Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dip Dye T-shirt Tutorial

Dip Dye a T-shirt InstructionsOn my day off Monday, I was feeling a little crafty and decided to try my hand at dip dyeing a t-shirt.

Honestly, I'd been putting it off because I was afraid of ruining a perfectly good aqua t-shirt!

I created a how-to video (see the end of this post) but I'll also include detailed directions here, should you want to try your hand at dip dying a t-shirt too! It's not as intimidating as it seems. And if I can do it, you can certainly do it!

The color didn't turn out as I expected, but it's growing on me.  I was trying for more of an intense aqua or turquoise, but the green clearly took over. Mixing dyes can be tricky. Next time I may opt for just one color so there won't be any surprises. (wink)

How to Dip Dye a T-shirt

Dip Dye supplies

  • Rit Dye
  • Clothes to dye
  • Bucket or stainless steel sink
  • Rubber gloves
  • Stir stick or stainless steel spoon
  • Rags
  • Newspaper to protect surface
  • Hot water
  • Disposable container to mix dye
  • Salt
  • Detergent
  • Hanger
  • Water source

Dip Dye Instructions and Tips

  • Lay down newspaper to protect your working surface.
  • Use a stainless steel sink or large bucket. Dye will seep into anything else (porcelin sinks, bathtubs, counter tops, linoleum).
  • You will also need a water supply and place to rinse out your dyed shirt.
  • Make sure you read the instructions on the Rit Dye package.
  • I put 3 gallons of hot water in a stainless steel sink.
  • Added 1 Tbsp detergent (to evenly disperse the dye) & 1 cup salt (helps intensify dye color)
  • Put on rubber gloves!
  • Dissolved the dye (1 box blue with 1/2 box green) in 2 c hot water in a disposable container and added it to the water in the sink
  • Make sure you wet your shirt first and wring it out/smooth it out before putting in the dye
  • Immerse your shirt in the dye (I put pin markers in the shirt to show me where I wanted the line level to be.)
  • I swished my shirt in the dye a little so there wouldn't be a distinct line mark.
  • Make sure to keep dye off the top part of the shirt.
  • The longer you leave your shirt in, the darker it will be. *If you're opting for all-over color, leave it in for about 30 minutes and stir to evenly distribute color.
  • Remove shirt from dye and carefully ring out excess dye
  • Rinse the dyed shirt - 1st with hot water, then cold, until the water runs clear.
  • Next, either hang your shirt to dry (be sure to have something under it since it will still drip colored water) OR throw it in the washing machine with detergent, on cold (that's what I did).
  • Then hang or machine dry (I threw mine in the dryer).
And it's ready to wear!

How to dip dye your own t-shirt

Against the aqua, it's kind of a sea green...I call it "where the sea meets the sky"...if I'm waxing poetic.

Dip Dye using Rit Dye

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm certainly not an expert at dip dying (yet!) but I'm happy to help!

{WATCH} how easy dip dyeing a t-shirt can be!

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  1. really love the green. The last time I played with dyes was when I used henna to turn my hair red, got it all over me, ended up diving into the bath .. in total desperation. Will have another try ... on a t-shirt following your method ;)

    1. Oh geeze! Your hair dying experience sounds like an adventure! Hope next time around on clothes it will work for you. :)

  2. Love the way it turned out! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

    1. Thanks so much Patti! I appreciate your hosting a fun link party!


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