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How to tie dye a shirt

Updated on March 24, 2011

An easy and fun activity

Tie dying shirts is a fun activity for kids on a raining, or for young college students looking to make a wardrobe for next semester. I made this instructional hub for all you wannabe hippies out there. Here's what you'll need to start:

  • various colored dyes (you can find them at any craft store
  • t-shirts
  • spray bottle filled with water
  • rubber bands
  • bucket or tub to put the dye in

Step 1: Lay your t-shirt out. Spray it with water on both sides.

Step 2: Grab a spot near the chest and pinch it. Make sure you have both layers of the shirt in your lobster-like pinch. Twist it. Twist it some more. You're trying to create a spiral here.

Step 3: Repeat step 2 in another spot. If you want, you can even do this a third time. Or, you could just do one big spiral. This is tie dye, there are no exact rules on your design.

Step 4: Keeping your spirals in place, carefully bunch in the remainder of the shirt and rubber band the whole thing in place. You want to be very careful not to destroy your spirals.

Step 5: Spray more water on your t-shirt bundle. Dip half the bundle in one of your dyes. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Then take it out and put the other side in another color.

Step 6: Take it out of the dye and let it set for a few minutes. Unwrap it, spray it with more water, then let it dry out. When it's done drying, I advise ironing the shirt to really lock those colors in place and prevent bleeding when it's washed.

I've included an instructional video I've found which shows you exactly how to do this:


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