Craft: Sharpie Tie-Dye

March 15, 2013

This is a cool looking craft that is pretty inexpensive. Below we show you how to do it. Check the jump for some tips and a few more pictures.

We heard about this craft on Pinterest and gave it a shot. The first time we did it we used small pieces of cloth the teens could stretch across a tin can and color on. This gave them a cool little “painting” to take home. The next time we used t-shirts and tried some actual tie-dye tricks. They turned out great, but the staff was left a little woozy from the fumes. So here are some lessons learned:


  1. Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area. Outside would be best.
  2. Cotton T-shirts were a little thicker than imagined. The stripes didn’t turn out so well because of this, more Sharpie and alcohol may fix this. Circles work really well and look cooler.
  3. The video uses tank tops, which we glued on the bottom for tank top purses.
  4. We were a little fuzzy on cleaning instructions, but the About article linked above states, “After your shirt is completely dry (alcohol is flammable, so don’t use heat on a damp shirt), set the colors by tumbling the shirt in a hot clothes dryer for ~15 minutes. You can wear and wash your new shirt like other clothes now.”
  5. Encourage the teens to be creative with the folding/bunching/rolling. The best products came from the kids/teens who hadn’t seen the video and experimented with the fabric and colors.
  6. We thought adding too many colors would make the shirts look muddy, so we encouraged our teens to use 2-3 colors. However, this was incorrect. The more colors the better.


Note: This post will also appear at Young Adult Activities.



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