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DIY: Easy Tie-Dye

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye

Mar 10, 2016

Happy Thursday! I say that because I don't work on Fridays so my weekend is already here!  I know, I'd hate me too. This particular weekend is extra spectacular, because two of our very best friends, Lana & Anthony, are on their way to Colorado RIGHT NOW! They'll be here in a few hours, and Rob and I can hardly contain ourselves! 

I'm not sure I'll have the time to put a post up this weekend, so I wanted to make sure I got something posted tonight (ya know, to hold you over until the next one) - and it's a goodie, so let's get started!

Last weekend, Anna and I (my established DIY-day partner, and fellow foodie) made some bomb tie-dye shirts and I'm so stoked to share the tutorial with you BECAUSE:

1.) The design we'll use is the more sophisticated cousin of your standard tie-dye rainbow swirl

2.) It's way easier to do than you think

3.) It's cheap

4.) And it'll look PERF with your ele-pants! 

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


You'll need:

An article of clothing to tie-dye (stick with natural fibers like 100% cotton - it holds the dye much better. I used this shirt from Target)


Rubber bands


Clean towels (don't worry, you won't get dye on them)

**I bought this dye kit at Michaels, which I recommend because it comes with dye, rubber bands and gloves. I also only used 2 colors for this, so I probably could've gotten away with their smaller, cheaper kits that come with just a few colors: here, here, here.


First, soak your shirt for at least 1 hour in cold water, and catch up on Pretty Little Liars.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


After your shirt has soaked, wring it out, and lay it flat on your clean towels.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Start to accordion fold your shirt from the bottom up (flipping a 1-inch length of fabric over, then under, gathering more 1-inch lengths as you move upward).


DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Continue until you have a completely accordion-folded shirt.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Wrap your rubber bands 2-3 times around the fabric (it should be tight!) in the following areas: 5-6 inches in on either side, and then again 3-4 inches in on either side.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Mix up your dye! If you bought the kit from Michaels linked above, all you have to do is add water! For this design, I used just two colors.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Take your shirt, gloves, and dye outside where there is no risk of you effing up your entire apartment.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Throw your gloves on and start soaking (and I mean SOAKING) your fabric! Use color #1 on the most middle section:

DIY: Easy Tie-DYe


And then color #2 on the tails, leaving the area in between color #1 and color #2 without any dye.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


As your shirt sits, the colors will bleed slightly past your rubber bands - this is totally ok!

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Place your soaked shirt (keep it flat as seen below) into a garbage (or grocery) bag.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Tie up the bag, after deflating it as much as possible.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Let your bagged shirt sit for 24-48 hours. I know. I'm sorry. BUT if you take it out too soon, the color won't set in as well. Be patient. Make some jewelry, or a snazzy collar if you need some immediate satisfaction.

Once it's time to take your shirt out, I recommend doing so with gloves, and over your sink. Then, rinse the ever-loving hell outta that thing. Rinse, rinse, and rinse more, until the water runs clear.

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye

Now this part is important: HANG, AND LET DRY COMPLETELY. The dye needs to set in further before you wash it with soap.

Once it's totally dry, THEN you can wash it in the washing machine. I used a tiny bit of detergent, a cold water cycle, and the smallest load setting on my washer, as you'll want to wash it by itself for the first run.

Then hang it to dry again, and you're done!

DIY: Easy Tie-Dye


Super, super, easy - just takes a bit of time. But it's not active project time, so this is a great DIY for when you're cleaning, catching up on TV, blogging... ;)

Check out these other fashion DIY's too: painted cap-toe flats, stamped ele-pants, and a faux marble and gold ring!

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