How to Tie Dye a Shirt 3 Ways (Spiral, Stripes & Crumple Patterns)

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Have you always wanted to learn how to tie die a shirt ? It ’ s a fun craft to do on your own or with kids, and it ’ s easier than you might think !

Spiral pattern tie dye shirt with blue, purple, pink, black and white colors.
We did some tie dyeing with Girl Scouts when I was growing up, and it seemed so complicate ! The dependable news is that these days there are one-step necktie dye kits that make it fabulously easy and fun .
I like the Tulip one-step kits because they ’ ra promptly available and include most of the things you need for your tie-dye jersey, but there are tons of options I ’ ll talk about if you keep reading. The best thing about the newer kits is you don ’ t have to pretreat your fabrics with pop ash .
My daughters and I love making different tie-dye projects together. While there are tons of unlike ways to tie-dye t-shirts, I will teach you how to make 3 different patterns : Spiral, Stripes and Crumple. Each of these tie-dye patterns can be made by people of all experience levels .

Supplies and Tools

All you need are a few dim-witted supplies to design your own beautiful tie-dye creations .

  • White T-Shirts
  • Rubber bands
  • Dye solution in various colors
  • Empty dye squeeze bottles
  • Plastic tablecloth
  • Wire rack
  • Gallon size freezer bags 
  • Gloves for each person
  • Plastic wrap
  • Paper towels
  • Sharpie marker

By the Numbers: How to Tie Dye a T-Shirt 3 Ways

Follow these easy gradation by step instructions to learn how to tie dye a shirt 3 unlike ways : Spiral, Stripes and Crumple patterns. I cover formulation, the dying serve and the first wash in this tutorial .

Step 1: Prepare Shirts and Gather Tie Dye Supplies.

The identical first gear thing you want to do is wash the t-shirts you plan to tie dye so they shrink to size. Wash them in a simpleton detergent and nothing else. Do not use framework softener or dry sheets on the shirts or they won ’ metric ton hold the dye .
future, gather all of the supplies you need to dye your shirts. Prepare the colors you want to use by pouring the dye powder into each embrace bottle, then mixing them with water system. It ’ s a effective idea to do all of this farce first before you tell the kids you ’ re fix and make sure that you ’ ra wearing rubberize gloves so you don ’ triiodothyronine stain your hands .
Tie dyeing supplies on covered table.

Step 2: Choose Your Pattern.

once you have your train shirts, it ’ s time to choose the tie dye model you want to start with from these 3 options :
Spiral, Stripes and Crumple pattern tie dye shirts.
For steps 3-5, merely follow the instructions for your selected form .

Step 3: Fold Your Shirt.

now you ’ re quick to fold your shirt in the proper way to achieve your choose traffic pattern .
Spiral Design : You want to pinch the framework in the in-between of the tee ­­and twist it into a spiral practice .
White shirt twisted into spiral shape.
Stripes Design : Fold your jersey lengthways into little pleats across the unharmed shirt .
Two white shirts pleated lengthwise.
Crumple Design : Take your tee and equitable crumple it into a flat shape. This is the easiest blueprint for younger kids with less finger dexterity to do themselves, but you ’ ll need to help them as you ’ ll need to rubber band it justly aside or it ’ ll lose shape .
White t-shirts crumpled and ready to be dyed.

Step 4: Tie T-Shirt with Rubber Bands.

Spiral Design : once you ’ re happy with the spiral shape you ’ ve created, it ’ sulfur clock to use rubber bands to tie it into that form, making pie-shaped sections, so you can work with it .
T-shirts rubber banded into a spiral shape.
Stripes Design : future, take your condom bands and create sections on the shirt .
Two shirts pleated and tied with rubber bands.
Crumple Design : Use the arctic bands to hold your shirt in the crumpled up shape you ’ ve made .

Step 5: Dye T-Shirt.

nowadays you ’ re fix to use the prepared dyes on your shirts. A big way to keep them from absorbing extra dye that ends up on your work surface is to place them on wire racks .
Spiral Design : Using the dye you prepared, color each section you ’ ve marked out with your chosen colors. Make sure it ’ randomness saturated with enough dye that you don ’ t end up with a crowd of white spots, but not so much dye that it bleeds all together. After you ’ ve dyed the first side, flip the shirt over and dye the early side .
Spiral tie dye pattern.
Stripes Design : Take a bottle of your prepared dye and color one section of the shirt. then take the next section and tinge it the adjacent color you ’ d like. Repeat until all of the sections are dyed all the manner around all sides and your color convention is accomplished. Make certain not to saturate the shirt besides much near the elastic bands or you won ’ thyroxine have the white streaks between colors .
Stripes tie-dye design.
Wrap each of the shirts individually in plastic wrap to preserve the denude design .
Two stripes design tie dye shirts wrapped in plastic wrap and put in a plastic bag.
Crumple Design. Choose the colors that you want your shirt to be, and scattering dye across the whole shirt. It should be splotchy with different colors, but saturated enough that you don ’ t end up with spot of white. Make certain to color both sides of the shirt. We found this style to use more dye than the other .
Crumple tie-dye shirt designs.

