Tie-Dyed T-shirt - FamilyEducation

Tie-Dyed T-shirt

by Trish Kuffner, author of The Children's Busy Book

This is a fun way to make use of old clothing – your child will start wearing it all over again!


  • White or light-colored all-cotton T-shirt
  • 4 cups hot water
  • Old bowl
  • Rubber bands
  • Cold-water dye
  • Old pail
  • Cold dye fix
  • Old towel
  • Old wooden spoon
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 6 tablespoons table salt


  1. Wash the shirt but don't dry it.
  2. Squeeze out the excess water.
  3. Let your child gather large and small bunches of fabric all over the shirt and fasten them with rubber bands.
  4. Place the pail in a sink or bathtub or on a surface covered with an old towel. Pour the cold water into the pail.
  5. Pour 2 cups of hot water into the bowl.
  6. Stir the dye into the hot water.
  7. Pour the dye mixture into the pail of cold water.
  8. Rinse the bowl.
  9. Pour another 2 cups of hot water into the bowl.
  10. Stir in the cold dye fix and the salt until the salt dissolves.
  11. Stir this mixture into the contents of the pail.
  12. Have your child place the shirt in the pail and stir it slowly and gently for about 10 minutes.
  13. Let it sit in the pail for another 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  14. Remove the T-shirt from the dye and rinse it under cold running water until the water runs almost clear.
  15. Squeeze the shirt and roll it in a clean old towel to remove excess water. Remove the rubber bands.
  16. Wash and dry the T-shirt by itself before your child wears it.