These five easy tie dye patterns for kids make it easy to start creating your own designs for tie dye with your kids!
Tie dye supplies….
Before you get started on your first tie dye adventure you will need to gather up a few items. It’s not as many materials or as messy as you might think so don’t let this step discourage you. Creating your own tie dye designs is super fun and your kids will LOVE wearing something they made themselves!
Here’s what you’ll need…
- 100% cotton t-shirts, white or a light color
- Fabric dye- I love these easy to use tie dye kits from Tulip
- Rubber bands or clips if not included in your tie dye kit
- Plastic or scrap paper to protect work surface
- Hose, faucet or other water source
Prepping your t-shirts for tie dye…
Before beginning the tie dye process it’s important that your shirts have been laundered, if they’re new. Sizing left on the fabric can make the cotton stiff and less able to absorb the dye.
Either spray your t-shirts lightly with water or get them damp and wring them out. Damp fabric will accept the dye much easier than fabric that is completely dry.
How to create a crumple tie dye design…
One of the simplest tie dye patterns to create is a random crumple pattern. It’s colorful, and simple and there’s no messing it up!
Lay your damp t-shirt out flat. Crumple small sections in your hand holding them together until the entire fabric of the shirt is balled up. Secure with rubber bands.
The tighter the crumples the the smaller the tie dye design will be. Looser wrinkles in the fabric will result in a larger scale tie dye pattern.
If you’re working with very young children consider working as a pair. One partner, the adult or helper, can loosely hold the crumpled fabric as the child feeds it into their hands. Kids can help tighten the rubber bands. If rubber bands are difficult for your young artist consider securing the fabric with zip ties.
Creating a bull’s eye tie dye design…
This graphic bull’s eye tie dye patters is an easy design to replicate. Lay your damp t-shirt flat. Choose an area in which you’d like to create a bull’s eye design. Pull both layers of fabric up into a “horn” like shape. Secure with three rings of rubber bands.
The more layers and rings, the longer the “horn” shape the bigger the bull’s eye tie dye design will appear. The more tightly wrapped the rubber bands are the more distinct the tie dye pattern will appear.
Create as many or as few bull’s eye designs as you choose. Consider creating bull’s eyes that include the collar and sleeve areas.
How to create a mandala tie dye pattern….
This mandala inspired tie dye pattern is created in a similar fashion to the bull’s eye design but on a larger scale.
Begin by laying your already damp t-shirt out flat. Fold in half vertically, bringing one sleeve over top of the other. Next, fold in half horizontally, bringing the top of the shirt down to meet the bottom. Fold in half one last time creating a pie or wedge shape.
Now use rubber bands to intermittently cinch the fabric together. These tightly gathered areas are what resists the dye and will create the circular mandala design!
Classic spiral tie dye design….
The spiral tie dye look is a classic tie dye design and super easy to make! Lay your damp shirt flat. Pinch the center of the shirt and begin to twist the fabric around that center piece.
Keep twisting and use your other hand guide the fabric of the rest of the t-shirt to follow the circular direction.
Twist rubber bands around the circle of fabric in three different places in order to secure the fabric.
How to make a a striped tie dye pattern…
To make a striped pattern in your tie dye garment you’ll want to create a series of back and forth accordion folds across the entire shirt.
Folds can go from side to side or top to bottom but will change the orientation of your tie dyed stripes when done, depending on the direction you choose. Folding from side to side will create horizontal stripes while folding top to bottom will create vertical tie dye stripes.
One folded secure periodically with rubber bands or zip ties. The tightly gathered fabric is what creates the stripes. Add as many or as few as you like.
I’m not going to lie- the striped tie dye pattern was the least predictable design we tried. Even when the striped tie dye design wasn’t as prominent as I wanted it was still a really interesting design. One tip I have is to saturate the fabric between the rubber bands but leave some white where the rubber bands are tying the fabric up tight. Plenty of dye will spread, those areas do not need to be soaked. Soaking them may result in a lack stripes.
Get busy tie dying….
Once you’ve planned out your awesome tie dye design by folding and rubber banding you’re ready to add color. Follow along with the directions on your fabric dye. If you’re using the Tulip fabric dye I used it’s a simple process but you will want to allow plenty of time for the dye to saturate, usually overnight.
These same tie dye folding patterns can be used with this bleach tie dye process for a completely different look.