DIY Tie Dye Project

Apparently I am on a tie-dye kick.   I featured tie dye fashion last week and here I am again claiming how stylish and awesome the 60’s throwback look is. Obviously, Eugene is making me forget New York style.  Tie dyes, you rock!


My sister-in-law Katie and I thought it would be a great project for the kiddos one afternoon to tie-dye some shirts and other goodies. Although a lot of fun, I am not sure that the kids under 4 years old enjoyed it as much as the older ones…it took a lot of steps, planning, and preparation. That said, we had a lot of fun and made some cool looking clothes!


* White tees, undies, skirts, shorts, socks, whatever you want

* Dye

* Buckets

* Rubber bands

* Rubber gloves (or if you are like us, some plastic bags)

* A lot of patience

What we did:

We went to Old Navy to buy some white clothing and found that most of the items were on sale and perfect to experiment with. We bought the RIT dye at a local drugstore and buckets from a hardware store. With the rubber bands and some instructions courtesy YouTube on how to make cool designs, we were all set to be the COOL DUDES we know we are.


We followed the sheet of paper in the RIT dye boxes, which was very clear and easy to understand.


Flashback to middle school...


It was fun to put all the rubber bands on the clothing. Different rubber band formations led to different end designs.


Unfortunately, once you dye in the buckets, you cant really use them again for cleaning around the house, because the buckets will be permanently dyed. We had four different color options: blue, green, orange and red.


You mix the dye with the hot water. The nature hippies that we are, we used a stick from the garden to mix it together.


Since we didn't want to expose our direct skin to dye, we wanted to use gloves. But we couldn't find any. So we improvised and used plastic bags with rubber bands on the ends to make our own makeshift gloves. It worked perfectly.



Mr. Cruz was antisocial and didn't want any part in the tie dying experience. He wanted to read Richard Scarry books and drink hibiscus tea instead.

That said, every so often, he wanted to check out the scene and look to see what was going on.


After mixing the dye with the water, you simply dip the shirts in the mixture for 4-6 minutes, take the rubber bands off, and hang dry.

Clothing on the clothesline.


Socks. I personally am going to wear these tie dye socks with birkenstocks, a fanny pack, and cut offs.


My research on you tube paid off, as this spiral looks perfectly psychedelic-ly awesome.

spiral 2

Spiral 2. We made these as presents for friends, but they turned out so cool that I want this for Cruzzie!

purple hands

This was taken after many, many handwashes. Purple hands.


Fingernails. Hot look.

So, there you have it, that was our tie dye do-it-yourself project at home. It took a long time, a lot of organization, made a huge mess, and was not particularly engaging for a newborn and a 2.5 year old. That said, I had a lot of fun and am really happy with the clothes. If you are in need of a summertime family activity, this is a great one!

Have a great week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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  1. This brings back some wonderful childhood memories!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. total flashback! i remember tie dying my lace edged leggings in middle school. and thinking i was the hottest thing ever while wearing them. just might have to relive those days…

    • Oh my god. Tie dye lace leggings are a dream come true, and so can we do that when you are visiting Eugene?

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