Making a Flames of Love Tie Dye T-Shirt
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.
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April 14, 2018
Our economy in South Africa has been hit by a rough patch. We have been downgraded by the rating agencies, which has significantly raised the cost of living. I love clothes that are unique, but most clothing items have just become too expensive. Here is a great way to add a modern touch to a cheap white T-shirt, without breaking the bank in the process.
Total Time: weekend project if drying time is included
Yield: one T-shirt
- white T-shirt ~ I used one with long sleeves, as we are now in our fall season
- packet of red T-shirt dye
- packet of yellow T-shirt dye
- roll of 1mm wide cotton twine
- two rubber bands
- pair of rubber gloves
- 25 toy glass marbles
- three glass pebbles
- standard scissors
- stainless steel pot
- iron and ironing board
- Wash the shirt and rinse it thoroughly in cold water to remove any sizing agent from the material. Note: Do not add fabric softener when rinsing the shirt. Allow the shirt to dry before proceeding to the next step.
- Prepare the shirt for the tie dying:
A: At the right shoulder area, put a marble between the front and back of the shirt. Wrap the front of the shirt around the marble and tie around the fabric with 1mm twine to keep the marble in place.
B: Repeat with eleven more marbles, tying them to random places all over the front of the shirt.
C: For the last 13 marbles, wrap the back of the shirt around each marble and tie around the fabric with 1mm twine to keep the marbles in place.
D: Do the same with the three glass pebbles, i.e. wrap the front or back of the shirt around the pebble and tie with string.
E: Crumple the shirt and tie it with 1mm twine to keep it in position. Now you are ready to color the shirt!
- Dissolve the yellow dye powder in a liter of boiling water. Once the powder has dissolved, add more water to the pot. The pot should have enough water to completely cover the shirt. Bring the colored water to a boil. Wet the shirt in cold water, and then add it to the pot with the boiling dye solution. Keep boiling the pot on the stove for 15-20 minutes. Stir the pot regularly to make sure that the shirt gets dyed on all sides.
- Note: Wear rubber gloves when following this step. Take the shirt out of the pot and rinse it in your sink with cold water to remove any excess dye. Keep rinsing until the water is clean and then gently cut off the twine added when the shirt was crumpled. DO NOT remove the rest of the twine, i.e. those around the marbles and glass pebbles.
- Fold the shirt into a rectangle and use the two rubber bands to secure the folds. Then tie it with twine again, the same as you did when the shirt was crumpled in step 2e.
- Repeat step 3, this time using the red dye powder.
- Wear rubber gloves again when following this step. Take the shirt out of the pot and rinse it in your sink with cold water to remove any excess dye. Keep rinsing until the water is clean and then gently cut off all the bands and twine.
- Hang the shirt in a shady area, or toss it into the tumble dryer. Iron it properly and voila!
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