Some crafts never go out of style, and making tie-dye T-shirts is one of them. If you’ve never tried it before, we have your go-to instruction manual right here, breaking it down into a few simple steps. Be prepared to get a little messy and make fun memories.
First, choose a T-shirt. The pros recommend a plain, white, 100% cotton shirt for best results. Decide if you want to use a tye-dye kit or gather materials on your own. There is no better or worse option — it just depends on your personal preference. Your final product will still be a masterpiece.
Brainstorm designs and techniques ahead of time. Your shirt does not have to look like every other tie-dye shirt you’ve seen — you may want to completely mix it up or try a style you’ve seen on Pinterest or Instagram.
Here’s what you’ll need:
•A bucket for each chosen color
•Sealable plastic bags
What to do:
1. Wash the shirt in hot water.
2. Create a workspace. Cover your surface in plastic tarps or trash bags with the soapy water and paper towels nearby.
3. Fill a large container with a gallon of water (enough to fully submerge your shirt).
4. Pour in a fabric dye and add table salt.
5. Soak your shirt in hot water — this will make it easier to absorb more dye.
6. Bunch up your shirt and tie a rubber band around the base.
7. Dunk and dye, applying only one color at a time.
8. Let it dry. Place it in a bag or cover with plastic wrap (it should remain rubber-banded). It will need to sit for 12 to 24 hours.
9. Wash the shirt, first in cold water then in the washing machine.
10. Dry and wear!.
Jessica Estes, owner of AR Workshop St. Joseph, will be holding a four-day tie-dye camp this summer. She shared a few of her professional tips and tricks. Her favorite aspect of this particular project is that every piece comes out different. “You can’t really replicate the same thing twice,” she says.
•After you complete your pattern, the shirt needs to be wet. Put it in a plastic bag overnight.
•Use only two to three colors for each project (otherwise the colors all blend together, creating a brownish tint).
•The Rit Fabric Dye concentrate is her go-to. It goes a long way if you’re not wanting to spend too much money on extra materials.
•Her favorite design is the spiral technique.