Create Your Own Tiedyed Shirt

Tie-dyeing is easy to do at home.

Whether you want to create a casual shirt or make part of a costume for a themed party for the ’60s, making your own tie-dyed shirt is easy and can be a project for the entire family. Once you learn tie-dye a shirt, you can move on to color other fabric like bedding, towels and curtains. You can use different dye colors and folding patterns to create various styles and designs for your tie-dyed shirt.


1. Wash and dry your shirt prior to dyeing to ensure that it will not shrink when washed once it is dyed.

2. Lay out one or two garbage bags around the dying area to prevent any spills from staining your workspace.

3. Lay the shirt on a flat surface. You can fold and twist your shirt anyway you want to create a design but, for this example, we will use the traditional circle tie-dye pattern.

4. Grasp the shirt in the center of the fabric and pull it up towards you. Lift the shirt completely off of the surface, so that the entire shirt hangs down from the point you are holding. Wrap a rubber band around the top of the point.

5. Add additional rubber bands around the shirt, moving down about two inches from the initial rubber band. For an ultra-graphic shirt, add about six rubber bands down the length of the shirt.

6. In the bucket, prepare the RIT dye according to the package instructions. If you are using multiple colors, mix each of the dyes in different buckets. Wear rubber gloves when using the dye to prevent it from staining your hands.

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7. Dip the twisted and banded shirt into the dye bucket. If you are using multiple colors, start with the lightest color first. Keep the shirt in the dye as long as directed before moving onto the next color.

8. Read the package instructions to see if you are to rinse the shirt or let it sit for 24 hours.

9. Remove the bands once the shirt is dry and enjoy your new tie-dyed shirt.