How to Make Your Own Tie-Dye Shirt for Under $20

My daughters and I learned how to make our own tie-dye shirts at home and had a blast doing it!  I talked a little about this project in 13 Family Rituals that Create Strong Bonds but decided to make a step-by-step guide so you and your family could try this one day, too.  It took us one hour to complete the project but the memory we created will last forever. The materials you will need include the following:

  • Tie-Dye Kit – I purchased mine from Walmart in the crafts section for about $8.  It included 3 different colored dyes, rubber bands, and plastic gloves.
  • T-shirts – I chose white t-shirts and they were about $3 each
  • Garbage bag – We did this project indoors at the kitchen table so I used a garbage bag to catch the mess.  I would suggest doing this outside, though, if the weather permits.

Once you have all of these items you are ready to make your own t-shirt!  There are different tie-dye designs based on how you tie up your shirt with the rubber bands. Which brings me to the first step:

Step 1:

Lay your shirt on a flat surface then from the left sleeve to the right, roll your shirt up vertically then join the two ends together to form a circle.   Another method is to lay your shirt on a flat surface, pinch the center of the shirt, and wrap the rest of the fabric round and round the center point. We tried both methods.  You can find other ways to change up your design on youtube.

Step 2:

Wrap 5-10 of the rubber bands around the shirt in sections as pictured below:

Step 3:

The best part!  Apply the dyes to each section until the shirt is full of color.  It doesn’t need to be drenched in dye, but apply enough so that the dye soaks through the fabric.

Step 4:

Let the shirt dry for 6-8 hours.

Step 5:

Wash the shirt to rinse off all the excess dye so it is safe to wear.

And that’s it!  Only 5 easy steps to design your own shirt at home, and we made all three of our shirts for under $20!  The kids absolutely loved this project and couldn’t wait to rock their new creation. We used our favorite colors too: pink, blue, and purple!  So they are not just any ol t-shirts, they were MADE WITH LOVE. Have fun with this DIY project if decide to try it, and be sure to let me know how yours turned out!


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