Making Tie Dye Clothes

January 19, 2015

Tie Dye ShirtsI found some plain white shirts that I didn't wear anymore and decided to turn them into something cute.


Total Time: 24 hours

Yield: 5 to 6 shirts

Source: Jacquard Tie Dye Kit


  • dye, whichever colors you choose.
  • one package of soda ash
  • mixing bottles
  • rubber bands


  1. If you're using a kit, the powdered dye will already be in the mixing bottles, just add water to them and shake.
  2. Fill a large bucket or bowl with water. Pour in the soda ash and stir. Place white shirts in the soda ash mixture and allow to soak for about 20 minutes. (cotton shirts are best).
  3. Wring the shirts out and lay them out on a flat surface. This can get messy, so put something down first, or bring them outside.
  4. Here is the trickiest part, but it will make a super cool spiral design. Make sure the shirt is lying completely flat with the front side up. With your thumb and index finger, pinch the center of the shirt and twist. Keep twisting in the same direction until the shirt is in a fairly neat circle. This takes a little patience (: You'll have to use your free hand to help shape the shirt.
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  6. Next, get your rubber bands. Any rubber bands will work, but they shouldn't be too big. Open a rubber band and place it around the bunched up shirt. This part can be tricky too. Just stretch the rubber band as much as you can and slide it around the shirt. There isn't a set number of rubber bands to use, but you want them to be shaped into triangles, so the shirt should almost look like a mini pizza. I'd say about 5 rubber bands.
  7. Now it's the fun part. Take the dye and squirt it onto the the shirt, letting the rubber bands act as the lines that separate the colors. There isn't really a wrong way to do this, but just make sure that you don't blend too many colors together, because you want to be able to see a neat spiral. Flip the shirt over and do the exact same thing to the back.
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  9. Place the shirt in a plastic bag and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. The longer you wait, the better the dye will stain. After that, take the rubber bands off the shirt and wash it on gentle cycle with no soap. Dry it on regular heat. The dye will fade a a tiny bit. Now you have a brand new shirt (:
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9 Questions

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September 23, 2007

Hey all you crafters out there, can anyone tell me how to tie dye tee shirts? I have two that have stains and want to continue to wear them via tie dye.

Birthaleen from Burbank ca


September 23, 20070 found this helpful

I was going to respond step-by-step, but this is much simpler! This site has everything you'll need to know. Tie-dyeing is simple and fun, but if you have an attachment to these shirts you want to do, practice your designs on some other things first. Rit dye works the best, it is inexpensive and very available. Good luck and have fun!


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September 25, 20070 found this helpful

Good idea, Birthaleen! good luck!

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By ecdream (Guest Post)
November 28, 20070 found this helpful

Just to add - I highly recommend you do not use RIT dye to dye cotton t shirts. RIT is a blend of dyes that targets both natural and synthetic fibers, resulting in fading after washings and less intense colors. For dyeing cotton shirts use a fiber reactive dye (I use Tulip or Rainbow brand dyes found at Joann Fabrics or other major craft retailers. This will ensure you can enjoy your tie dye many washes to come!


Here is the BEST site I have come across. It helped me learn how to tie dye, now I do it for craft shows!

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
November 28, 20070 found this helpful

I know that most "professional" tie dying is done using a dye called Procion. I had really good luck with Dylon, which I got at JoAnn's a few years ago.

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July 25, 2013

I wanna dye my white cotton dress with two colors. But the center of the dress I want to stay white. How do I keep the dye from running towards the center? Thanks.

By Tan

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June 17, 2017

The swirl tie dye pattern may look complicated, but it is in fact very easy to make. This is a page about making a swirl tie dye pattern.

Swirl Tie Dye Pattern

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June 17, 2017

There are several tie dye pattern variations you can try. This is a page about making a bull's eye tie dye pattern.

Bull's Eye Tie Dye Pattern

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May 23, 2014

This is a page about making a Sharpie tie dyed T-shirt. This project is an easier way to create a tie dyed looking t-shirt, that even the kids can help with.

sharpie tie dyed tshirt

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June 22, 2020

Transform an inexpensive t-shirt into a stunning two color tie dye wearable art work. The project on this page provides detailed instructions and photos of the process.

Flames of Love Tie Dye T-Shirt - pretty long sleeve tie dye shirt

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June 17, 2017

When making tie-dyed clothing an important step before you finish the project is to set the dye. This is a page about setting the dye when making tie-dye clothing.

Swirl pattern tie dye shirt.

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June 14, 2017

Once you have dyed the shirt you can use fabric paint or markers, iron ons, or other types of fabric embellishments to personalize your shirt. This is a page about personalizing a tie dyed t-shirt.

Tie Dyed Heart

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Crafts Clothing Tie DyeJuly 28, 2013
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