How to Make Mushroom Tie Dye Shirt Designs

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You can jazz up one of your boring old cotton T-shirts with a colorful mushroom design. Tie-dyeing is an easy and fun way to make one-of-a-kind articles of clothing. When deciding on fabric dyes, remember that you can use warm-water or all-purpose dye to tie-dye the background, but you must use cool-water dye for the mushroom design on top.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton T-shirt
  • Fabric dye in assorted colors
  • Salt or soda ash
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber gloves
  • Marbles
  • Bucket or tub for each color
  • Squirt bottles
  • Pencil or fabric chalk

Tie-Dying the T-Shirt

  • Wash and dry the T-shirt to get rid of any residues from the factory that could keep your dye from adhering to the fabric.

  • Tie your shirt using the rubber bands. A mushroom design looks great in the middle of a tie-dyed sunburst pattern. Create this pattern by making a "pocket" out of the fabric in the middle of your T-shirt. Fill the pocket with one or two marbles, and then twist the fabric of the T-shirt around the pocket. Wrap a rubber band around the marbles.

  • Wrap another rubber band around the twisted T-shirt fabric, a couple of inches away from the rubber band that is enclosing the marbles. Keep adding rubber bands until you have most of the T-shirt fabric tied up.

  • Prepare the dye according to the package instructions, using a separate tub for each dye. Depending on the type of dye you are using, you may need to prepare the fabric by soaking it in hot water or in a soda ash solution.

  • Dip the fabric into the dye. The end of the T-shirt that has the marbles in it will be the middle of your sunburst, so choose a light color here. Contrasting dye colors can look muddy if they are allowed to bleed together. To avoid muddiness, leave a little bit of white space between colors, or use colors that will blend together to produce intermediate colors, like blue and yellow.

  • Leave the dye in the fabric for the length of time specified on the box.

  • Rinse your T-shirt until the water runs clear.

  • Remove the rubber bands and marbles and allow the fabric to dry.

Creating the Mushroom Design

  • Draw the outline of a mushroom onto the front of your T-shirt using a pencil or fabric chalk. If you only want a mushroom design on the front of the shirt, place several layers of good, thick cardboard inside of it. Otherwise, the dye will soak through, and you will have a mushroom design on both sides.

  • Mix the dye for the mushroom design according to the directions on the package. This must be a cool-water dye.

  • Transfer the dye into squirt bottles and carefully drip the dye onto the T-shirt to create a mushroom design.

  • Let the dye sit on the fabric for the length of time indicated on the package.

  • Rinse the shirt according to the directions on the package of dye.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash your mushroom T-shirt in cool water with like colors.
  • Use cool-water dye like Procion MX to drip-dye the mushroom design. If you don't, your design will bleed when you try to wash it.

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