Every summer holiday we would sit and make some tie dye t-shirts with my mum. Trying to get fun patterns, different colour combinations and loving the fact that for days afterwards our hands would be stained a rainbow of colours. This summer why not revisit the 70’s and 80’s with your own kids and create your own Tie Dye T-shirts.

Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.

Materials needed for Tie Dye T-shirts

Plain white t-shirts (we used last year’s PE shirts that were getting too small).

Fabric Dye – I discovered Tulip Tie Dye this summer and love the variety pack – Amazon (US) Amazon.co.uk (UK).

Old clothes for the kids to wear and you this will get messy!

Cling Film/Saran Wrap.

How to Tie Dye T-shirts

Tie dye works by scrunching up fabric and tieing the fabric in place – the kit above comes with elastic bands which are perfect to use with this as they are easy for little fingers to use and the kids can tie the t-shirts up themselves. Follow these simple instructions and in no time you’ll have a bunch of tie dye t-shirts drying in the sun.

Step by Step

  1. Start off by covering the work area. We took it outside because we really didn’t want to get wet.
  2. Decide on your type of pattern you want to create. The Tulip Tie Dye comes with various pattern suggestions and the kids choose 3 each to try and replicate.
  3. Once the pattern is selected get the t-shirt and roll it or fold it according to the instructions.Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.
  4. Now get busy adding elastic bands.Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.
  5. TOP TIP – get the kids to wind the bands around once or twice and then you finish off making sure that they are secure otherwise the dye will get through.Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.
  6. Mix up the dye according to instructions. One of the reasons we loved the Tulip Tie Dye was that you mix up the dye in the bottle so the kids and I were less likely to be covered in the dye.Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.
  7. Then apply. My kids chose 3 colours each but mixed and matched and we covered the t-shirts with the different colours. Often mixing them up and overlapping to create bleed effects.Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.
  8. Once the t-shirts are covered in dye (they need to be soaked so make sure you get into the folds of the fabric) then wrap in cling film/saran wrap and leave for 3ish hours.Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.
  9. WAIT!
  10. Once the time has gone then unwrap in the sink and wash.
  11. Wash some more.
  12. And then wash some more.
  13. Place in the washing machine on the hottest setting you can for the material to set the dye.
  14. Dry the t-shirts.
  15. Wear and enjoy.

Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.

Washing Instructions

I would recommend not washing the t-shirts with light colours for between 5 and 10 washes. Instead, we have been sticking them in with our jeans and darks so if any dye does run it won’t make a difference.

Other summer crafts you and your kids can try

Why not try some of these other fun summer crafts with the kids?

Celebrate Summer with Simple Tin Can Lanterns that Kids Can Make

Create your own party lanterns with this tin can lantern tutorial.

Pie Tin Boats - challenge the family this summer with this simple engineering challenge to see who can make a boat out of pie cases and get it to go the fastest across the water.

Create your own boats and race them against the kids.

Drinks cup wind chime for toddlers to make

Make a wind chime – this is great for kids from Toddler up.

DIY Whimsical beaded garden ornaments - keep the colours of summer throughout the year in the yard or garden with these simple summer craft for kids and get them to create their own Beaded Garden Ornaments

Whimsical Garden bead decorations.


Pin this Tie-Dye T-shirt tutorial

Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.

Share with your friends on Facebook

Fun summer craft to do with kids - create your own Tie Dye T-Shirts with this full tutorial including suggestions for different final patterns and top tips.

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.