How to Make Tie Dye Shirts at Home

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Tie-dying is a process in which only some areas of the fabric are exposed to colored dye. It is used to create fluid, mostly abstract designs that became a popular fashion statement among hippies during the '60s. Today, tie-dyed shirts and other pieces are still a fashion staple, and you can make them in your own home. It will add color to your wardrobe and help you channel your inner hippie.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Fabric dye
  • Plain white T-shirt
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Scissors
  • Prepare the area where you will do the dying project. To prevent staining, put newspapers on the floor or on the ground if you are doing the project outside.

  • Fill a bucket with water, consulting the instructions provided with the dye for the amount and temperature of water needed. Mix the amount of dye indicated by the instructions into the water.

  • Twist the T-shirt into a tight coil. Prevent it from unrolling by putting several rubber bands across the coil, leaving about 2 inches of space between each rubber band.

  • Put on gloves and submerge the coiled T-shirt in the dye for the amount of time indicated by the instructions. Average dying time is approximately 15 minutes.

  • Remove the T-shirt from the bucket and rinse with cold water. Leave the shirt to dry on the newspaper for several hours.

  • Snip off the rubber bands with scissors and unwrap your tie-dyed T-shirt.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you have mastered the tie-dying technique, use it on your linens and other big items to decorate your home.
  • Dyes are essentially harsh chemicals, therefore always wear gloves when handling dye and avoid touching your face and eyes until you are done working.

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  • Photo Credit iStock
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