Tie-dying is a popular trend this year and lucky for you—it's an easy DIY. If you came here wondering how to tie-dye, there is more than one answer. There are several methods of tie-dying that all bring different looks.
Tie-dye not your thing? Try giving fabric a more subtle makeover with tea dying.
What Can You Tie-Dye?
You can tie-die pretty much any cotton fabric. It's easies to work with one hundred percent cotton, whether you're sprucing up a shirt or kicking your kitchen towels to the next level. Cotton is more receptive to the dyes, but if you have a synthetic fibered item you'd really like to tie-dye, you can buy special dyes.
Whatever you decide to tye-dye needs to be clean before you start the process. While it is easiest to work with new items, you can easily give old items a fun twist as long as they are laundered beforehand.
For this method, you will need dye, bottles, gloves, fabric, and lots of rubber bands.
Take a piece of fabric or your clothing item and lay it out flat. The first thing you will want to do is tie the fabric up. The most common way to do this is with rubber bands but get creative and tie up your fabric anyway you would like. Where you tie or bind the fabric, the dye does not adhere—which is how tie-dye patterns are created.
If you choose to use rubber bands, take a small section of fabric in the middle of the cloth, lift it slightly, and twist until the surrounding fabric is swirled around the center piece. Bind this section with a rubber band. Continue this process until the entire cloth is tied up with lots and lots of rubber bands.
Then put on your gloves and place the cloth in a sink. Take your bottles of dye and squirt them across the item making sure to get the front and back. The longer the dye sits, the darker the color. With pastels tie-dye being so popular this year, you can DIY that look by only letting the dye sit for two or three minutes.
Once the dye has set for the desired amount of time, remove the rubber bands and place the item alone in the wash. Wash once without soap and then once with soap. On the second wash, place the item in the dryer.
Use your newly dyed fabric to create a fun fabric headboard or a great gift for the next birthday party you attend.
Bleach Tye Dye
Bleach tye-dying is fun and requires fewer supplies. In fact, you probably have everything you need laying around the house. For this method you will need bleach, rubber bands, and gloves.
Take your cloth, wet it down, and tie it up or bind it with the rubber bands any way you would like. Different tying patterns will bring different results so feel free to surf Pinterest for ideas and to get a better idea of what your final project will look like.
Once you have your item all tied up, put on your gloves and pour small amounts of bleach over your cloth. The longer the bleach sits, the lighter the color will become. Let the bleach sit on the wet fabric anywhere from ten minutes to an hour or so. After, rinse the fabric in the sink well and then immediately wash and dry the item.
Note: bleach will bring out the colors that exist under the color of your fabric. For instance, black fabric bleaches orange. You may want to do a small bleach test on the inside hem of the item before you bleach the whole thing in case you don't like the color it turns.
Other fun ways people shake up the tie-dye process include bubble dying and squirt gun dying. Both of these methods involve wrapping the cloth a little looser and letting the dying method make the pattern. Alternatively, careful folding can help you make more elaborate designs.
If you feel like getting really wild, load some dye into your squirt gun and go nuts! These methods (of madness) are best undertaken out on the lawn or on a large tarp. We recommend wearing gloves during both.