Tie-dye Tips & Techniques

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Have you always wanted to create a funky, individual tie-dye pattern on your favourite cotton t-shirt or bag? Well, we've got the tips for you! This dye is safe for children to use and creates a bright and vibrant result!

Search terms: tie dye, textiles, fashion, hippy.

Suitable for…

  • 3-5 years
  • 5-12 years
  • 12+ years
Group Size
  • Individual (1 child)
  • Small Group (4 children)
  • Large Group (20 children)

Idea Features
Idea Features

  • Step 1

    Wet the t-shirt and carefully hand strain out any excess liquid. This enables you to get the most out of your dye.

  • Step 2

    Wrap, roll up or tie your t-shirt, in your desired method. There are a few different methods that we tried out, pictured above.

  • Step 3

    Method 1 is to bunch the t-shirt vertically and tie the rubber bands around the middle section of the t-shirt. This would result in a shirt similar to our yellow, orange and red example.

  • Step 4

    Method 2 is to bunch the t-shirt horizontally and tie the rubber bands along the shirt, holding the pattern together. This would result in a shirt similar to our pink, purple and blue example.

  • Step 5

    Method 3 is to pull sections of the t-shirt out into a point and tie the rubber bands along this point. This would result in a shirt similar to our green shirt. The more points you tie, the more circles you can create.

  • Step 6

    Before you begin, put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from dye. Carefully open the bottle lid.

  • Step 7

    Apply the dye to the shirt in the colours or patterns of your choice. Place the shirt into a tub and pour the dye over the shirt.

  • Step 8

    You may also wish to pour the dye into small tubs and dip the shirt into the dye. The number of projects you can complete with a bottle of dye depends on the size of the project and how heavily saturated you intend the project to be.

  • Step 9

    After you have applied the dye, place each shirt into a plastic bag. Let it sit for a few hours in a cool, damp place (such as a refrigerator). This allows the dye to reach its full potential and soak into the shirt. The longer you allow the fabric to sit in the dye, the brighter your results will be.

  • Step 10

    Allow the project to air dry completely before untying the rubber bands.

  • Step 11

    Place the shirt in a dryer for 5-10 minutes on a hot setting. Alternatively, run the iron over the shirt for 5-10 minutes. This enables the colours to fully bind to the fabric.

  • Clever Tip

    When washing it is recommended that the project be washed 3-4 times separately before washing with other laundry.


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