Haico Shakems Tie Dye Pets – Teddy (This kit is a disaster!)

It is probably no surprise to anyone reading my blog that I love teddies, I am just drawn to them. I love creating them, painting them and collecting them, so when I saw this kit in my local Poundland for £6.00 (let’s not get into what I think about things in Poundland being more than £1 because that is a whole other topic!) I had to give it a go.

In my mind this was a fun activity that I could do with my children but they just looked at me like I was crazy and that was before I even opened the packaging so I did it alone! I guess 11 and 15 years old is too old to play with teddy bears but this kit is an 8+ and I definitely meet that criteria.

I have watched enough Nerdecrafter YouTube videos to know that if they show an illustration on the front rather than the actual finished product that is not a good sign, it is a very cute illustration though and it suckered me in. I also missed the label of ‘reusable’ which I guess explains the horrors to come, and the laughable ‘mess free’, I warn you now, if you get this kit it is most definitely NOT mess free!

The instructions are clear enough, the whole thing seems pretty simple and it does in fact come with everything you need to complete the project that you get in the box … sort of!

So this poor bear was doomed from the very start. His eyes and nose are completely out of place. His fur is lovely and soft though. Strangely the feet and hands were already stuffed but you cannot stuff the arms and legs because they are sealed so you have a very floppy teddy bear with a misaligned face to work with. I mist admit I did laugh at the poor guy but I wasn’t expecting much so I continued with the kit regardless.

It says you get three colours but you are essentially getting two because there is only the slightest difference between the yellow and the orange, I wanted to follow the instructions exactly to the letter though so I mixed all three dyes and used them all starting with the lightest and working my way up!

I tied the poor guy with elastic bands, sprayed him through the holes and shook him around like I was truly angry at his creators for dooming him from the start. I only used around half a bottle of each dye so I guess you can reuse the bear if you really did want to but it gives me no indication of how long the dye stays fresh for and how I need to store it. So I now have three half bottles of dye and no use for them. It may have been better to give smaller bottles or had more than one bear in the box so that you could make full use of them. You could of course use all of the dye on one bear but in that case the kit is not reusable and you wouldn’t have much pattern if you fully soak it each time.

Also trying to tie and untie rubber bands with these things on is beyond a joke! The dye flicks about and is far from ‘mess free’, it is also worth noting that the dye runs out of the rim where the two halves of the ball meet and it goes everywhere, you have been warned! (Just not by the manufacturers!)

He got tied up, doused in yellow, untied and retied before being subjected to orange (looks the same as yellow to me) and then untied and retied for the final time to be drenched in the red dye and shook for all he was worth! The poor guy was frazzled, shook up and soaking wet!

OK so the kit doesn’t contain everything you need because I absolutely needed a cup of tea before I untied him for the final time to see what he would look like in all his tie dye glory. Now I have never really done tie dye before and wasn’t hopeful that I would be a natural but I was hoping to get at least a resemblance of a pattern, my hopes were crushed.

Fresh out the ball and he looked like I had accidentally spilt something toxic all over him, poor little guy, he looked better fresh white from the box! Maybe it could be a good fireball pattern or a mascot for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? He certainly did not look like the cute illustration on the box!! Maybe he will look better once he was finished …

As per the instructions, I left him to dry and he looked like this mess of a bear. His fur felt horrible and not at all like the soft teddy fur I had started with. The instructions said to rinse off the excess dye which I thought was a good idea and would make him softer and stop my hands going red every time I touched him. But I forgot how they said he is reusable …

I only used water and almost all of his dye was excess I guess because he lost the vast majority of the dye that was on him and I was left with a very soggy wet looking bear(ish) creature that just looked very sorry for itself, I was very sorry for it and for myself. At this point my hour or so of ‘tie-dying’ was a complete waste of time. I still left him to dry though, I felt too bad for him to leave him in this state.

I stuffed him, this is the front and the back, the back at least has a little more colour. Doesn’t he look just like that cute colourful illustration from the instructions? What a darling little bear. Unsurprisingly neither of the Webblings wanted to adopt this poor unfortunate soul and the teddy bear artist couldn’t leave him in this state. The finished stuffed bear is with everything that came in the kit, I used my own bits and bobs lying around the place to give him a little makeover but he decided he had had enough of being a bear …

He wanted to be a Tiger!! I was limited because of the print on the face of the bear but that was mostly hidden with black alcohol ink (which is permanent). He was given some plastic safety eyes and an embroidered little nose. He was finished off with a bow because he deserves to feel fantastic.

I didn’t expect much from this kit honestly, the fact that I couldn’t find any information online before I purchased it both piqued my interest and set alarm bells off but I just couldn’t resist. I didn’t end up with anything like the beautiful illustrated bear on the box and even though the dying was messy fun, the child in me weeped when it all washed off and drained away down the plughole. For £6.00 I really don’t think it was worth it and I now have dyes and a plastic ball to dispose of too. I will try and remember this experience before buying things on impulse in the future.

I ended up with a cute-ish tiger but I cannot recommend this kit to anyone who wants to create a tie-dye teddy unless you want to use the teddy base to create your own character with extra pieces like I have done with the Tiger, that could be a good use for it just not the intended one.

Let me know, would you give this a go?

Thank you for reading,

Samantha Webb.