2 Tie-Dye Techniques with Setting & Washing Instructions

August 30, 2016

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A few months back I shared a post about tie-dye tees that my kids and I created together from a mommy and child tie-dye event. Since that post  I began receiving messages from other bloggers wanting to know how I created the tie-dye effects. When I was at the mommy and child event there was a young woman there that did tie-dye as part of her side job for extra money as she owned a tie-dye boutique. She was very helpful in showing me how to best get the dye to spread as well as different techniques to tie the t-shirts before dying.

I used these same techniques and experiences with my own family back home a week ago. We had a Saturday morning of tie-dying and this time my husband helped as I think he was more excited than any of us.

First you will need the following items:


  • T-shirts
  • Tie Dye bottles (can get kits from Walmart, these kits come with rubber bands, gloves, bottles with dye powder).
  • Water bucket or bowl
  • About a gallon of water for the bucket
  • Tarp or trash bags to tie dye on as it can be messy.
  • 1 cup of vinegar for every shirt
  • 1 sprinkle of salt
  • Separate bowl for the vinegar, water and salt

Today I am going to show you two techniques that we have successfully done.

The first one being the stripes technique (that you see my little girl wearing):


1). First take a tee shirt and bundle the sides into the middle making a snake. Take as many rubber bands as you would like and tie bands throughout the snake.



2).Then wet the t-shirt in the water bucket, filled with a gallon of water. Getting the t-shirt wet helps to let the dye seep through faster.


3). Then begin the process of adding dye. My seven year old girl did different colors on each section, whereas I did more of a pattern.


Next I will show you the Spiral Technique:


1). Take a t-shirt and wet it. Then pinch the middle of the shirt and twist the shirt around the pinch to create a spiral shape.



2). Next bind the spiral shape with 4 rubber bands or more to create wedged sections.

3). Take dye and add to these sections.


My husband and I helped the little kids do their t-shirts as well.



Wait for about a half hour or hour with the rubber bands still on the dyed tees to let the colors set in a bit better. Once the half hour to hour is done you take off the rubber bands and rinse the tee in warm water.


Next you are ready for the setting of the dye process.

To set the dye better in the t-shirts you will take your bowl or bucket and add the 1 cup of vinegar, about 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of salt.


1). Take your bowl and add in the 1 cup vinegar:


2). Add in about a tablespoon of salt.


3). Add your 2 cups of water:


Submerge your dyed tee (only one tee with rubber bands off)in the bowl with the vinegar and water/salt combination and let the tee remain in this liquid for about 30 minutes to an hour. Some bleeding of the colors will occur.

After the tee has set in the vinegar/water combination for 30 minutes to an hour now you can rinse your tee in cold water and another dab of vinegar in the washing machine. After this is over with you will notice a bleeding of colors again or even less color (I guess depending on the dye you used).

Next I dried the tees in the dryer but then realized that I didn’t have any laundry detergent for when I wanted to wash the tees and other clothes after use so I went to Walmart and got my favorite all® free clear liquid and all® free clear mighty pacs®.

I found the laundry aisle and found  all® free clear liquid detergent under the overhead green sign that read Laundry Detergent. I also found the all® free clear mighty pacs and thought I would give them a try.


I personally like to get  all® free clear liquid detergent because it’s the #1 brand for sensitive skin.  I have a son with eczema and I want to be sure he is comfortable in his own clothes as this detergent has no dyes and irritating residues. My oldest daughter also has spring allergies and all free clear detergent helps remove 99% of seasonal or everyday allergens. 

I took my all® free clear laundry detergent products home and washed the tees before wear. I used about 1/4 a cup of all® free clear liquid detergent and placed it in the wash with the shirt and cold water.



Or a all® free clear mighty pac works as well.


Then follow a normal washing and drying routine and you have yourself a tie dye t-shirt. We wore our shirts as a family the other evening and luckily we were able to get our neighbor to get a photo of us as a family.




Have you tie-dyed before? What technique did you do?

Have you tried all® free clear detergent yet?









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  • Tif August 30, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Love how your tees turned out! Sooo cute!


  • Andrea@WellnessNotes August 30, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I’ve never tie-dyed before, but I’ve always wanted to! Your shirts turned out great!

  • Lily S. August 30, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    You are so creative!

  • Becky - bybmg August 30, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    We’ve never actually tie dyed before, but you make it look fun!

  • Rania September 1, 2016 at 8:26 am

    That is so cool and looks really easy to make. I want to try it with my kids as I think they’d enjoy it. Thanks so much for sharing!! Would love if you can link up to http://the-wardrobe-stylist.com/2016/08/29/engagement-photo-shoot/

  • Emily September 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    What a fun way to spend time together as a family! Your shirts turned out great, too! #client

  • Mackenzie Carol September 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    These are fun shirts, and such great tips for how to create your own tie-dye! Thanks for sharing at the Grace + Lace Linkup!

  • Ada September 11, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I have a friend who is so great at tie-dying. You remind me of her. Love the family photo of you all in tie-dyed T-Shirts. You did a great job, Rachel.