Tie Dye Instructions

How to Tie Dye

Tie Dye Shirt

Create a work of art that you can wear. Tie dye is an easy craft project, whether you use a tie dye kit or do it yourself. It can be done using a new shirt but it is a great way to recycle your old shirts too. Tie dye isn't just limited to shirts either. You can tie dye socks, shorts, towels, tote bags, pajamas and even your underwear. Tie dye is a simple process that involves tying parts of the fabric with rubber bands so that it won't dye and will give it a streaked or mottled look. It can be done using one color of dye or a multitude of colors.

What You Need to Tie Dye

Tie Dye Shirt

There are several types of tie dye kits on the market. These kits include everything you need and make tie dye easy. If you chose to not use a kit and do it yourself instead, here are the items you will need. 

  • Garment - A white cotton shirt or any other cotton, wool or silk garment.
  • Ties, rubber bands or string - You will use these to tie off parts of the garment. 
  • Soda ash (optional) - Pre-soak your garment in soda ash to make your colors brighter and last longer.
  • Dye - Use fiber reactive dye, which can be found at a craft store.
  • Rubber gloves - This will help to prevent the dye from staining your hands.
  • Squirt bottle (if using more than one color of dye) - If using more than one color of dye, you will need a squirt bottle for each additional color. 
  • Plastic bag - You will place your garment in this for about 8 hours while the dye sets.  
Scroll down for tie dye directions.

Tie Dye Kits

Tulip One-Step Large Tie Dye Kit, Rainbow
Notions - In Network
Amazon.com: $29.00
Tie Dye Kit
Amazon.com: $5.99

Tie Dye Instructions

Tie Dye Towel

Tie Dye Instrcutions:

  1. Prepare your workspace. You may want to put down some newspapers or garbage bags. This will help with spills and make for easy clean-up. 
  2. Tie off several areas of your garment with ties or rubber bands. 
  3. Pre-soak your garment in soda ash for one hour then squeeze the garment to remove the excess water (use gloves when working with soda ash).
  4. Prepare the die according to the instructions on the package.
  5. Die your garment, paying extra attention to the tied areas.
  6. Wrap your garment in a plastic bag or in Saran Wrap and let it set for 8 hours.
  7. Rinse in cold water and then in hot water. Rinsing with water helps to dilute the excess dye so the colors won't run together. 
  8. Remove the ties/rubber bands.
  9. Dry in the dryer on medium heat. 

*Wash your garment alone for the first wash.  

Photo:Tie Dye Beach Towel

Tie Dye Pillowcase

Ultimate Quick & Easy Tie-Dye Kit

This deluxe kit includes everything you need to make a tie dye pillowcase and a mini shirt for your favorite stuff animals. This is a non-toxic product and is safe for kids.

Tote Bag Tie Dye Kit

ALEX Toys Do-it-Yourself Wear Tie Dye Fashion Groovy Tote
Amazon.com: $12.79

This tie dye kit includes everything you need to create a groovy tote. It includes instructions, tote, 3 dye colors (just add water), plastic gloves, bands, and fabric stickers for decorating your finished project.  

Things to Tie Dye

Tie Dye Tie

Tie dye is not limited to shirts. Here are a few other things that you can tie dye. 

  • Tote Bags
  • Socks
  • Men's ties
  • Underwear
  • Bras
  • Shorts
  • Infant onsies
  • White canvas sneakers
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Mittens 
  • Towels/beach towels
  • Pants
  • Tissue paper
  • Tablecloth
  • Hair ties
  • Curtains

Soda Ash Dye Fixer

Sorry! We can't find product B0009IJZOU

Tie Dye Scarves

2 Scarves Included!

Everything you need for this tie dye project is right in the box, including 2 cotton scarves, 3 bottles of dye, 13 tie dye tools, 40 decorative beads, rubber gloves and more!

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1103 forum posts
Bonita on said:
I could have used this information about ten years ago when I tried tie-dying with my kids for the one and only time. I didn't know you could mess it up, but somehow I did! haha

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