Tie dye can be a crowd pleaser for all ages. Gaining popularity in the free-spirited 1960's, it still has the hippie sentiment attached to it today. Times have changed, however, and the styles that go with tie-dyeing have also evolved.
As a mom of a four- and seven-year-old, I was looking for different crafts I can make with my children and for my children, and I stumbled upon tie-dye. I now love to break out my supplies and tie-dye shirts on occasion with my kids. They can also be given as gifts and are easily customizable to suit any preferred style.
I will showcase some fun and distinctive shirt designs that can be made using tie-dye that you can add to your own closet or give as a great handmade gift. I would recommend ordering inexpensive, blank t-shirts in bulk to get started.
A fun tie-dye design I love to do is the bullseye design. Essentially, it is a circle or ring pattern that can be designed in varying colors. I love this design because I can locate the center of the bullseye anywhere on the shirt, or I can decide to also have multiple bullseyes if I please. Pick favorite colors, mix and match, and a fresh look is guaranteed!
Ombre is a popular design approach that can also be applied to tie-dyeing. The dye color that is chosen is dyed in shades, from dark to light. Achieve this look with a simple paintbrush and dye.
This look can be as subtle or as bold as I want to make it. It is a pretty style that can easily be made over and over again. I’ve created a Mommy and Me matching style with this design that my kids love to wear with me. So fun!
The Yin Yang design is a more complex design. Once mastered, it is fun to make because of the high use of colored dye—really play around with it! I have created the look on one side and on two.
I like using high contrasting colors for this one. From the traditional black and white color palette to bolder opposing colors, I’ve found that it all works. Just remember to use contrast. That way the Yin and Yang symbol can be shown as two distinct sides.
Wow! This one is amazing. If you are an outer space lover or know someone who is, definitely try this! This is an unconventional tie-dye method using bleach and color.
The use of a spray bottle helps with the star design. Start with a dark t-shirt and make it look like you are part of a far-off galaxy. My five-year-old has asked me to make him this one quite a few times. This design is definitely for the kid-at-heart.
The Mandala design is a cool bohemian look. It is usually a circle pattern incorporating many orderly and geometric shapes within it. The different shapes created in the circle are typically small and numerous.
The delicate pattern that is created makes this one of my favorites. It does require a lot of folding and prep work, but the resulting pattern is a masterpiece. I like to sit on my couch in the evenings while doing the prep for an hour or two, and the following day, start to tie-dye.
Yes, you read that right! It’s an eyeball design! This is another design perfect for kids.
At my little one’s birthday party, I gave these out as party favors for the kids, and they were a hit! I ended up creating different background colors or rubber band layouts and had fun figuring out what makes the eye pop!
The crumple method is fun, fast and easy! Just crumple your shirt in an ordered design, wrapping with rubber bands if you desire.
I have used one color on this one for a more understated effect and played around with swirling multiple colors to increase the intensity. The more wrinkles the better, so put down that iron and embrace those creases!
Shibori is rooted in Japanese history and has been practiced there for over a thousand years. Typically, a blue or indigo color is used, folding and twisting into a desired pattern. The use of wooden blocks helps to create this unique design as well.
The result is a very distinct but sophisticated design. It’s definitely one of my go-to patterns when I need a gift for someone special.
This is a classic tie-dye design. If you love bright colors like I do, you will love the Spider technique. With this method, the black dye represents the spider body and legs, and that is set atop a colorful rainbow design.
I typically will go for a thin-bordered spider, but it is easy to make the spider body as bold as you want to. This would be one spider I don’t mind having on me!
The heart design is so easy to do. This was a fun craft I made for Valentine’s Day for my children. It can even turn into an enjoyable craft to do with a partner.
Think outside of the box and create a funky colored hearts and designs for your sweetheart. Pinks and reds are always great, but just think of all the other color combinations you can do with this! I even made a couple with a creative border of hearts and multiple colored hearts to fill out the shirts.
I love making this design for our 4th of July festivities. I typically do a red, white and blue theme to commemorate the day, but you can make your fireworks any color you choose! It’s fun to create a shirt with different size bursts for a cool effect or another shirt with one big firework changing colors for a true psychedelic and exciting look.
The skull is a great one to make. It’s perfect for parents to wear during Halloween while going door to door with the kids!
The design takes a bit of time as a template will be used, but is not too complicated. Choose favorite colors to really make it your own! From dark and spooky to light and colorful, the choices are endless!
My love of tie-dye is immense. I love seeing what new looks I can create. There are so many styles and techniques to the process that there is always something new to discover or try. I hope you find tie-dyeing as enjoyable as I do!
Take these styles and make them your own. Have fun creating for your friends and family!