Easy Tie Dye Instructions

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Tie dying shirts is an easy craft with results you can wear.

Making tie-dyed shirts is a creative activity that people of all ages enjoy. You get to show off your imagination and customize your clothing. Some tie-dyed designs might look complex, but the process of creating them is quite simple. You can use one technique or a combination of several in your designs.



To create a tie-dyed T-shirt, use a shirt made of 100 percent cotton. Wash and dry the shirt before you begin your project. Not only will this ensure a clean garment, it will also allow the shirt to shrink to size.


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You will need to purchase fabric dye, which is available at craft stores and many general retailers. Prepare the dye according to the instructions on the box. If you plan to use two or more colors of dye, you will need to put it in squirt bottles. Other necessary items include rubber bands, rubber gloves (to keep your hands clean), and plastic wrap or a large resealable plastic bag.


Spiral Design

Spread out your shirt on a flat surface. Pinch the middle section of the shirt and begin twisting it until you have a spiral of the desired size. Do not lift the shirt off the table. Bunch the rest of the shirt up around the spiral area you just created, and secure it with two rubber bands.


Circle Design

Lay your T-shirt flat on your work surface, and pinch the area where you want the circle. You can create a large circle in the middle, several small circles at the bottom of the shirt or whatever design you feel will look best. Draw the fabric towards you. Pulling more fabric will create a big circle and pulling less fabric creates a small circle. Secure the circle with a rubber band.


Striped Design

To create horizontal stripes, roll the shirt up from one sleeve to the other. If you want the result to have dyed wrinkles, twist the shirt as you roll. You could also fold it several times. Then take a rubber band and wrap it around the tube you have created. Add as many rubber bands as you want to make the stripes--the more rubber bands, the more stripes. Adjust the rubber bands to the desired placement.


Dye Application

Using the squirt bottles, apply the dye to the shirt. Pay close attention to where you have sectioned the shirt off with rubber bands. You can randomly squirt the dye over the shirt, or try to create a pattern. Make sure the shirt is saturated with dye. Place the shirt in a resealable plastic bag, or wrap it in plastic wrap. Allow it to sit overnight so the dye can set. After at least eight hours, remove the rubber bands. Then, rinse the shirt under cold running water until the water runs clear. Wash and dry the shirt before wearing it.


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