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Tie Dye Designs & Instructions

Updated April 17, 2017

You can transform your boring white T-shirts into colourful fashion statements with tie dye. Tie dye allows you to embellish your shirts with a variety of beautiful design options. Some of the most common tie dye patterns include knot tying, pleats, spirals, electric bunching, rosettes and stripes. Each pattern requires a different method or folding, twisting or bunching the shirt before tying it and applying the dye colouring. Although there are numerous designs you can create with tie dye, I recommend starting with the traditional bullseye design before progressing on to more challenging techniques.

Pour each colour of powdered dye into a separate water squirt bottle. Add the appropriate amount of water to the dye powder, following the manufacturer instructions. Cover and swirl each bottle until the powder is completely dissolved. Put the dyes aside.

Lay out your T-shirt on a covered workspace. Pinch the shirt in the centre, and pull up.

Wrap the first rubber band 2 inches from where you pinched the shirt. This first section will be the centre of the bullseye.

Wrap a second rubber band 2 inches below the first rubber band. Continue to add rubber bands every 2 inches until the entire T-shirt becomes a long, wrapped bundle.

Put on plastic gloves. Squirt dye on to the wrapped T-shirt by squeezing the bottles until the fabric is saturated with dye. You can allocate the dye however you choose: you can make every banded section a different colour or alternate colours. Make sure you add the dye to all sides of the bundle.

Allow the dyed shirt to sit for four to six hours.

Rinse out the shirt under cold water. Wash it in the washing machine on a cold or warm cycle, and hang it out to dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Dye
  • Water squirt bottles
  • T-shirt
  • Rubber Bands
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Washing machine
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About the Author

Missy Farage began her writing career in 2008 when her freelance articles were published in the Washington life-and-style journals "425 Magazine" and "South Sound Magazine." She has won awards for her poetry and writing. Farage holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Puget Sound.