Peace to my dudes and dudettes! A groovy summer activity that makes for a great family connection or a fun party project is tie-dying your own summer T-shirt It's easy for anyone to do, and all you need is a few white shirts, a bunch of strings or rubber bands, and fabric dye in every color of the rainbow.
Then some white shorts or some jeans to match it with. As far as method goes, you "tie" the skirt up, then you "dye" it. It makes sense for a "tie-dye shirt," right? The different patterns happen when you tie the shirt in different ways.
Here are six approaches you can use to make your summer tie-dye shirt special. For all of these methods, there should be instructions, so definitely follow those. For tie-dying in general, you start with a damp shirt, maybe even prewashed, and end by putting your tied and dyed masterpiece in a plastic bag and leaving it overnight. Then you wake up, untie your shirt, launder it, and survey your artistry.
The easiest of the techniques you basically just crumple your shirt however you want and tie it more or less in place. You can use actual ties or rubber bands, whichever is easier. Then, you dye it as you like with whichever colors you want. Keep in mind that some colors mix well and others don't. An easy rule is to look at a color wheel and choose three colors right next to each other. This results in an all-over pattern that will definitely draw the eye, so be sure to wear muted, solid colors next to it, or your look might be overwhelming.
Another fairly straightforward procedure, you accordion fold your shirt so that it is in pleats in a straight line. You can fold it top to bottom for vertical lines for those who would like a lengthening effect. Folding side to side lets you make horizontal lines which, if you have a few dyed sections at the bottom, will give you width in your hips or, if you have the dyed sections at the top, will give you width in your shoulders. Or you can color it all over and be a walking rainbow.
Next, tie strings or rubber bands at intervals up your straight line of fabric and color the sections. Red, then orange, then yellow will give you a sunset. Green, then blue, then purple has all of the cool colors in rainbow order, and if you put the warm and the cool together, you get the full range of visible color.
Such a gorgeous—and simple—technique. You lay your shirt flat and identify where you want the center of your spiral. While many instructions tell you to make it in the middle of your T-shirt, we recommend shifting the center of your spiral a little higher on your chest, especially if you would rather attention not be drawn to your belly area. Wherever you want the spiral to concentrate, pinch there and twist your shirt until all the fabric has swirled into a circle.
Use three rubber bands in a crisscross manner to make six even pizza-shaped pieces. Dye each section a different color for your rainbow spiral.
To make a galaxy, you actually use a dark T-shirt and bleach instead of a white T-shirt and colors. You twist your dark shirt the same way as we did for the spiral technique, but not as tightly. Use a half-and-half bottle of bleach and water and lightly spray your twisted shirt. Then pull at the edges to untwist your shirt and watch the bleach work. When the bleach has reached your desired level, rinse your shirt thoroughly to get it all off. You should be left with a galaxy pattern which you can leave as is, or color with dye in a spray bottle.
If you want to get beyond the rainbow, go patriotic. Split your shirt into thirds and tie the pieces. You can get creative with this spacing, depending on how you want the shirt to turn out. Then, dye the top third red, the bottom third blue, and leave the middle white. Boom— you're done!
This is similar to the firecracker technique. You split and tie your shirt into thirds. Dye the bottom two-thirds red or pink or Fuschia, whatever color you want the inside of your watermelon to be. Then leave a little boundary of white so the colors don't bleed too much, and color the last third the green you want for your rind. Let the dye work and in the morning, use black paint or a black sharpie to draw in your watermelon seeds. Cute, right?
Pull your shirt over your bathing suit, or grab a denim jacket if it's a little chilly and share your tied-dye with the world.