How to Tie Dye Shirts With Kool-Aid

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Things You'll Need

  • Kool-Aid

  • Water

  • Small bowls

  • Spoon

  • Shirt

  • Rubber bands

  • Brown paper bags

Use Kool-Aid to create colorful tie-dyed shirts.

Tie-dyed shirts first became popular in the 1960s and have not gone out of style. Scout troops and 4-H groups often use Kool-Aid as a dye for shirts and other garments. Kool-Aid is non-toxic and safe for children. Kool-Aid is available in a variety of colors, including blue, purple, red, orange and yellow. Bright colors will give the dyed shirt the classic look of tie-dye.


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Step 1

Mix together one package of Kool-Aid with one cup of water in a small bowl. Stir until the Kool-Aid is dissolved.

Step 2

Pinch together or twist sections of the chosen shirt and wrap the section with a rubber band. You can do this with multiple sections of the shirt to create the tie-dyed look.


Step 3

Soak the banded section into the first color choice. Allow the material to soak until the desired color is achieved.

Step 4

Continue the process by soaking the other banded sections of the shirt.


Step 5

Set the freshly dyed shirt on a brown paper bag to drain off any excess liquid.

Step 6

Remove the rubber bands, flatten the shirt and allow to air dry.


Wool, silk or nylon take well to Kool-Aid dye. Other materials will fade more quickly with multiple washings.

The longer you allow the shirt to soak in a color, the more vibrant that section will become.

For pastel colors, simply add additional water to the Kool-Aid until the softer color is achieved.


As with any home-dyed fabric, garments tie-dyed with Kool-Aid should be washed separately from other clothes for the first three or four washings. This keeps the colors from bleeding on other clothes in the washer.