How to Tie Dye 100% Cotton clothing

  • 3 min read

One of our favorite summer activities to do together every year is Tie Dye. The girls love using the bright vibrant colors and the best part is that it doesn't have to be perfect to look good!

Grab a Tie Dye kit. There are plenty of them out there now days, we got ours off of Amazon. Make sure you use 100% cotton clothing items as it works best with dye. City Threads has an amazing selection for kids items! Stay clear from polyester as it won't hold dye well.

Materials you will need:
White cotton clothing items
Rubber bands
Old rag
Plastic table cloth

First, pre-wash garments to make sure you are starting with a clean pallete! Put down a plastic table cloth or something to protect your work area. (I highly recommend doing this outside Wear an old t-shirt that you don't mind getting stained. What's great about the kits is that they already have the dye pre mixed in squeeze bottles ready to go for you!
Now you want to fold and scrunch your items! There are so many different patterns you can follow by simply googling Tie Dye patterns. Or you can wing it and it will still look cool because like I said... It doesn't have to be perfect! Secure your items with rubber bands. Make sure the bands are tight so the colors don't bleed through the each section. We decided on folding our dresses in half from the stomach and slightly twisting it. I secured rubber bands about 3 inches apart. My girls wanted the classic bright vibrant rainbow colors. Keep in mind that colors used next to each other may bleed together, so use colors that when mixed make a different color and not brown. Make sure put your gloves on at this point, the Dye is hard to get off of your hands. Shake your Dye so it's all mixed up.  Squeeze your 1st color Dye on the first section of your item. Make sure you are turning it and getting all sides! We saturated our sections so not a lot of white would show through, but some like that look more! If you want more of the white, saturate it less. The more Dye you use, the less white will show. Next, wipe your gloves and plastic down.  Do this in between each color so it does not mix!! Repeat for each section. Accidentally squirted a bit in the wrong section? That's OK! Say it with me... It doesn't have to be perfect!

Now it's time to let the dye set. Let it sit out for at least 8-24 hours. The longer it sets, the more vibrant your colors will be! We placed ours in a zip lock bag and laid them in sunlight for 24 hours.

After your Dye has dried, it's time to rinse! Keep the rubber bands in and rinse under cold water for 1 minute. Switch it to warm water and take out the bands until the water runs clear. Now turn the garments inside out and run through a normal cycle in the washer with a Dye safe detergent. For the first few washes, wash separately from your other clothes to prevent bleeding on them. I recommend hang dry or delicate to prevent shrinkage of 100% cotton items.

I think this activity is really fun for kids because they can do a lot if it themselves. Let them be messy and show their creativity with this fun activity! It's art they can show off and be proud of.

Blog by: @annistyn.and.rosalie via Instagram