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The creative kids’ simple guide to tie dye

Category: home and DIY

Tie dye has made a comeback and it’s sure to spark their creativity. For an afternoon filled with colour and smiles from ear-to-ear, follow our simple guide using products you can quickly pick up from your local Stockland centre. And don’t worry, we’ve thought of everything (so they won’t be caught red-handed – literally!). 

But, first thing’s first. You’ll need some supplies:

- A white t-shirt 
- A white cotton craft bag 
- A white bucket hat 
- Fabric dye & plastic bottles 
- A plastic tablecloth
- Rubber gloves 
- Rubber bands 
- Large ziplock bags 

DIY Tie dye clothes everything you'll need

Here’s how you do it: 


Step one

Find a clear spot (preferably in the backyard), either on a table or even just on the grass to lay the tablecloth. Now pop on your gloves. If the fabric dye is powder, you’ll need to pre-mix it by following the instructions on the bottle before pouring into the plastic bottles. Secure the lid and shake well before setting aside. 

Step two

Lay the t-shirt flat on the tablecloth and using your finger as a centre-point, twist the shirt clockwise in a circle until it creates a ‘tie dye pie’. Secure the pie with four (or more) rubber bands to create the ‘slices’ – these sections will be the boundaries for the dye. Try to keep it as flat as you can. Before continuing, run the ‘pie’ under water and squeeze to rinse out any excess. This allows the fabric to better absorb the dye. 

DIY Tie dye shirt white

Step three

Now for the fun part. Take the bottles filled with fabric dye and colour each of the sections. You might like to leave some sections white or create a rainbow – the best part is the kids can go as neat or as wild as they like. Flip the ‘pie’ over and complete the other side, being mindful to colour the same sections as the front. And remember to keep those gloves on. We don’t want any tie dyed children!

how to DIY Tie dye clothes

Step four

Place the tie dyed shirt in a large ziplock bag, secure it and leave to soak for 6+ hours. Good things take time! Or, while they wait, they could do another super fun craft activity – slime! Find out how to make it here. Once the time is up, pop the gloves back on before removing from the ziplock bags, undoing the bands and rinsing thoroughly in the laundry sink. There’ll be some run-off so adult supervision is necessary here. Then place your tie dye shirt in the washing machine (on a cold cycle by itself). 

Step five

Once washed thoroughly, hang up to dry in the sun and gaze at the kaleidoscope of vibrant swirls. The kids are sure to have a smile on their dial and will love wearing their groovy creation.

If the kids loved this colourful crafternoon activity, try tie dying a cotton carry bag or bucket hat, too. 

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Products available from: Kmart, Big W, Target, Best & Less, Woolworths or Coles.