Never did I think that Tie Dye would come back into style. When I was a kid, no matter the vacation I would always get a souvenir Tie Dye shirt. Since my teen years, I thought tie dye was too juvenile and never wore it again. Fast forward to today, I am seeing it everywhere and it’s growing on me. I have seen a couple of cute long sleeve shirts and crops that I really like, when I went to buy what I had my eye on, I saw the price…. it was $55 for a pink tie dye shirt and $60 for a teal long sleeve… No thanks. As always my thought process is, “I can do this myself and make it look the same for half the cost”. I feel like I can’t be the only one who doesn’t want to spend $100 on a tie dye shirt, so I decided to make a “how to” blog post!

After watching a few videos and doing my research I found some tips of what to do, but no one tells you what not to do. After trial and error on my first attempt I can now tell you what not to do. I was going to make a video for this, but I am glad I didn’t since my first go round was a fail.

You need a cotton shirt or what ever you are tie dying, then a tie dye kit, and a baking tray (this helps minimize the mess). The kit that I used includes rubber bands, gloves, and a clear table cover. If you aren’t confident that you won’t spill I recommend doing this outside.


  • Cotton Shirt
  • Tie Dye Kit
  • Baking Sheet
  • Gallon Size Ziploc Baggy

*I will link everything I used in the “shop the post” section at the bottom of this post.

First, you will want to lay your shirt flat on your counter (doesn’t have to be in the baking tray) and pinch the spot where you will want the spiral center to be. I did mine just off-center, but not so off-center that it would directly on my boob. Then, twist in a clock wise direction until the shirt is completely twisted into a bun. Use your fingers to help the folds circle around the shirt nicely. Also, make sure that the roll is tight so that your dye doesn’t pool anywhere. On my first try the center of my bun was loose and all of the colors pooled and mixed making the center a blob. After you have your bun, add your rubber bands across the bun making your shirt look like a pie. (See picture below for reference)

Choose your colors and mix the dye thoroughly. Because you have used the rubber bands to make “pie like” sections, where you apply the dye is already laid out for you. If you haven’t already moved your shirt to the baking sheet, set up the tie dye station, and put on your gloves, do it now, things are about to get messy. Start adding the colors in the pattern you would like. Do one color at a time to avoid mixing the colors into other sections. Dye the front of the wedge, then go to the back of the shirt. DO NOT separate the folds and add die in the folds. I made this mistake and ended with a blobby shirt that wasn’t the pattern I wanted. It may seem like a lot of white is left over, but I promise it’s not. Once you have completed your first wedge covering the surface, continue to add dye on that section until all of the dye is gone, this ensures that the color will seep into the bun.

Once you are done with your first color, move on to the next following the same instructions. After you are done, you will want to store your shirt in a plastic baggy, you can use what ever bag you have on hand (trash bag, Ziploc bag, etc.). DO NOT unroll your shirt yet. Let the shirt sit over night or for at least 8 hours to let the dye set.

After the dye has set, remove the rubber bands and rinse your shirt until the water is clear. The next step is to wash your shirt in the washing machine, without any detergent and by itself, so that the colors from the shirt don’t bleed to anything else you are washing. If you are doing multiple shirts, wash them all separately unless you are using the exact same colors on each shirt. Once the washer is done, place the shirt in the dryer by itself and dry it as normal. You are done!


Are you loving this tie dye trend? Let me know if you tried out this DIY, I would love to hear how your shirt turned out!

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