How to Tie Dye a Children’s T-Shirt

How to Tie Dye a Children’s T-Shirt

Well, I bought a tie dye kit from Michael’s over two years ago and I’m pretty sure our oldest has asked me to make t-shirts at least once a week since I purchased them. The youngest? Well, he’s a typical second child and says “I don’t want to do that…”. Anyways, for a first time tie dye experience this was pretty painless, so I figured I’d provide some tricks and tips I found helpful during the process. Happy dying, everyone!


  • T-shirt or item you wish to tie-dye
  • Bottles of dye (I purchased a kit that make it pretty painless from most craft stores-if you would like to use the same one we used, you can find it here on Amazon)
  • Fork
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber gloves
  • Large baking sheet
  • Large cooling rack
  • Large piece of cardboard


  1. Begin by sticking a fork in the middle of the shirt or item you are dying and twisting until the entire piece is twisted around in a type of cinnamon bun shape. **Note: If you want a very solidly colored tie dye, soak the shirt in water prior to twisting the shirt into a bun shape. If you’d like a shirt that has some white left in the pattern like ours is shown above, do not soak the shirt yet.**
  1. Place rubber bands evenly around the bun shaped fabric.
  1. Soak the bun shaped fabric in water. The more saturated the piece, the more solid the dye will be. The less saturated, the more white there will be. If you want solid color tie dye, soak the shirt prior to twisting and placing rubber bands around it.
  1. Sit the soaked shirt on a wire cooling rack over a large baking sheet. Apply the dye one section at a time saturating the shirt as much or as little as you’d like. The more saturated, the darker and more solid colored the shirt will be.
  2. Allow the shirt to sit and soak in the dye. You can allow it to soak overnight for a very saturated and blended look or allow it to sit for an hour or so before opening the shirt to dry.
  1. Using gloves, cut the rubber bands off of the shirt.
  1. Open the shirt and place the wire rack and pan on a large piece of cardboard to dry. Allow the shirt to dry for 24 hours. After the shirt has fully dried, place the shirt in a dryer and tumble dry on low for 30 minutes to set in the dye.
  2. Enjoy your new shirt!