Create Your Own Designs with Tie Dye!

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Let your kids wear their creativity by making tie dye shirts! It’s fun and easy with pre-made dye bottles. Typically tie dye is thought of during the summer, but you can wear tie dye any time of year. Choose the colors to be fall inspired to make them fit the season.

How To Get Started

First, you’ll need some white clothing items. It can be anything from shirts, to leggings, socks, and more. You’ll want to use a cotton fabric so that the dye can absorb into the natural fibers. Once you have your white fabric, set out a plastic sheet on a table to work. Buy a kit at a local arts and craft store. You’ll want to use one that has soda ash in the dye. Fill the bottles up with water and shake to mix the dye.


Before you start coloring the fabric, you’ll need to decide what kind of design you want to do. There are several classic styles that you can use, or you can create your own.

The Swirl: Lay the shirt flat on the table. Pinch the center of the shirt, and twist in one direction until the entire shirt is swirled around the center. Rubberband the shirt in that position. The tighter you band it, the more white will be present on the final design.

Stripes: Lay your shirt flat on the table, and start at one end of the sleeve. Fold about 1.5 inch of fabric over. Then going the other direction, fold 1.5 inch fabric. Continue folding back and forth like a fan until the entire shirt is folded. It should be long and skinny to create long vertical lines. Band it together keeping the folds in place.

Wet or Dry: If you soak your shirt before you dye it, it will dye faster, and the color will spread differently. The lines will be softer and blend together more. If you dye your shirt dry, then you’ll have crisp white areas, but the dye process could take longer.

Think about what color choice you want to use, and how bold you want the shirt to be. Start using the tie dye by applying one color in an area at a time. Take your time with it and use gloves. Sometimes it can take a little while for the fabric to start to absorb the dye. Don’t squirt a large amount of dye out at once. You want the colors to meet right next to each other. You want to avoid applying dye on top of dye because the color will end up looking muddy.

How To Wash and Care For Your Tie Dye

Before you wear your new creation, first you need to rinse it. To keep the colors bright, you can soak the shirt in white vinegar for a few minutes before washing. Wash the shirt on a rinse cycle alone and without soap. Let it dry, and you can start wearing and washing it like the rest of your clothes.

Your kids will love their new look. Soon everyone in the house will catch the tie dye fever, and nothing white in the house will be safe. It’s a great weekend project that everyone can enjoy.

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