Step 6: Put Shirts in Plastic Bags.

once you ’ re finished dyeing your tees, position each of them cautiously in a sealable formative bag so the dye will stay wet as the colors permeate the fabric. Each shirt gets its own cup of tea so the colors don ’ thymine shed blood. Allow them to sit in sealed bags for 24 hours. Don ’ t skip this crucial step. The colors will fade if you wash besides soon .
6 tie dyed shirts in sealed plastic bags on the dryer.

Step 7: Rinse Tie-Dye Shirts.

After your shirts have been sitting for 24 hours, it ’ south meter to rinse them out in truth, very well. You want to take each shirt and rinse it under cold water until no more dye runs from it. It will take several minutes for the water to run authorize, so have solitaire. We like to do this in the utility sink in our garage because it can be messy .
Blue dye being rinsed from tie dyed shirt in sink.

Step 8: Wash Shirts.

After you ’ re convinced you ’ ve rinsed as a lot dye out of each shirt as possible, it ’ s time to wash them. You want to wash them on hot water on the largest load setting possible. The heat will help set the dyes even more .
Freshly tie dyed shirts in washing machine.

Step 9: Wear Shirts.

After the shirts are dry, they ’ re cook to wear !
Two spiral patterned tie dye shirts - rainbow and galaxy colors.Spiral pattern tie dye t-shirts.
Striped patterned tie dye shirts.Stripes pattern tie dye t-shirts.
Crumple pattern tie dye shirts.Crumple pattern tie dye t-shirts.

Tips for Tie Dyeing T-Shirts at Home

Answers to all of your questions about making a tie-dye jersey of your very own design .

1. What type of t-shirt works best?

natural fibers like 100 % cotton, rayon and silk t-shirts oeuvre good. synthetic materials don ’ thyroxine typically keep dyes arsenic well .
The reason I recommend white shirts is that the original color of the shirt will show through in the areas where you ’ ve placed rubber eraser bands ( “ tied ” your shirt to “ dye ” ). You can choose another tinge shirt if you ’ d like those areas to be something early than white. The dye won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate appearance arsenic well on dark colors though, so keep that in mind .
You can use pretty much any white tee you ’ d like to dye – Blick Art Materials has great blank tees for draw dye .

2. Can old t-shirts be tie dyed?

Yes, we have tie dyed old white shirts and they ’ ve turned out great. I ’ ve actually found it ’ s a great way to bring new life into white framework that is excessively dirty to be worn anymore .
I had taken to wearing this tee as an singlet because it was getting older. After tie dyeing it, I can wear it again and it looks brand modern .
Chrystal wearing a tie dye tee by the lake.

3. What’s the best tie-dye kit to buy?

You can get a necktie dye kit that has about everything you need at most craft stores. I like the kits with Tulip one-step dyes because you don ’ t have to go through the pop ash footprint. Plus they come with different colors of dye, squirt bottles, elastic bands, gloves and a formative cover for the postpone .
My darling place to ordering my craft supplies online Blick Art Materials. They have a huge excerpt and big prices on all of their Tie Dyeing Supplies. They have pretty much all of the Tulip One Step Tie Dye Kits equally well, tons of unlike sizes and the rearward marry dye kit besides .
They besides have a Jacquard Tie Dye Kit, but I haven ’ triiodothyronine personally worked with that brand. The dyes are procion dyes, which a lot of people love for affiliation dyeing because they work truly well. however, keep in mind they require the use of sodium carbonate ash, which adds supernumerary steps to your project .
While buying a kit out makes it easier, you can besides buy individual dye colors and empty bottles to put together your own kit out .

4. Why don’t you need to pretreat shirts with a soda ash solution?

The fantastic thing about the newer one-step dyes is that you don ’ t need to use a dye fixative ( like a sodium carbonate ash pre-treatment solution ) on your shirts. The dyes are formulated to work without pre-treatment. If you go with a different type of kit out, you will need to add this footstep in .

5. How to set up the work area?

I like to set up our marry dye cultivate are outside. I cover a table ( or anything with a flat surface ) with a formative table fabric to protect it and make cleanup easier. I besides like to have lots of excess paper towels around to soak up extra dye as we go. It ’ s truly easy to get splotches of dye from the table on the clothes, so it ’ randomness significant to be careful as you go .

