For one reason or another, tie-dye recently went from a tried-and-true summer camp activity to a TikTok-worthy trend. The multi-colored design, inspired by the psychedelic styles of the 1960s, is now becoming, for lack of better words, cool again. Even if you typically steer clear of craft projects due to your questionable artistic skills, you can still successfully tie-dye because the abstract designs are pretty forgiving. Our rule of thumb: When in doubt, just add more dye. The step-by-step guide on how to tie-dye works for just about anything: socks, sweatshirts, shorts, t-shirts, scrunchies, pants, shoes, pillowcases, towels, you name it. It’s also extremely easy to tailor your design — spiral, crumple, diagonal and even a rainbow!
White or light colored garments (natural fibers like cotton work best)
Rubber Gloves or Metal Kitchen Tongs (for handling dyed garments)
Rubber Bands or Kitchen Twine
Plastic Table Cloth
Plastic Food Storage Bags (various sizes)
Fabric Dye or Food Coloring
Plastic Squeeze Bottles
We bought and used this kit which included most of what we needed for this project:
00:13 In a large bowl or container, combine a 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a 1/2 cup of water.
00:19 place your garment in the container with the vinegar and water mixture.
00:22 Allow the garment to soak for 30 minutes. This step helps increase the dye’s staying power.
00:27 While the garment soaks prepare your dyes in their squeeze bottles. If using a kit follow the directions provided. To create your own dye combine 8 drops of food coloring and water in a squeeze bottle.
For a Spiral Design
00:36 Wring out the garment and lay it flat on a clean surface. The garment should be damp.
00:40 Taking a wooden dowel or spoon handle, place it where you want the center of your spiral to be.
00:42 Turn the dowel clockwise to twist the fabric into a spiral pattern.
00:47 Remove the dowel and continue to twist the fabric around creating a flat disc of fabric.
00:53 Secure with rubber bands or twine, creating about 8 segments.
For a Diagonal Design
01:08 Wring out the garment and lay it flat on a clean surface. The garment should be damp.
01:12 Turn the garment slightly and begin to accordion fold from one end to the other.
01:18 Secure with rubber bands or twine.
For a Rainbow Arc Design
01:28 Wring out the garment and lay it flat on a clean surface. The garment should be damp.
01:34 Using a washable marker or marking pencil and a piece of string, outline the area you want your arc to appear with two lines marking the top and bottom of your rainbow.
01:38 Accordion fold along each line. As you fold match the drawn line so it makes a straight line once folded.
01:48 Secure with rubber bands or twine making sections for each color of your rainbow.
For a Crumple Design
02:03 Wring out the garment and lay it flat on a clean surface. The garment should be damp.
02:06 Crumple the fabric in towards the center to form a round flat disc of crumpled fabric.
02:14 Secure with rubber bands or twine.
02:23 Once your garment is folded and secured with the desired pattern begin dying with the prepared squeeze bottles of dye. Wearing gloves for this part is recommended.
03:04 Fully dye one side, then flip over and repeat the dying on the other side.
03:33 Once completed dying place garments into their own sealable plastic bags to allow them to rest for at least 8 hours before unfurling. Allowing them to sit with the dye for 24-36 hours will give you the best results.
03:34 While wearing gloves remove the garment from it’s sealed plastic bag and rinse the garment with water to remove any excess dye. Rinse until dye no longer bleeds out from the garment.
03:51 Carefully remove rubber bands or twine with scissors and unfurl your garment to reveal your tie dye design.
04:28 Wash each garment separately or in groups of similar colors on a regular cycle with detergent, then tumble dry before wearing.
If you want to try tie dying at home we recommend using this kit which includes squeeze bottles, various dyes, rubber bands, plastic gloves and a plastic table covering.
Thank you , good advice.
I will try thank you😊
I tried this. Followed the instructions exactly. The dye did not take. Rinsed out and I ended up with a light pink shirt.
One of best ideas ! Will try it soon .👍👍
This is very helpful! Thank you!
First comment 😂