8 Tie-Dye Patterns and Step-By-Step Instructions
Elevate your basic tie-dye to make groovy swirls, stripes, polka dots, and more. Click through for eight tie-dye designs with easy-to-follow instructions.
This tie-dye pattern looks like a target or bulls-eye! Here’s how to make it: Lay the T-shirt flat. Pinch center of the garment and rubber-band both layers, about 1 to 2 inches from center. Continue applying rubber bands in this pattern about 1 inch apart from each other.
Even very young kids can help make this cosmic tie-dye design. First, wet the shirt and lay it flat. With your fingers, scrunch and wrinkle the fabric, gathering it into a tight disk. Wrap several rubber bands around the disk. The tighter you bind it, the more white there will be in the final shirt.
Diagonal Stripe Design
If you're looking for a unique tie-dye shirt pattern, consider these multi-colored diagonal stripes. To make it, lay the T-shirt flat and fold it accordion-style from the bottom corner. Once folded, wrap with rubber bands every 1 to 2 inches.
Polka Dot Pattern
Here are step-by-step tie-dye instructions fo this polka dot design: Gather a handful of plastic beads or dried beans. Cut plastic wrap into squares that are about four times larger than the beads or beans. Place a bean or bead inside the shirt, then place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the shirt. Working with just the front layer of the shirt, wrap a rubber band tightly around the plastic- and shirt-covered bead or bean, as shown. Repeat to make more dots. Wet the tee before dyeing it.
This tie-dye idea ends up looking like fun, funky flowers. Start by laying a T-shirt flat. Pinch a 2-inch section through both layers and rubber-band it. Push your finger down through the rubber band to make a donut shape, and repeat as many times as you want.
This spiral pattern (shown on the yellow shirt) will have you and your kids doing the twist. Choose a spot in the center of the shirt, between the armpits; with your thumb and forefinger, press down and twist the fabric clockwise. Try to keep the resulting folds at approximately the same height, creating a shape like a flat cinnamon roll. Wrap the shape tightly with rubber bands, as shown. The tighter you bind the shirt, the more white there will be in the design.
Sailor Stripe Design
Tie-dye doesn't always mean groovy spirals and circles; you can make straight-line stripes too. Starting at one side, gather the T-shirt to create accordion-like folds that run vertically from neck to hem. Wrap a rubber band tightly around the shirt. For more stripes in the tie-dye pattern, add rubber bands as shown.
This circle shirt couldn't be simpler to create. At the center of the T-shirt between the armpits, pinch the top layer. Pull the fabric up into a point, letting the rest of the shirt fall away. Smooth the fabric down evenly from your pinched point, creating a skinny cone shape. Wrap a rubber band tightly around it.
Move the rubber-banded ring up or down to make the circle smaller or larger. For a wider line, wrap a few bands around the same spot. Or create a bull's-eye by adding bands above and below the first one. Wet the tee before dyeing it with this creative tie-dye technique.