How to Tie Dye: tips for your party!

We bought our tie dye kit on Amazon and asked everyone to bring their own item to tie dye. The kit came with gloves, aprons, 18 different colors and instructions (including different design ideas).

A few tips that we learned along the way:

  • Wear gloves. Like all the time. Even at the end when you are rinsing out the dye. It stains your fingers.
  • Have each kid bring a small plastic bin, or provide them yourself. They are helpful to avoid dye splashing on the table, on clothes, etc
  • Use cotton items. The color absorbs and remains bright much better than other materials!
  • Make sure your item is wet. Our directions didn’t say anything about this step, but in all of our research and in our personal trial and error, the tie dye is more effective if your clothing item is damp (not dripping).
  • Place your tie dyed shirt in a plastic bag to dry. Our directions just said to let it dry 24 hours. Placing it in a plastic bag helps with the reaction.
  • Rinse well with COLD water before washing your item in the washing machine. Then wash with cold water in your washing machine. Wash ONE item at a time. You can try color catchers. They help with absorbing extra colors and prevent color from running where it shouldn’t during the wash.

You can find tons of video tutorials online and your kit will most likely come with a few instructions for how you can achieve certain looks when dying your clothing item.

Here are a few of the looks that we tried:

The Spiral:

To achieve the spiral look you will need your clothing item and a fork. Place your fork at the center of your shirt and gently begin winding your t-shirt around it. Tuck in the edges when you get to the end.

Place rubber bands around your circle creating several wedges.

Color each wedge a different color (or alternate colors) to create the spiral effect.

The Folded Effect: the striped look

To create the striped look. Fold your t-shirt accordion style. Then add your rubber bands all along your folded t-shirt to create your stripes. The closer you place the rubber bands, the thinner the stripes, the further apart you place the rubber bands, the wider the stripes.

Dye each section that you have rubber banded off. Alternate colors to create stripes.

To make a rainbow…. you will use a similar technique. DO NOT fold you shirt. Just squeeze your shirt together and place your rubber bands along the length of your shirt.

You will want a larger space at the bottom and at the top and then four rubber bands spaced closer together in the middle. The top and bottom will be blue and the rubber bands in the center will be your rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, and green.

We used this technique to create a mask.

The Bullseye

To create a bullseye pinch the center of the front of your shirt and place a rubber band around it. Slowly work your way down, placing rubber bands approximately 1 inch apart.

If you want both sides to have a bullseye then repeat this motion on the other side. If you prefer for your back to be solid colored then leave it plain, or pull it in together with the front side when creating your bullseye.

The Polka Dot

Unfortunately we did not get photos of this one, but it is the easiest!

Just repeat the same method that you used to create the bullseye but do it all over your shirt!

You can create lots of mini-bullseyes all over your shirt by placing two or three rubber bands in each spot. Or you can create simple polka dots by placing single rubber bands spread out all over your shirt.

Most of all have fun and get creative!! You really can’t go wrong with tie dye! Every creation is unique and lots of fun.

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