Tie Dye T-Shirt

Activity Category:

Activity Equipment:


  • T-Shirt
  • Tulip Tye Dye Bottle
  • Elastic Bands



  1. Protect the work surface with a plastic tablecloth or trash bags. Cover with a layer of paper towels.
  2. Prewash fabric in a bowl of water to remove sizing. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.
  3. Choose desired technique. If using wet technique, use directly from water..
  4. Wearing rubber gloves, add water to the dye bottle, filling to line. Replace cap tightly. Shake until dye is dissolved. Use full-strength for intense colors. For a lighter shade of color, add more water using an extra bottle if needed.
  5. Apply dye on fabric, checking to make sure dye has penetrated into creases and folds. Do not over-saturate fabric. If dye colors are applied too close together, the colors may become muddy. Check the backside of the fabric item to make sure the dye has penetrated to the backside. If not, carefully flip fabric fabric over and add dye. 

Washing Instructions:

  1. Cover dyed fabric with plastic wrap to keep damp. Let set 6-8 hours or longer for most intense colors. Fully rinse dyed fabric in warm water until all extra dye is removed and water runs clear – removing rubber bands if used.
  2. Wash at 30/40 degrees with small amount of laundry soap. Wash and dry separately. 
  3. Wash separately the first few washes. Do not allow dyed fabric to rest wet on other items.


Top Tips

Note: Do not add water to dye until you are prepared to apply it. Apply dye within 24 hours after mixing. Dye left unapplied after 24 hours will begin to lose concentration and will result in noticeably weaker color intensity.

Cover work surface with disposable plastic tablecloth or plastic trash bags to prevent dye from staining the work surface.  

Make sure excess dye dust is removed from the work area, as it is invisible until it reacts with water.

Create new colors by blending dyes.

Cover dyed fabric with plastic to keep it from drying out; fabric that dries before dye is finished setting can result in weaker color concentration and less intensity.

Precautionary note: Always wear gloves when working with dyes. Dry dye powder can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Avoid inhaling dye dust over an extended period of time. Use in a well-ventilated area.

Supervise children making tie-dye projects.

Caution: May irritate skin and eyes. Avoid contact with eyes, skin or clothing. Do not swallow. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses. Keep out of reach of children. First Aid Treatment: Contains organic dye and sodium bicarbonate. If swallowed, contact a poison control center or doctor immediately. Do not induce vomiting. If in eyes, rinse with water for 15 minutes. If on skin, rinse well with water.

Shibori Tie-Dye Technique


More intricate and detailed than modern tie dye, Shibori is a Japanese technique that uses string and other folding methods.

Step 1

Hold your shirt lengthwise and then twist it tightly, almost as if you are wringing out a towel.

Step 2

Coil your shirt into a spiral and flatten down with your hand.

Step 3

Use several rubberbands to bind your coiled shirt in place.

Step 4

Dye your entire bound shirt with navy Tulip One-Step Tie Dye. After adding dye to one side, carefully flip it over and repeat on the backside. Wrap in plastic or secure in a zipper plastic bag, then let set for 6-8 hours. Wash and dry according to the dye instructions.


Crumple Tie-Dye Technique

Step 1

All you need to get started is an item to tie dye and your favorite Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit! Make sure the item you are going to tie dye is white or a very light color, and made from 100% cotton or another natural-fiber fabric for best and brightest results. Before tie dyeing your item, make sure to wash it (without fabric softener) and leave damp. There’s no need to presoak it in soda ash beause Tulip One-Step Dyes already have soda ash in the formula. Cover your work area with a disposable plastic surface cover and you’re ready to get started on the crumple tie-dye technique!

Step 2

Lay your damp fabric out on the covered work surface. Scrunch the fabric into a crumpled mound. You can make the fabric loosely crumpled or really squish it all together for tighter, more defined crumples.

Step 3

If you want to, you can secure your crumpled fabric with rubber bands before tie dyeing. This will help hold those crumples together more tightly if you are trying to achieve a super defined crumple tie-dye pattern. But you don’t have to secure with rubber bands for this tie-dye look; it will still turn out looking awesome!

Step 4

Mix your Tulip One-Step Dyes according to the packaging instructions, then apply to your crumpled fabric. You can apply one dye color or multiple dye colors – there’s no wrong way to do it! Tip: If you are applying several dye colors, it’s okay to allow the dyes to mix on the damp fabric, just make sure they’re colors that blend nicely together (example: red + blue = purple). Some colors will turn a brownish color if they mix, so if you’re unsure, try blending them together on scrap fabric first. Don’t forget to flip your scrunched fabric over and apply dye to the backside as well. Place it in a sealed bag or cover with plastic to keep damp while the dye sets, then launder according to instructions.


Spiral Tie-Dye Technique

Put a twist on tie dye with the spiral tie-dye technique! Whether you use one color or four, you’ll love the winding effects!

Step 1

Wash shirt (or other fabric item) without fabric softener and leave damp. Since Tulip One-Step Tie Dye contains soda ash in the formula, there’s no need to presoak your fabric before dyeing it! Lay your damp fabric out flat on your covered work surface and pinch it at the center of where your tie-dye spiral pattern will start. It doesn’t have to be in the middle of the fabric, it can be anywhere! Twist until all fabric is in a spiral shape.

Step 2:

Once your fabric is twisted into a tight spiral, wrap 3 to 4 rubber bands around it to secure. Crisscross the rubber bands to  create 6 to 8 wedge shapes for adding tie dye.

Step 3:

Mix your desired Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye colors according to instructions. With the spiral tie-dye pattern, you can use as many dyes as wedge shapes you have, or you can use as few as one dye color. Have fun and experiment – there’s no wrong way to tie dye! Apply One-Step Tie Dyes to wedge shapes, then flip spiraled fabric over and repeat on backside and sides. Let your tie dye set for 6 to 8 hours or longer for the dye to fully set. Tip: place in a sealed zipper bag or cover with plastic to keep damp while the dye processes for best results. After the dye has finished setting, launder according to instructions.

Now that you’ve mastered the spiral tie-dye technique, it’s time to get inspired! Check out this post featuring spiral tie-dye ideas to see how you can mix and match Tulip One-Step Dye colors for super fun spiral designs that stand out!

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