Tie-dye projects are really fun and super easy! All you need is a piece of fabric or clothing to dye, a variety of dye colors, and some rubber bands or string. You can dye shirts, socks, sweatshirts, scarves, tote bags, napkins – just about anything!
To get started, gather your materials. You’ll need the piece you’re going to dye, an assortment of fiber-reactive dyes, rubber bands or string, squeeze bottles to apply dye in precise areas, plastic tablecloths or large trash bags to protect the work surface, gloves to protect your hands from the dye, and plastic bags or plastic wrap.
Prewash the garment you’re going to dye. Set up your workstation by spreading the plastic tablecloth or trash bags over your table. Mix the dyes in the squeeze bottles according to package directions. Fold and tie your garment using the rubber bands or string. The way you fold and scrunch the fabric together will determine the tie dye pattern that results. Areas covered by the rubber bands or string won’t receive as much dye. Use the squeeze bottles to apply the dye in the pattern that you want, determining which colors to place close together and how much of each you want to see on the finished product.
Once you have applied the dye, it needs time to react with the fabric and begin to set color. Keep the fabric damp during this curing process by wrapping it in plastic wrap or putting it in a plastic bag. Place it in a sunny spot and leave it for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours for really intense colors. After it has cured, remove the fabric from the plastic bag or plastic wrap and rinse the whole bundle under cold running water. Do not remove the rubber bands yet! Once it’s rinsed in cold water, turn the water to lukewarm and begin removing the rubber bans or string ties from the fabric. Then, wash the garment through a complete wash cycle and wear your new colorful outfit with pride!