How to Tie Dye a Shirt

July 29th, 2012 by admin

Have a comfy shirt with a small stain? Looking to refresh a faded favorite? With tie dye an old shirt is easily made new again.  Follow these steps to create a heart tie dye shirt design.

  1. Start by mixing up some fabric dye.  Use any colors you like or different shades of the same color.  Pour the dye into clear squirt bottles, (like the kind that ketchup and mustard come in at a diner).  You can find squirt bottles at most craft stores.  Label each one with some tape so that you know which color each bottle holds.
  2. Lay out a damp, prewashed, old or new shirt that is either white or light-colored flat on a plastic covered surface.  You can use an old picnic table cloth, a garbage bag, or the plastic that you would use to protect your furniture when painting.
  3. Fold the shirt in half lengthwise and smooth out all of the wrinkles.  Take a water soluble fabric marker and draw half a heart in the middle of the shirt.  The size of the heart will depend on the size of the shirt.  Keep in mind that you want to have room for other colors around the heart so don’t make it too big.
  4. Start from the center fold and gather the T-shirt along the heart line that you just drew.  Make sure to keep the line straight and on top of your gathers.  Tie a rubber band right where the line is.
  5. Gather the rest of the shirt into a snake and continue to rubber band sections of the shirt.  These segments will be the surrounding stripes so keep that in mind when you are banding the shirt.  You’ll want to space the bands about 3 to 4” apart.
  6. Now you are ready to dye the shirt.  Choose what color you want the heart to be.  Add the dye to the first section of shirt.  If you’d like the heart to be outlined you can add a line of black dye right at the rubber band.  Keep in mind when you are choosing your colors that the shirt is wet so there will be some bleeding.  If you dye one section yellow and you want the next section to be red then there will end up being a section of orange in between as both sections will bleed together.
  7. Continue adding different colors down the rest of the snake.  You can make each segment a different color, or alternate a few different colors.  One good choice is dying the shirt in rainbow order.  Red, (orange), yellow, (green), blue, and purple.  The colors in the parentheses will be the mixed colors that you don’t need to add.
  8. Once the first side is done, flip the shirt over and do the same thing to the other side.  Use the same colors in the same order.
  9. Now that all of the dye is on you need to leave the shirt for about 6 to 8 hours so that the dye can set.
  10. After the shirt has set for 6 to 8 hours you can rinse out the remaining dye.  Leave the rubber bands on for this step.  Once most of the dye is out of the shirt you can remove the rubber bands and check out your masterpiece.  Wash and line dry the shirt for the most intense colors.
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