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A pair of tie-dyed t-shirts blowing in the breeze on a washing line.

Tie-Dye for Kids: How to Make a Tie-Dye Shirt & Wash Tie-Dye Clothes

Making a tie dye shirt is a fun activity for kids and perfect for your summer holiday bucket list. The folding, twisting, crumpling, dipping - that ‘wow’ moment when the shirt is unfurled, is priceless. Use your imagination and get messy (that’s half the fun).


You’ll need:

  • Fabric dye
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber gloves and apron
  • Clean cotton t-shirt, preferably plain and light in colour
  • Two large containers (one for water, one for dye)

It will get messy so start by covering all work surfaces with plenty of newspaper and wear gloves and an apron.

  1. Bind sections of the t-shirt tightly with rubber bands – these areas won’t be dyed and will create rings or starburst patterns.
  2. Prepare dye according to the packet instructions.
  3. Add a cup of salt to the mixture to boost the dye colour.
  4. Fill a large bucket with hot water and dunk your shirt in. Wring out excess water.
  5. Plunge the wet t-shirt into the dye bath and stir regularly with a long spoon for 10-30 minutes, depending on how dark you want the colour.
  6. Remove the t-shirt, rinse under warm, then cool water until the liquid runs clear and lay flat to dry.

To wash:

Wash separately using vinegar first then Persil Colour 3-in-1 Capsules or Liquid to protect the colour.

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