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Creating your own colorful tie-dye shirts is super easy and fun for the whole family. Mia is modeling the classic swirl pattern. (Image: Seattle Refined)

Fit to be Tie-Dyed: DIY The Colorful Summer Trend

If there's an IT trend for the quarantine summer of 2020, it's got to be tie-dye. Originally popular in the 1960's and 1970's as a way to personalize clothes, tie-dye is back - and better than ever! It's a DIY project that's (literally) bound to be bright, messy and unpredictable. In other words - there are no mistakes in tie-dye, only colorful coincidences!


  • white cotton shirts (pre-washed)
  • rubber bands
  • Tie-Dye (we used the dry powder version, just add water)
  • plastic gloves
  • quart sized plastic bags
  • paper towels
  • scissors
  • large plastic garbage bags

There are tons of terrific tie-dye designs. We went with the *Classic Spiral* so we could include as many fabulous colors as possible.


  1. Cover work space with large plastic garbage bags.
  2. Lay the pre-washed shirts down on the table, making sure they’re flat.
  3. Pinch in the center and continue twisting until entire shirt is twisted (makes a flower shape).
  4. Bind with rubber bands. I used 4 rubber bands, evenly spaced to create 8 sections.
  5. Put gloves on.
  6. Add water to the dry Tie-Dye powder to create the dye, shake well. I used 4 different colors.
  7. Saturate sections of the front of the tee shirt with the dye.
  8. Flip it over and do the back.
  9. Place shirt in a quart sized plastic bag and zip it shut. The shirts will process in the bags for 6-8 hours.
  10. Remove the shirts and snip off the rubber bands.
  11. Wash the tie-dyed tee shirts individually in hot water.

Just about anything can be tie-dyed: think pillowcases, napkins, socks - the possibilities are endless!

More Designs

To create the Bullseye design, pinch the tee shirt in the center and gather (making a horn shape). Rubber band off the sections and saturate each with dye. Place it in a plastic bag for 6-8 hours, snip off rubber bands, and wash the tee alone in hot water.

To make this Misty design, paint dye #1 on shirt. Put dye #2 in spritzer bottle, and dilute with water. Spritz dye #2 on the white areas of the tee shirt. Place it in a plastic bag for 6-8 hours, and wash the tee alone in hot water.

For the Stripes pattern, pleat the shirt into vertical strips. With the rubber bands, bind it into sections. You can add dye to every section or every other section. Place it in a plastic bag for 6-8 hours, snip off rubber bands, and wash the tee alone in hot water.