DIY… Two ways to tie-dye

December 30, 2020 0 Comments

Not heading to Body & Soul this weekend? Well, how about home DIY-ing instead? We asked intern Ailbhe Ni Riain to give tie-dying a go and write up her results…

It’s summer, we’re broke and the vintage home-made trend is so in, so let’s get creating our own clothes for half the price you’ll pay in a High Street or vintage store – Situs Judi Slot Online made these three tie-dyed tees for under €20.

The checklist: what you will need

  • White 100% cotton t-shirts
  • Soda ash
  • Clothes dye (Dylon 50g) – You can buy in chemists; I got it in McCabes (€3.15 a sachet)
  • Elastic bands
  • Buckets/basins
  • Rubber gloves
  • Coins
  • Scissors
  • Mop buckets
  • Salt
  • Old clothes

Make sure you have all the items you’ll need in order to tie-dye. Once you’re ready to begin, change into your old clothes and throw on your rubber glovies.

Step 1: Grab your first colour choice of dye; for me, it was red. Empty your 50g sachet of dye into a Pyrex or stainless steel bowl. Add 500ml of warm water (40C) to the dry dye mix and swirl around.

Step 2: Next, grab yourself a larger basin or bucket (I used two mop buckets). Add 5tbs of salt to one of the buckets; add in your 500ml of dye and then add another 5l of warm water (40c) to the buckets and mix it around.

Step 3: Repeat this method with the rest of your dyes; I used two colours. If you’ve bought red, blue and yellow dyes and wish to mix two together to create a new colour (i.e yellow + red = orange, yellow + blue = green, red + blue = purple) then before you add your dyes, separate each sachet of colours in half. Put your 25g red, blue or yellow in one cup; then split them in half again to make two 12.5g groups. Put two of the 12.5g colours together to form another 25g mix. This time when you’re adding the first batch of water to the mix in a bowl, add 250ml warm water, then to the bucket add 2.5tbs of salt and 2.5l of warm water.


Step 1: Next grab your white cotton t-shirt. Lay it flat on the ground, fold over in half and then in half again to form a quarter. Open up the tee again and notice where the two lines intersect; this is the middle of the t-shirt.

Step 2: With your hand like a claw, grab the centre of the tee and twist in an anti-clockwise or clockwise direction.

Step 3: Now you’ve got the basic swirled pattern and shape you want, you’re going to shape the tee in a round circular fashion by going with the flow of direction. Once you have the shape, grab your elastic bands and use them to secure the shape of the tee, placing the bands around the outer circle of the shape.

Step 4: Next, place about six bands around the circular shape, make a cross and then add two or four more bands intersecting the other bands so they make a star shape.


Step 1: Grab your tee and place it on the ground; grab your coins and place them where ever it is you want to see the pattern begin and unfold outward from. I choose one small coin on each sleeve and one more on the tee, close to the bottom. Place your coin inbetween the layers of your shirt and tie an elastic band around it.

Step 2: Next, move slightly outward and keep tying elastic bands around the tee until you’re happy with how far you’ve gone. Repeat this again anywhere you please.

For both methods, continue like this…

Step 5: Now you’ve got the pattern and shape of your tee, dip your tee in one of the dyes. Either leave the shirt in the bucket and hold it in position so it’s not fully submerged, or else use a pot or pan to hold some of the dye and soak the shirt for for 15-20 mins. Repeat with the rest of the colours you’d like to use.

Step 6: Place your tees on a sheet of plastic for a few hours to let the colour sink in.

Step 7: Next, cut the elastics from your tee and open it up. Once opened, place on a washing line to drip-dry. Alternatively, if you’re unfortunate enough that it starts raining and you can’t keep them outside, place plastic bags on the floor underneath a clothes horse, put bags on the clothes horse too and then place your tees on the plastic bags so they can dry off indoors.

Step 8: Throw your tees into your own washing machine (separately from other clothes!) and let them rinse out; you can spin dry them after that as well if you like. And there you have it. Your own homemade tie-dye t-shirt!

If you’re using a coloured tee, you can bleach it beforehand so it will have a tinge of the old colour and won’t be 100% white underneath the dye. This will give you a more vintage/grunge look than a fresh cotton tee. If you do buy fresh tees, wash them first to get the newness out of them so that they’ll take the dye better.

Words/Images: Ailbhe Ni Riain // @AilbheNiRiain

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