Homemade Tie Dye T-Shirts with Sharpie Markers

Here’s a gem that I came across at The Girl Jackie, when looking for some fun ideas for kids to do this summer. I know my kids love tie dye, and I’m not going to lie, I forgot to wear gloves the last time we did it and boy was that fun to get off my hands. Here’s a great idea to make tie dye shirts using only rubbing alcohol and sharpie markers.

Tie Dye T-Shirts with Sharpie Markers!

It was Red Ribbon week at my daughter’s school this week and their first dress up day was tie dye t-shirts and wouldn’t you know she didn’t have anything tie dye in her closet. So we decided to do a little art project together and make something with what we had on hand.
I have seen several different examples and directions for this on the internet so we took what we found from various searches and modified it just a little bit.
Here’s what you’ll need and the steps we followed:
  • Pre-washed white or light colored t-shirt (cotton takes color great)
  • Rubbing Alcohol (Note: mine was 91%. If your alcohol has a lower percentage it may not work as well)
  • Liquid dropper (we used an old medecine dropper)
  • Small plastic cup(s)… really we only needed one
  • Rubber bands
  • Variety of colored Sharpies (we stuck to color wheel colors, no brown or black)
**** Extra Embellishment: (fabric, scissors, iron on paper, and an iron) – we made a sparkley peace sign to put in the center of the shirt.
 My super helper, ready to get creative!
 Choose a spot to start and put your cup in right side up and secure a rubber band around the cup rim holding the shirt tightly in place.
Pick your colors and create a small design in the center of the stretched circle. We kept our designs to the size of a quarter or half dollar because the alcohol will make the colors spread out a lot.
P.S. remember that complimentary colors will turn brown when they mix
(ex. using blue and orange together)
 Using your dropper drip approximately 10 drops of rubbing alcohol in the center of your design and watch the colors spread.
One thing we added: we put a couple more dots and lines of color on the outer edges of the circle and added alcohol drops to them just before removing our rubber band…. then we blew on the area to speed the drying and make the colors mix and bleed together in an irregular circle design
 Note: I had a piece of plexiglass that we put inside the shirt while working to prevent color bleeding through to the back side (cardboard would work too)
I love the instant results of this project!
 We made a bunch of designs going up the shirt (looked almost like a funky caterpillar at first)
Then we started filling in different areas with more circles and overlapping some of them.
We did not do the back of the shirt and we did leave white areas on purpose.
The fun of it is that you can do it any way you want! And it’s so easy!
 * You will definitely want to heat set the colors by tossing the shirt in the dryer for a while before wearing.
Our last step was to create this glitzy peace sign using fabric and no sew iron on paper.
 We were so happy with how it came out!
I will absolutely do this project again sometime.