How to Make a Tie-Dyed Christmas Shirt

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Tie-dyeing is a popular craft.
Tie-dyeing is a popular craft. (Image: Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Create a fun, festive T-shirt by hosting a Christmas dyeing project for the family and friends. Tie-dyeing red and green shirts gets everyone in the Christmas spirit. Best of all, this project is a fun activity for both parents and kids. Tie-dyeing has been around for centuries, developed in both ancient China and ancient Japan. Native tribes throughout the Americas dyed fabrics using plant matter. In the 1960s and 1970s, it became a staple for hippies everywhere. Now, tie-dyeing is a wonderful weekend craft project that everyone will surely enjoy.

Things You'll Need

  • White T-shirts, 100 percent cotton
  • Rubber bands
  • 2 4-quart buckets
  • Red fabric dye
  • Green fabric dye
  • 2 cups salt
  • Sealable plastic bag
  • Latex or plastic gloves
  • Water
  • Washing machine

Locate a point on the T-shirt that will be the center of the finished tie-dye design. It can be any point on the shirt. Pinch this point, twist the T-shirt, and place a rubber band 1 inch below this point.

Continue to twist the shirt, and fasten a rubber band on the shirt every 1 to 3 inches. The pattern does not need to be symmetrical. Keep twisting and tying the shirt until the entire shirt is in one long piece.

Prepare a dye bath for each color according to the instructions included with the dye. Dissolve 1 cup of salt into each dye bath. Pour each bath into a separate 4-quart bucket.

Dye the shirt by dipping one-half into the red dye and the other half into the green dye. Wear gloves or hold onto the rubber band to dye the center to avoid dyeing your skin.

Wring out the dyed T-shirt, and place it in a plastic bag. Seal the bag. Allow the T-shirt to set in the bag overnight.

Put on gloves, and rinse out T-shirt in the sink. While rinsing the T-shirt, alternate between using warm water for two minutes, followed by two minutes of cool water. Rinse until water runs clear. Remove rubber bands while rinsing out the T-shirt. Wash it alone in the washing machine using cold water.

Allow the T-shirt to hang dry. Once the T-shirt is dry, it is ready to be worn.

Tips & Warnings

  • After you wear the shirt, it is a good idea to wash it alone one more time. This helps ensure the dye is completely rinsed out and will not ruin any other clothes.
  • Fabric dye is permanent. Use caution, and avoid splashing it on clothing and skin.

References

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