Tie dyeing has long been a popular activity among hippies, counter-culture enthusiasts, and those who just enjoy wearing brightly colored garments. Do you want to do it yourself? How about getting your shirt a whole brand new look?  If you want to recycle your old t-shirts or simply just make a shirt that only you have, this article is for you. We will give you step-to-step instructions on how to tie dye t-shirts at home. Keep reading to check it. 

Which shirt should you get?

Before we get into the procedure, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the appropriate sort of t-shirt to get the best-looking tie dye results. Not just any shirt will suffice.

As you may expect, white shirts are frequently used to make tie dye t-shirts. Nothing will make the different dye colors outstanding more than the white color. Light color shirts, on the other hand, are somehow great for a more distinctive style but bear in mind sometimes you may not get the right colors you want with colored t-shirts. Anything too dark will be mostly ineffective.

We also suggest you use 100% cotton t-shirts above anything else. Cotton is excellent at absorbing and retaining colors, even after numerous washing. Choosing non-cotton clothing may result in the color fading fast or not staying at all.

What should you prepare for tie dye?

  • A white cotton T-shirt
  • Rubber bands or strings
  • Plastic/ rubber gloves
  • Fabric dyes
  • Hot water
  • Large tray or table
  • Spray bottle/ squeeze bottle
  • A bucket

How to Tie Dye T-shirts?

Step 1: Preparing for tie dyeing t-shirts

Wash your tee in hot  water, especially if your shirt is a new one. This guarantees that any possible oils, dirt, or other compounds that may resist the dye are thoroughly rinsed away. Keep it damp before starting to dye

Prepare the dye following instructions on the label.

Pour the dye into squirt bottles

Set up space. You can carry out dyeing your tee outside. If you do it inside, make sure to cover your space to avoid staining anything.

Then, put on rubber gloves and get started.

Step 2: Choose the pattern, tie your shirts and start tie dye

You can employ one of the various dying processes available to create unique tie dye designs. To make these patterns, you will mostly use rubber bands and strings. The dye will go through into the pores of the garments as they are twisted into different shapes and patterns, producing unique patterns and color effects.

You may make a tie dye masterpiece by squeezing the cloth in particular spots and tying the elastic bands or strings around it to produce more fascinating effects.

There are several approaches to carry out, but below are 3 common methods to for you to get started


Beginning in the center of the shirt, twist it until it is firmly coiled into a thick spiral form. Wrap 3–4 elastic bands or strings around the shirt you have folded to form 6-8 equal sections. 

Place the t-shirt into a bucket. Choose the dye color and use a spray bottle or squeeze bottle to apply the color to each section. Turn the shirt over, and do the same with the other side, making sure that the dye color on either side is the same as the former.


Begin at one angle of your shirt, then crumple it gradually with your hand. Make yours look like a pancake rather than a ball. Then use rubber bands or strings to keep it in shape.  A balled-shaped shirt makes the dye hardly go into the garment’s interior regions. Just use 1-2 colors for this pattern, do not use more since it will make it look like a true mess. 


Squeeze your t-shirt at the center where you want your bullseye to go. Pull the cloth upward into a cone form while directing it with the other hand. Use elastic bands to wrap the shirt each few inches below till reaching the end.  Use different colors in each section for the ultimate result. 

Step 3: Let it be

After dyeing your shirt, let extra color ink drop out of the fabric once it has dried. We know you’re tempted to have a look at your work, but just let it be. Just place your wrapped shirt in a plastic bag then wait for 8 more hours. For the time being, your job is almost over.

Step 4: Rinse off the dye 

Finally! It’s time to have a look at your stunning new masterpiece.

Untie the garment while running it under warm water and rinsing it completely. Wash it with cool water after it’s completely unfolded. Pull out the shirt and let’s see what you’ve created after the water has run clean. Isn’t it amazing?

Step 5: Wash your shirt and airly dry it

Put your newly made tie dye shirt in the washing machine and wash it with hot water with a little soap, don’t wash it with any other clothes!

If you wash it with other garments, the dye can transfer to the other clothing. However, after the first wash, you can launder it with other clothing as usual.

The next step is to wait for the garment to air dry fully.

And done! That is a wrap-up for our guide on how to tie dye t-shirts? Why don’t you try to do it now and own your one-of-a-kind shirt?