The easiest way to make spectacular tie dye shirts

Every 4th of July that we are home, we buy Old Navy American flag T-shirts for the kids and ourselves.  This year, I wanted to do something a little different and thought wouldn’t it neat if we made red, white and blue tie dye shirts.  So I did a search.  There were a variety of ways to make tie dye shirts.  My criteria was that it be easy enough for a 4 year old to participate and easy enough to do in a home that was not our own to avoid a mess.

Here is the video on how to make double spiral  tie dye shirts that I used.  As compared to some of the other methods, with two dips into the dye, you ended up with a really cool shirt.  I couldn’t see using multiple colors and having to do dye multiple areas with the age gap of our two children (ages 4 & 8)  which equates to a short attention span for our youngest.

We purchased all three of our shirts at Target for 9.99 USD or less.  We did the whole project  outdoors and had little mess.  The gist of the instructions are that you pinch the fabric in two opposites corners and twist 3-4 times to make a spiral.  Then you wrap the remaining t-shirt material into a circular shape so that the whole t-shirt resembles a disc in shape.  You use 3 rubber bands: one on the edge and two to form and “X” across the disc to secure the spirals.  And then you dip 1/2 the disc into dye for the desired time followed by the other half.  Rinse with a hose and walla you have a tie dye t-shirt.


Here are some tips on making tie dye shirts I would follow next time:


* Prep the shirts on an outdoor table and then take the project out into the grass near a hose.  Dry the T-shirts in the sun on the grass.

* The tighter the spiral, the more distinct the pattern

* Leaving a band of white between the two colors used allows for more contrast between the colors = more interesting end result.

*  At the end instead of wrapping the remaining parts around the two spirals, I would spiral the two twists into each other as tight as you can so there is little to wrap = more distinct pattern.

* Make sure you have a container that allows for the entire shirt to be propped up in the container while you wait. Little hands tire and it will make waiting easier.


Do any of you have other tie dying tips?

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!



6 years ago by in Health/Parenting | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
3 Comments to The easiest way to make spectacular tie dye shirts
    • Vanita Cyril
    • this is wonderful! my teens and i were planning to do this for 4th of july but didn’t get around to it. but we still plan to. we also have two air brushing kits so we’re going to try that out too. got to keep those creative juices flowing during the summer! thanks for the tips, i’ve never tried this before and was planning to look online. you read my mind girl!

    • Charlene
    • I haven’t done anything like this since camp when I was a kid, but I’m excited to try this again! It would be fun to make a tote bag for the beach or even a scarf. Love your extra tips too! Awesome post.

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