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How to Make Tie-dye to Die For

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Making tie-dye shirts is a fun craft to make with kids! Partake in this activity to celebrate the end of summer or to create a fun way for a classroom to bond at the beginning of the school year. School field trip t-shirts, anyone?

Dharma Trading Company shared very helpful instructions on how to make a quality tie-dye shirt, as well as specific products to use. You can create tie-dye to die for in just eight steps!

Step 1: Place a dampened t-shirt (NOT soaking-wet) flat on a smoothed plastic drop cloth.

Step 2: Pick a spot toward the center of the shirt and then pinch some fabric to place between your fingers.

Image via Dharma Trading Company

Step 3: Begin a spiral twirl by twisting your fingers and wrapping the fabric around your pinch. Continue twisting until it is in a cinnamon roll-like shape.


Step 4: Slide the rubber bands under and over your cinnamon roll-shaped shirt.

Image via Dharma Trading Company

Step 5: Dissolve eight ounces of Soda Ash Dye Fixer per gallon of warm water. Soak for five-15 minutes until saturated. Reuse the solution until it’s gone. Squeeze until garment is just damp, NOT dripping.

Step 6: Using a dust mask and gloves, combine water with all chemicals except dye then add liquid to dye gradually. Apply the dye to your shirt using squeeze bottles, paintbrushes, sponges, etc.

Image via Dharma Trading Company

Step 7: Put fabric (still tied) in a plastic bag (the idea is to keep it wet and chemically active) and let sit for at least four hours. 24 hours is recommended.

Step 8: Remove from bag and while still tied, rinse off the excess dye under cold running water (faucet, hose or shower), then rinse in warmer water while you untie and after garments are untied, until water runs fairly clear. Have your washing machine pre-filled with hot water with Synthrapol and throw in the clothing as soon as it is rinsed, running it through a full cycle.

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