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5 Tips For At-Home Tie Dye

5 Tips For At-Home Tie Dye



Need an easy Sunday activity? Want to spice up yur school/camp tees? Or just need to turn a stained pillowcase into a fun design element? Tie dye is a lot easier than you might think if you have the right tools and tips. Here are five ways to keep a dye day in check.

  1. Prep Your Items. You want to make sure everything is washed and clean. For most dyes you don’t really have to pre-treat, but be sure that the tee (or whatever it is) is damp, not dripping wet. If it’s too wet the colors will blur together.
  2. Remember Your Art Lessons. If you want to overlap colors stick to primaries, you’ll get the cleanest color results. Never mix secondary colors or you’ll get mud.
  3. Don’t be afraid of white space. It’s tempting to just load on the color, but leaving some white space between colors can give you some very cool patterns.  Also, think beyond the spiral. Place the color in circles or stripe it down the length of the shirt.
  4. Be patient. Wrap your items in a plastic bag or saran wrap while it’s still damp and leave it be for 18-24 hours to get the best color results! Then rinse in cold water until it runs clear, remove your rubber bands and rinse some more ,and finally wash on cold by itself (or with other tie dye) for it’s first wash.
  5. Keep it simple. For at-home dye projects a kit or pre-mixed dyes will work fine and most don't need an additional treatments (such as soda ash). Rubber bands work fine, but so does string or twine... whatever you have on hand? 


What to Buy:

  • This Tulip Kit is perfect because it includes a ton of colors and everything you need to have a tie dye party (even just by yourself).
  • If you want to try something cool order a spray dye. It’s super easy to use (just make sure you read the directions!) and creates really bright, summer-y pieces.
  • Gildan tees are fantastic for dyeing! They’re cheap but still good quality, have a cute boxy fit and are super comfortable. If you’re tired of tees, the Hanes tanks are awesome too.
  • Color Catchers are my secret weapon for not getting dye all over everything in the wash! They soak up all the excess color.


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