DIY Tie-Dye Shirts Tutorial!

how-to-tie-dye   We posted this Tie-Dye Shirts Tutorial last summer – and it’s about that time to bring it back!

Well, we’ve got sun (plenty of it), and most of us probably have some not-so-white tees lying around – which leads us to one of my kids’ favorite activities – Tie Dying T-Shirts!   This was one of my favorite summer camp activities back in girl scouts – a warm reminder of each summer spent at Camp Shanituck….

You don’t need much special equipment for this craft (which is one of my requirements) and the kids will be able to wear their art all summer long.


Tulip 5-Pack Tie Dye Kit (makes 20 shirts)

Here’s what you need:

  • a couple deep buckets/bowls/pots
  • 2 or more colors of fabric dye
  • 100% Cotton white tees
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Rubber Bands/String
  • Salt
  • If you’re going for EASY – you might want to get a Tulip 5-Pack Tie Dye Kit which comes with everything you need.  We used one last summerand it was great!  It came with gloves, rubber bands, squeeze bottles of dye and a book with several ideas and step-by-step guide.

How To Tie-Dye:

  1. Get your dye ready in the separate buckets according to dye directions – add 1 cup salt into the hot water (even if the directions don’t call for it) to make the colors last longer.
  2. Pick a center for your shirt’s design and pull that center up into a point.  Your hand should be making a fist around this fabric peak now.   Smooth the rest of the shirt down until you’re holding what looks like a shirt-snake.  (Yep – a shirt snake.)  Tie string or rubber bands TIGHTLY around this shirt-snake every 2 or 3 inches.
  3. Set your shirt into one bucket of color and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
    - If you have more colors than one, dunk half of your shirt into one color, and the other half into another – letting it sort of straddle both buckets at once.
    - NOTE:
    If you have a few squirty bottles – you can also achieve a “rainbow” effect by squirting different color dyes onto each banded section!
  4. Now, wring out the excess dye and put it in a ziploc bag to set overnight.  (This gets it EXTRA colorful)
  5. The next day, rinse your shirt as you cut off the rubber bands, then wash it ALL ALONE in the washer.
  6. Hang it out to dry in the sun!

This is the most simple technique – but you can also make several fabric peaks here and there and rubberband them to get a more random outcome.

Photo source: Wikipedia Creative Commons


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