ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Tie Dye using Sharpies & Rubbing Alcohol

Updated on September 11, 2012
the blue was a different brand and obviously didn't work
the blue was a different brand and obviously didn't work | Source

Tie Dyed T-Shirts

My son came home from church last night and told me that he needs to wear a tie dyed tshirts to club in a few weeks. I thought about it and realized the quickly growing child did not currently own a tie dyed shirt in his size. Today was teacher in-service day and we decided to tackle the project today. I was almost on my way out the door when I remember that a bunch of my teacher friends have been having social hour while sharpie tie dying, I was sad to miss these get together and realized if a bunch of drinking teachers can do it than it must not be that hard and I should be able to figure it out. Although I have to admit that my 5 year is much better at creating designs than I am.

my failed attempt
my failed attempt | Source

Materials Needed

  • Something to tie dye
  • rubbing alcohol
  • sharpies of various colors
  • a straw or eye droppe
  • vinegar to wash and set color

Now I could have gone to the store and bought real tie dye material but I had these all in my house so here we go.

Setting it up

I picked out a t-shirt from the undershirts my kids wear to bed and set it out. I did place a plastic bag in the middle of the shirt so front didn't bleed onto the back of the shirt.

I then took the rubber band and placed it around a prep bowl to give my son a circular are to color. I gave him the sharpies and let him go with the color. Notice I did not give him any brown, black, or pink. Pink simply because he is a boy and his whole shirt would have been pink because he knows I love pink. The colors colors because they would dominate over the whole area.

I didn't have an eye dropper so I use a straw as an eye dropper and he dropped dots of rubbing alcohol onto the design to make it spread.

I gave him two area to work on at a time so one could dry while he worked on the other. Then I moved the bowl and rubber band to a new area for him to start. My designs did not work very well, I thought I was being creative but it need much more coloring, hence my 5 years olds area look a thousand times better than mine.

Set the color

When you are done soak the t-shirt or item in a solution that comprises of 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water. Dry the T-shirt separately in the dryer to completely set the color.


Please get fancy then us. I have a friend who is an art teacher and she makes beautiful shirts that she can actually wear on a daily basis because they are gorgeous. Get creative, get inspiration, and please use this to make something in your wardrobe beautiful.

I did notice that the blue didn't do what it was supposed to - all of the markers I used were either sharpie or bic brand except the blue, it was a TUL fine permanent marker and apparently it didn't work.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Pauline Davenport profile image

      Pauline Davenport 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      As with vocal coach I have always had an inkling to do this, so now with these lovely instructions to hand I guess it's about time I did!! Time to get all those white t-shirts out of their hiding places and get cracking. Thanks kthix10

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Always wanted to try a tie dye. Your informative hub with good step-by-step instructions have me thinking perhaps I can do this. Thanks.

    • kthix10 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from IL

      Thanks! My 5 year old had a blast making it. I actually realized halfway through that I had a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol in it so the last couple he just sprayed the shirt with and worked great.

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      This is a very cool and easy wy to do tie dye that I have never heard of before. And wy less messy. Great instructions. I plan on giving it a try.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)