Chanukah Sweatshirt
(Photos by Brooke Leiberman)

A Farmington Hill mom teaches how to make a cool sweater for Chanukah.

Holiday sweaters usually leave me feeling left out as the only one wearing blue instead of the colors most other co-workers and students are wearing for Xmas. I do own a store-bought sweater, but a teacher friend of mine was telling the story of how her aunt made her a hideous sweater complete with golden gelt sewn in. It gave me an inspirational spark. How could I make a cool Chanukah shirt?

I ordered some sweatshirts from Brody’s and went to work with my reverse tie dye. Royal blue worked the best. 

Not Your Ugly Chanukah Sweatshirt
Brooke Leiberman

My kids and I sat and thought of some ideas first. We went with “Maccabi Strong” for the little guy, “Shine Bright” with a Menorah for my oldest, and my middle got different ways to spell Chanukah with a menorah on the back.

We did a prewash of the shirts before starting.

  • Start by putting a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the bleach from going through. Next, you can use chalk to draw on the shirt.
  • Arrange a clean workspace with a plastic cover. Now you are ready to reverse tie dye.
  • I put a small amount of the splash-less bleach in a yogurt cup and dipped my paintbrush to create the design. Less is better, since it can spread easily. Sometimes the reaction happens right away, or it may take a few minutes.
  • If you don’t remember what you covered, wait for it to lighten before you continue and you can always go back and fix up anything you don’t like.
  • If you would like, with a spray bottle, mix a 50/50 bleach and water mixture. You can use this to carefully add some drips and design around the edges. Be very careful, since once you spray, it will be there forever!
  • Once your design is finished, you want to wait for the bleach to remove as much color as it can but leave for no more than one hour. The color it will turn is based on the dye used in the fabric. Some blues will go totally white, but others will have greys and reds, etc.
  • To stop the reaction and reduce any spread of the bleach, wash it fully in cold water under running water. Then transfer it right into the washing machine with an extra rinse cycle. Dry normally and wear to impress.

Brooke Leiberman of Farmington Hills is a mom and wife, educator and artist who enjoys sharing her skills and inspiring others to make art. She runs the Ravitz Art Center at Tamarack Camps and teaches art at Dolsen Elementary in South Lyon.