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How to Tie Dye for Beginners- Art

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

At one point, tie dying became one of the biggest quarantine trends, and it’s easy to see why! It’s fun, easy, and always a surprise to see how your creations turn out. Are you interested in trying it out for yourself but don’t know where to start? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn the basics of tie-dying.


  • Fabric dye

  • Something to dye (t-shirt, sweatshirt, bag, pillow case)

-Important- Please make sure your fabric is 50% cotton or more!

  • Rubber bands

  • Gloves

*For this project, I recommend purchasing a kit that contains everything you need. Here are some options:

Step 1 (Setting up): To start off, make sure you are working with something water resistant underneath you, like a plastic bag. You can also work outside if you prefer. Put on your gloves and tie your hair back if it is long. You can even put on goggles to avoid getting dye in your eyes.

Step 2 (Preparing the fabric): Some kits (but not all) have soda ash in them to add to water and soak your item/s in before dying. This helps the dye stick onto the fabric. Follow the instructions your kit gives on what ratio of soda ash to water you need as well as for how long the fabric needs to soak. Step 2 (Tying fabric): Now it is time to choose what design you want. For a detailed description and tutorial of different tie dye techniques, check out this article by Stephanie Lynn. For mine, I used the crumple tie dye technique, which I think is the easiest! Step 3 (Dying): Most tie dye kits require you to add water to the dye powder in order to “activate” it. Once you’ve done that, you can begin adding it to your fabric! Make sure you are putting colors that will blend well next to each other, if you are using more than one. (For example, green next to blue or red next to orange- refer to the color wheel for help!) Step 4 (Wrapping up): Put your finished item into a plastic bag and wait however long your kit requires you to- usually 24 hours for optimum color vibrancy. Then, rinse out all the excess dye by hand before washing and drying your creation. Now you're done! Here’s how mine turned out:

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! Check out our other blog posts for more!

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