Tie Dye Party! Learn to Tie Dye!




About: Hi! My name is Natalie! I have an awesome husband that lets me be a Play-at-home mom of 3! We homeschool and do projects daily! Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more awesomeness!

Would you believe that I have never tie dyed before?
Raise your hand if you have NEVER tie dyed before...I see some hands!

Tulip tie dye is great! It's one step process makes it so easy to use!
Dyes are permanent and color-fast...so they wont fade in the wash!

This was my first go at it...and you know what? I love it and I am completely obsessed.
Just watch out...anything and everything that is white is soon to be tie dyed!

Tie dying is a fun family activity!
Great for all ages too. Some set up in advance, and even the

littlest toddler could make their own shirt!

Step 1: Supplies!

You will need:

White 100% cotton T-shirts

One step Tie Dye (and warm water)

Rubber bands and zip ties

Washable marker

Plastic bag covered table (on the patio was great)

Baking/cooling rack

Disposable gloves

Plastic bags (grocery type bags)

And some eager helpers!

I had enough dye rated for "65 projects". (they are counting small projects like socks or bandanas...)
Because we did large child and large adult shirts it ended up making 40 shirts total.

(hopefully this helps when you are planning ahead for your party!)

I wrapped the table with garbage bags, so the clean up would be easy.

I had a basket of already washed and wet t-shirts.

We used baking racks to keep the dye from pooling under the shirts...

Washable markers were used for tracing out shapes or patterns to follow.

I also had a large supply of latex gloves and plastic grocery bags for wrapping later.

Step 2: Rainbow!

Let's start with a rainbow!
I drew a curved line on the shirt with a washable marker...

Then...wearing gloves, gather the shirt along that line...
so the blue marker line matches up in a straight line.

Then use a zip tie to tie off that blue marker line.
This gathering will make the arch on the shirt...

Now, just add zip ties down the shirt,
keeping the gathering the same as the first time.

Until you have enough for the colors you want!

Place on top of your baking rack.

Use the dye according to directions.
Squirt the colors you want on the shirt.

There will most likely be some bleeding...

I added 2 shades of blue sky!

See how excess dye can just pool up on the plastic table instead
of turning your shirt into a muddy mess?...yes, do this!

Step 3: Plastic Wrapping and Waiting!

Next, take the shirt and wrap it in plastic.
I used plastic wrap...

You need to make sure the shirt isn't overlapping other

colors or they will bleed together still.

I overlapped the blues...no big deal.

Then I put it in a grocery bag.

Wrap it carefully and let it sit for 6-8 hours.

We waited overnight.

Step 4: Rinsing and Washing!

Take it out of the wrapping...and rinse in the sink.
I rinsed a few minutes...then remove the zip ties carefully with scissors.

Then continue to rinse until the water runs clear.

This is the BEST part! You finally get to see how your shirt turned out!

(note: the shirt in the sink is not the rainbow shirt...but you get the idea)

Then throw it in the washing machine and run a regular cycle.

I even used soap!

It will fade out a little...but as long as you use 100% cotton shirts...

You will have a fantastic shirt!

Step 5: More Patterns!

Here's how to do some of the other fun patterns!

(same technique as the rainbow...fold shirt in half, draw half heart, scrunch the line so it all lines up...zip tie and dye!)

Target or bullseye!

(Just grab the shirt where you want the center of the target to be. Then zip tie it and repeat for as many rings as you want!)

(full explanation above)

Pie shaped swirl
(Grab the center of the shirt and twist it in a spiral until it's all wound up.

Add a few rubber bands...color each "pie" section a different color)

Multiple Bullseye!
(Same as the target or bullseye, but smaller and in different spots on the shirt)

Messy Spiral!
(same start as the pie swirl above...but add some of each color in each section)

I have plans for a whole Autumn/Halloween theme of tie dying too!

I'll post instructions for the Jack-o-Lantern, Skull and Eyeball then!

(If you get the concept of the rainbow and the heart, the others are easy enough to figure out!)

Step 6: Enjoy and Vote!

Hope you enjoyed this instructable!

Hopefully it gave you the confidence to crank out a bunch of hippie shirts!

Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more fun!

And don't forget to vote!

Which shirt is your favorite?

**UPDATE** Halloween Tie Dye Shirt Patterns are here!

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52 Discussions


Question 11 months ago on Step 6

Plus do you have for sale how can I get them


2 years ago

I've always wanted to tie dye! Thanks! I like these ones:

Lady Judy

3 years ago

Pls vote me in Egg Contest 2016. THANK YOUU :)


3 years ago

How do you make the eyeball design. I don't see instructions on how to do that one.


3 years ago

For some reason one side of my shirts end up with far more white space than the other. Any tips?


4 years ago

I love the American Flag one! Can you please let me know how you made it? Thanks!


4 years ago

I love the American Flag one! Can you please let me know how you made that one? Thanks!


4 years ago

On your rainbow shirt, how did you get your blue colors? Was there a pattern or do you just randomly apply it? Your shirts look great!


4 years ago

Awesome Instructible Doodlecraft!! Thanks! I can't wait for the Halloween patterns U got my vote for this one :)

2 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Halloween Tie Dye patterns are here:



Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Halloween Tie Dye patterns are here:



Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

The pumpkin is very similar to the heart...I'm working on a tutorial for fall themed tie dyes right now! I'll let you know when it's finished! :)