Crafts · Family & Fun

Tie Dye Patterns and Techniques

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Tie Dyeing t-shirts was first on our list of summer crafts and activities, and I’m happy to report that we have indeed completed the project.  If you’ve done this before using a kit, you know that there are instructions included for the various techniques and patterns.  But if you’ve never done tie-dyeing before, you can hopefully get an idea of what’s involved from my pictures here.



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This technique is the easiest and most fool-proof in my opinion.

  • Simply grab the shirt right in the middle of the front and start twisting it.
  • Keep on twisting until the entire shirt is wrapped around that center twist,
  • Then place rubber bands around the whole bundle in a “pie” formation.
  • For the rainbow look, color each section a different color of the rainbow.

The kit we used came with only the primary colors of dye in three squeeze bottles.  This gave the kids a chance to do some color mixing, which was fun.


Bull’s Eye 

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This one is easy as well, although keeping the rings of color separate can be a challenge.

  • Pull up sections of the shirt wherever you want a bull’s-eye and place two or three rubber bands along each section, depending on how many rings of color you want.
  • Squeeze desired color on to each ring.
  • Scrunch up the remainder of the shirt around the bull’s-eyes, and place rubber bands around the whole bundle.
  • Color the scrunched up edges around the outside (not pictured — my apologies).


 Wash Board Stripe

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We thought the example pictured in the instructions for this one looked really neat, but it turned out to be the most difficult of the three techniques we tried.

  • We wanted a diagonal stripe, so we pulled the shirt together in an accordion fold from the shoulder to the opposite corner.
  • Then we scrunched up the rest of the shirt around the fold and put rubber bands around it.
  • We colored the stripe a different color than the rest of the shirt.

I think doing the entire shirt in one color might have made the stripe show up more.  The white  between the accordion folds would have been more noticeable with a monochromatic background.


We placed each of the shirts in a separate Ziploc bag for 24 hours.  The next day we opened them up, rinsed them under cold water until the water ran clear, then ran them through a regular cycle in the washing machine.  All in all it was a super fun project for everybody (myself included), and I’m sure we’ll do it again sometime. 🙂


8 thoughts on “Tie Dye Patterns and Techniques

  1. Looks like fun! I think they turned out great, and I like the variety of methods! Can’t wait to see you wearing them! 🙂

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