How To Tie Dye Anything In Your Closet

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It’s happened: you’re suddenly obsessed with DIY. You may have been fighting it from the beginning, thinking that it's so much easier to just purchase an item online and have it shipped to your house. But alas, there's something so entertaining and gratifying about doing it yourself — oh, and the pride of telling everyone the gorgeous printed shirt you're wearing is your own creation. That said, now is the perfect time to take on some of your favorite sleepaway camp activities: learning how to tie dye.

Ahead, find out exactly how to tie-dye everything from Hanes T-shirts to silk slip dresses.

How to tie-dye shirts?

Let’s start with the basics. You'll need:

White 100% cotton T-shirt

Rubber bands

Plastic gloves

Plastic buckets (make sure that it’s large enough to fit your item of choice, submerged—also have one for each color, with an additional one for water)

Squeeze bottles

Dye kit

Ziploc bags

Now what?

1. Begin by filling each bucket with the appropriate amount of water, adding a single dye color to all except for one.

2. Roll up, bunch off, etc. your T-shirt with rubber bands to create a pattern that will be dyed later.

3. Submerge your rubber banded creation in water, making sure the entirety of it is saturated.

4. Pull it out of the water and wring out any excel fluid.

Ok, you’re all set up. Let’s tie dye.

1. Slip into those rubber gloves so that your hands don’t wind up a scary shade of purple. The dye is meant to really sink into your clothing, so it is quite difficult to remove from skin as well—especially that much of it.

2. While you’re at it, make sure that you’re wearing clothing that you don’t mind getting dye on if you splatter, and you’re set up on a surface that’s easy to clean or—better yet—outside!

3. With gloves on, start methodically dipping each segment of your wet rubber-banded T-shirt into various color dyes. Try to take care to keep each section separate from one another when it comes to colors.

4. If you would rather use squeeze bottles for a more directed dye, now is your chance.

4. When you’re all dyed up, slip your T-shirt into a zip-lock bag. As hard as waiting is, try to keep it sealed up tight for at least 24 hours.

Day two.

1. After astounding yourself at your patience, the time has finally come to unwrap your creation.

2. Don those gloves again and take your dyed T-shirt over to a sink.

3. Underneath warm running water, begin to un-tie all of the rubber bands, squeezing all the excess dye as you go.

4. It might take a little while but continue until all of the water is running clean.

5. Pop your shirt in the washing machine for a full rinse. It is recommended that you wash them on their own the first time, but they should be clear to be thrown in with your other colors after that.

How to tie-dye silk:

If you want to fashion a tie-dye silk midi skirt or slip dress, the process is largely the same as above. The only difference is the dye type, and the addition of white vinegar.

1. Shop a fiber reactive dye in an array of colors.

2. After rubber-banding your silk item, submerge it in white vinegar instead of water. Leave it submerged for about ten to fifteen minutes, wringing it out when you’re through.

3. Dye as you would any other material, as outlined above.

4. After rinsing out all of the dye with water (24 hours later…), you might want to skip the washing machine—up to you! It totally depends on how you will be caring for your item, moving forward.

How to tie dye shoes:

This is a job for those squeeze bottles you purchased. It will give you more ability to create swirls, patterns, and the like if you’re unable to rubber-band off the item. While you might not get a classic tie-dye swirl, it will create a cool-girl ombré look you’ll love.