How to Draw Tie Dye on Paper

Updated June 05, 2017

It doesn't take a T-shirt or messy clothing dyes to have fun making tie-dye crafts. Using art supplies usually found around the house, you can recreate the colourful pattern on paper, coffee filters, and card stock. Not only will this provide entertainment for your kids, but you can also use it for decorative cards, on homemade gift wrap, or as a way to give 2-D drawings a third dimension.

Cover your working area with newspaper to avoid stains.

Place the coffee filter on your working area and smooth it out until it is in a flat, circular shape.

Draw a pattern on the coffee filter using washable marker. It is best to keep the pattern and designs simple and in circular shapes to ensure the final product looks like tie-dye.

Spray the coffee filter with water either by using a spray bottle or by flicking water off the tips of your fingers. Wet the entire coffee filter, but don't drench it. Leave the coffee filter out to dry for several hours.

Personalise your project once the coffee filter is dry. Bunch the coffee filter near the middle and attach it to a green pipe cleaner to make a flower. Wrap a twisty tie around the middle of the filter and attach it to the middle of a craft stick. The filter should look like a pair of wings. Draw two eyes above the filter to make a butterfly.

Choose four or five coloured crayons or markers you would like to use to create your tie-dye.

Outline several circles on your paper using erasable pencil. Each circle should be spaced about three or four inches apart.

Colour in each circle using the following technique. Place the marker or crayon in the middle of the circle. Draw a line from the centre of the circle toward the edge. Bring the colouring tool back toward the centre of the circle, forming a line directly next to the first one. They should be close together, touching or nearly touching one another. Keep repeating this cycle, drawing lines between the edge and centre of the circle, until the circle is coloured in.

Pencil in larger circles around the smaller circles you initially drew and coloured in.

Choose a different colour and colour in the larger circles. Use the same colouring technique to move from the edge of the already coloured circle to the outer edge of the new circle until you have coloured the entire circle.

Continue pencilling in larger and larger circles, alternating the colours so the circles are bright and colourful. Do this until all the circles run into one another and there is no blank space left on the page.

Dilute each acrylic paint colour, each in a separate cup, until paint is a runny consistency.

Drip the paint by dipping a paintbrush in the acrylics and lightly flicking it onto paper or card stock. In order to fill up the entire paper with a tie dye pattern, have only about one or two inches of space in between each flick of paint.

Blow through a drinking straw over each drop of paint. The paint will spread, creating a tie-dye effect. Once you have blown on all the drops, the entire paper should be covered. If there are any empty spaces, drop more paint on the paper, or experiment with blowing on the paint already on the paper.


This craft does have the potential to be messy. Make sure to put down newspaper or any type of disposable protection on your working area to avoid stains and to make cleanup easier.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee filters
  • Washable markers
  • Newspaper
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paints
  • Card stock
  • Drinking straws
  • Paintbrush
  • Plastic cups
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About the Author

Carolyn Rumsey has been writing professionally since 2006, with work appearing in collegiate and commercial publications. She has had articles published in "The Daily Gamecock" and has been a guest blogger for Merge Web Design in Greenville, S.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in visual communications from the University of South Carolina.