6. Can you tie dye other items this way?

Yes, if you don ’ thyroxine want to make your own shirt, you can besides use this same process to tie dye just about anything. here are some fun ideas :

7. Tips for tie-dyeing with kids?

The first tip is to make sure your kids wear old clothes so they don ’ thymine unintentionally give their favorite shirt a sprinkle of modern color. If no previous clothes are available, you can barely make certain they have something to wear as protective clothing like an apron or one of your honest-to-god shirts .
It ’ s besides important to make certain kids wear gloves. They ’ ll be tempted to take them off and play with the framework dye, but it ’ south best not to expose our bark to these types of dyes .
last, if you have a group of kids, make sure each credit card bag gets labeled with their names. You don ’ t want to deal with disagreements about who dyed which shirt, therefore keep things straight with labels .

8. Can you use food coloring?

It is possible to make a tie dye undertaking with food color, but they aren ’ t going to be as vibrant or as long last as if you use real fabric dye. It will hold for a sting in natural fabrics like cotton, but it won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate hold at all in celluloid fabrics like polyester .
If you use wool or other animal-based fabrics, the tinge may become permanent. While I personally prefer to use fabric dye, if you want to give tie dyeing with food coloring a try, check out Silver Bobbin ’ s tutorial .

9. Natural dye options?

equally a lot as I normally prefer natural ingredients, I haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate found any commercial tie dye kits that use natural dyes. You can make your own natural dyes for tie dye, but it ’ s a a lot more involve process you can read about on Playful Learning .

10. How to get tie dye off hands?

so you forgot to wear your rubber gloves, or they leaked. It happens to the best of us. If you need some ideas for getting dye off of your hands after you ’ ve already tried scrubbing them with soap and water, try one of these methods :

  • Make a baking soda paste and roll it around on your skin. It should help pull some of the dye out of your skin.
  • Rub with a cotton ball soaked in vinegar, rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
  • Make a solution with laundry detergent and warm water, and soak your hands (use caution with sensitive skin).
  • Rub hands repeatedly hand sanitizer to help lighten up the dye .

11. Does tie dye stain sinks?

It could. We have a utility sink in the garage that we use for all of our crafts and outdoor projects, so I constantly rinse my link dye in there. If you have a flannel porcelain sink, the dye could stain it, but should bleach out .
An option is to get a big credit card tub you can wash your bleached fabrics out in. then you don ’ t have to worry about staining your bury .

12. Tips for the first wash?

The first laundry of a tie dye shirt will be a determining factor how long the colors stopping point. The most important thing to remember is bash not wash right away. While most directions say to wait at least 6 hours, I like to let the shirts sit for a full 24 hours before washing to help ensure bright colors that last .
You want to wash only the bleached shirts in concert with no other laundry in the wash machine the beginning few times. The excess dye will come out of the shirts and stain any other clothes in the lode .
Spiral tie dye t-shirt with galaxy colors: black, purple, pink, blue and white.

How to Tie Dye a Shirt (Printable Tutorial)

Learn three ways to make a DIY tie-dye jersey, including the gyrate, stripes and crumble patterns. Print this step by step scout to make it easy to follow along with this playfulness action .




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  • 1 White jersey – per person
  • 6 Rubber bands – per shirt
  • Dye solution in diverse colors
  • Empty dye bottles


  • 1 gallon size deep-freeze bag per shirt
  • 1 pair of gloves for each person
  • 1 Plastic tablecloth
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Paper towels
  • Wire extort
  • Sharpie marker

Create Mode

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  • Wash your new shirts in a simple laundry detergent without fabric softener or dryer sheets. Gather your clean shirts and supplies and set them up on a work station outdoors.

  • Choose the tie dye pattern for your shirt: Spiral, Stripes or Crumple. Only follow the instructions for your chosen design.

Fold Shirt.

  • Spiral Design: Pinch the fabric in the center of the shirt and twist it into a spiral pattern.

  • Stripes Design: Pleat your entire t-shirt lengthwise.

  • Crumple Design: Crumple the shirt into a flat shape.

Tie Shirt with Rubber Bands.

  • Spiral Design: Make pie-shaped sections with the rubber bands.

  • Stripes Design: Create sections on the shirt with the rubber bands.

  • Crumple Design: Use the rubber bands to hold your shirt in its shape.

Dye Your Tee on a Wire Rack.

  • Spiral Design: Dye each section with a different color, saturating the shirt with a good amount of dye in the folds so there aren’t too many white spots. Color both sides of the shirt.

  • Stripes Design: Color each section of the shirt, one by one, until all sections are dyed around all sides.

  • The best way to keep the dye on the striped shirts from bleeding is to individually wrap each one with plastic wrap.

  • Crumple Design. Sprinkle dye across your tee. Make sure it’s well saturated… we go for a splotchy look. Color both sides of the shirt.

  • Place each tie dyed shirt into its own sealed plastic bag to keep the dye wet while the colors permeate the fabric. For best results, I recommend waiting a full 24 hours before proceeding.

  • While wearing gloves, give the shirts a good wash in running water in the sink to remove excess dye. Rinse until the water runs clear.

  • Wash the gargle shirts in hot water on the largest load setting possible to further set the dye .
  • once they ’ re washed and dried, you can wear your new tie-dye shirt .

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