Brightly Colored Patriotic Tie-Dye T-Shirts

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Looking for an awesome 4th of July Tie-Dye T-Shirt craft? This is one that is perfect for a wide variety of ages!

Last summer I thought it would be fun for the kids to tie-dye t-shirts for the 4th of July. I did a bunch of research to find out the best way to make great and brightly colored tie-dye.  After researching, I quickly found out that it’s best to purchase reactive types of dyes from Dharma Trading Company. This is because their dyes stay brighter for much longer then the regular dyes you can purchase from the stores or online.

Today I’m going to share with you the best tips and ideas we learned while making our tie-dye shirts. The kids have worn them almost weekly since last summer. They are still almost just as brightly colored as when we made them last year.

Brightly Colored 4th of July Tie-Dye T-Shirts

All you need are a few simple items to get started!

Supplies Needed to make Tie-Dye Shirts:

  1. 100% cotton fabric (t-shirts, bag, baseball hats, pillowcase, etc.)
  2. Your choice of fiber reactive dye colors. Dharma Trading Company has a special 4th of July kit, ROYGBIV sets, or you can purchase any colors you choose.
  3. Soda ash.
  4. Water.
  5. Detergent.
  6. Cooling rack and box.

  1. Add 1 cup soda ash to 1 gallon of water. Soak shirts until every spot on the shirt is soaked. The soda ash makes helps the dye stick and become more vibrant.
  2. Choose what design you want to make on your shirt and prepare it however needed. THIS awesome post contains 16 different tie-dye techniques.
    1. Fish Scales
    2. Swirl
    3. Heart
  3. Start adding your color onto your shirt, flip over and add the same design on the other side.
  4. Put the shirt in a gallon Ziploc bag and leave for 24 hours.
  5. Rinse in cold water, remove rubber bands, continue rinsing until the water is clear.
  6. Wash in hot water with this special detergent and then dry for colors to be set into the shirt.

Visual Steps Showing How to Tie-Dye a T-Shirt

The tighter the shirt is rolled once the color is added, the cooler the end design is going to be. (This is just one of the ways to tie-dye shirts)

tie-dye t-shirt

The great part about this tie-dye craft is that each person making one can have fun creating their own color scheme!

adding paint to tie-dye t-shirt

This is the step that will be folding and getting ready to tie the shirt in knots to start tie-dying. (This is a secondary way to tie-dye t-shirts)

getting ready to tie-dye t-shirt

The tighter the knots tied with the rubber bands, the more cool and funky designs will be created.

typing knots in tie-dye t-shirt

See how helpful is it to have that box under the wire rack? Saves from a big cleanup having to happen later.

adding paint on tie-dye t-shirt

It’s so simple for all ages to create their own unique designs. Shows great creativity and independence as well!

adding paint on tie-dye t-shirt

See how this one has a ton of red? Wonder how it’s going to look once it’s done and out of the wash?

adding paint on tie-dye t-shirt

This look was a bit more “polka dot” style. Fun and unique.

fun painting pattern on tie-dye t-shirt

This is a visual difference between a t-shirt that is 100% cotton (on the left) and one that is not quite all cotton. It makes a big difference in the end results. tie-dye t-shirt

As you can tell, these shirts look great on the smaller kids…

kids wearing tie dye shirts

And the bigger kids, too. Isn’t it cool to see how different their designs all are?

kids wearing tie dye shirts

We had to get one of the whole crew, of course!

kids wearing tie dye shirts

Have you ever tie-dyed a t-shirt before?

Like this fun post? Make certain to check out some of these other options as well:

Thank you for sharing!!

One thought on “Brightly Colored Patriotic Tie-Dye T-Shirts

  1. Mother of 3 says:

    We’ve made dyed shirts a few times and I was always so disappointed in how much the colors faded as we rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. I’ll have to try following these steps instead. Thanks!

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