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How To Make Tie-Dyed Pumpkin T-Shirts

Updated on October 5, 2016
Pumpkin Shirt
Pumpkin Shirt

Fall is here and with it brings many fun things to do; from visiting local pumpkin patches to spending more time together as a family. Enjoying everything pumpkin spice is also very nice. Below is a fun family activity to teach you how to make tie-dye pumpkin t-shirts. These can be made for family trips, in the classroom for students, or just to have to wear during the fall season. These easy to follow steps will show you how to make your own and impress your friends. For those of you who are craft challenged like me, I promise the t-shirts are very easy to make without a lot of complicated steps. All the supplies that you need can be found at your local grocery store or Target.


Before beginning you will need to buy some supplies. You will need a plain white t-shirt or a pack of them depending on how many you are making. The rest of the supplies are orange fabric dye such as Rit. Rit fabric dye can be found at Publix, craft stores, and other large stores such as Target. Then you will need a pack of rubber bands and puffy paint. Common paint colors for pumpkins would be black for the face, brown for the stems, and green for the leaves. If you need a stencil or ideas for a pumpkin face, google images has many ideas! Or be creative and decorate your own.

As you can see, you do not need to spend a lot of money to complete this project. Finding items on sale or even using rubber bands from around the house can save you money as well.

How to bunch the fabric to make circles
How to bunch the fabric to make circles

Step 1

After buying the t-shirts, take them out and wash them if you want. This isn't required but may help get the stiffness and wrinkles out of the shirt before starting. Next, you will bunch different areas of fabric and wrap the rubber bands around it. This will make a circle pattern on the shirt once it is dyed. You can make the bunches as big or as small as you want. For bigger pumpkins, bunch more fabric. Depending on how many pumpkins you want, use more rubber bands around the t-shirt on the front and back. Please refer to the pictures for a visual on this step.

You can usually do around 5 shirts per box of dye to keep the colors bright.
You can usually do around 5 shirts per box of dye to keep the colors bright.

Step 2

Once the rubber bands have been wrapped in the places you choose, now it is time to dye the fabric. Follow the instructions on the inside on the dye box to color the t-shirt. I recommend using a bucket or other container that you don't mind getting dye on. The box contains instructions on how to use your washing machine to dye the fabric but I don't recommend it. It can dye the inside of your washer orange unless you immediately rinse it out with bleach and cleaner. If you do choose to do it this way, make sure the next load of laundry you do is for towels or other items you don't mind getting some dye on. Make sure you use hot water when dying the t-shirts as this makes the colors come out brighter. The dye does stain so use gloves and caution while doing this.

Out to dry!
Out to dry!

Step 3

Once the shirts have been dyed, usually between 10-30 minutes, now it is time to rinse them out with cool water. Carefully take the shirts out of the dye and rinse them with the rubber bands still wrapped around each section. Once the water runs moslty clear, it is hard to get the water completely clear, then you can cut the rubber bands off the shirts. Once all the rubber bands are off then hang the shirts out to dry. You can put them in the dryer but again you run the risk of dying the interior of the dryer orange. This activity may be completed outside to avoid unintentionally dying items. Just wait for a cool, fall day to complete your shirts.

Step 4

Once the t-shirts are dry then the fun part starts. Fill in the circles with a pumpkin face and be as creative as you want. You can add stems, leaves, or make animal pumpkin faces. Make sure you put cardboard in between the shirt layers as the puffy paint dries or it will make the front and the back of the t-shirt stick together. Enjoy!

Class shirts for our field trip to the pumpkin patch!
Class shirts for our field trip to the pumpkin patch!


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    • jenbeach21 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks Mike!

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      6 years ago from London

      Excellent tips and such a great and creative idea for Halloween t-shirts!

    • jenbeach21 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks Sunshine!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Excellent idea for halloween shirts!! I sent it to my Pinterest as a reminder to make these in October. Thanks Jen!!

    • jenbeach21 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks Teaches!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      I love tie-dye clothing. I have seen some around but not many. It seems that you do have to make them yourself if you want a nice, customized T. Thanks for the instructions, I may have to use it some day.

    • jenbeach21 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you Mary!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      What a clever idea! My kids always loved to make dye tied shirts. These shirts turned out so cute.

      I voted this UP, etc.


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