summer Reading Program.

“There is one more teen program: Laughing Matters,” said Newton. “They are a juggling group so [the teens] will probably learn some juggling.”

Newton explained that Laughing Matters will hold a children’s event on Monday, June 27, and a special teen program next Thursday, June 30.


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