Tutorial: Tie Dye

I had a request for a tie dye tutorial and I've been quiet on the blog here so I thought this would be a perfect new post.


I spent most of the day Thursday dying a pile of NCR shirts. I specifically ordered 10 in white so I could make some unique one-of-a-kind shirts. It was a long process but they came out very cool!



Here's a bit of the behind the scenes and guide to making your own at home:


I used RIT dye and followed the instructions on their site


Wash shirts or fabric


While damp, create your design by scrunching, swirling, or folding. I used the scrunching technique but the swirl is usually most traditional. Rit has some great video tutorials


Use rubber bands to hold the fabric in place. I used 4-5 per shirt just enough so the scrunches stay together


Mix up your dye:

I used 1 tsp. powdered dye (you can find it at Island Variety, Dan's Pharmacy, and Island Pharmacy), 2 tsps. salt, and 2 cups of hot tap water

I had some nifty squeeze bottles that were donated which was perfect!

The colors I used were yellow, scarlet, denim blue & kelly green and I made a purple with 1/2 tsp each red and blue


Squirt your dye on in any pattern and order making sure to put a lot on so it seeps into all the folds of the fabric

You can use a cookie cooling rack so the dye doesn't pool but it's ok if you don't have one. I used a mini ironing board with the cover taken off




Let sit for 30 minutes


Spray with RIT color fixative for extra color strength. I poured it directly into a spray bottle but you can also soak it in a bucket of diluted fixative (instructions are on the bottle)


I had never done this before, but the instructions recommended microwaving to help retain the colors


I wrapped each piece in saran wrap and microwaved separately for 2 minutes


Remove saran wrap and rinse with the hose or cool tap water


Remove rubber bands and behold your beautiful work!



I threw mine right in the wash but the red was a but strong and ended up filling in all the white spaces with pink. They still look great but have more of a faded vibe. I probably should have rinsed a little longer but it was raining so I rushed it a bit


Hope that helps and you have some time to do your own tie dying!