In honor of the holiday I decided to write up a little tutorial. As I said recently, I’ve been big into designing t-shirts and this time I’ve been playing with tie dye. A number of weeks ago I was looking through a Top Shop catalog and spotted a few shirts that were ombre dyed and one of them had some metal studs on the shoulders. This was the top I was looking at:
Now this one is more of a light sweater/sweatshirt and would be way too heavy for summer so I decided to work on a t-shirt. I had been looking at the Tulip brand dyes every time I went to Walmart and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try them out. I picked up their one color squirt bottle dye kit in pink. I also bought a small spray bottle.
The kit contains the dye powder in a squirt bottle, rubber bands, plastic gloves, and directions. You simply add water to the bottle and voila, ready to use dye.
Since I was planning on doing the ombre look I didn’t need the rubber bands and I bought the spray bottle because I thought it would be easier to get a light blending that way. I had seen it suggested a few places on the internet as something others had tried. I also decided that not only would I do this outside so I didn’t get dye everywhere but I would hang the shirt up so it wouldn’t get over saturated and end up dying the whole shirt (this happened on another shirt and I will show you that one later). Oh, I also pre wet the shirt so it’s damp.
I proceeded to mix the dye in the squirt bottle and then transferred it to the spray bottle. I did not add any extra water to the bottle.
I then began to spray the bottom of the shirt. I found that I had to adjust the nozzle a bit to find the right amount of spray and I did get a few drops on places I didn’t want dyed. Luckily that came off with bleach after was all said and done but I also figured if not I could cover the drops with the studs. It may be best not to do it on a breezy day like I did.
I did about 2-3 inches in the initial dye so that the bottom would be the darkest color. I then added water to the bottle almost all the way full. I sprayed the next few inches with that shade. It will be a bit lighter by diluting it with all the water.
I did the same thing one more time to get the lightest shade and sprayed it the next couple inches. The dye does travel up the shirt a bit and the spray spreads it out so that’s why I only sprayed on a few inches. Basically I eyed the whole thing to get as far as I wanted. It’s not an exact science so just have fun with it. After you get the color you want it’s time to let it sit for about 6 hours covered in plastic. I used a big garbage bag and laid it on the ground. I put the shirt on the bag and folded the bag over the shirt and put some heavy items to hold the bag down.
If possible get a guard kitty to watch your garment while it sets.
I didn’t wear the gloves the whole time because I don’t care about it getting on my hands and it does wash off pretty easily if you find the gloves too cumbersome.
After the 6 hours you rinse the shirt with cold water and then wash it in the washing machine on hot and with a bit of soap. The full directions come with the dye. I dried it a bit in the dryer and then was ready to add the studs. I decided I didn’t want to do the pointed ones like the original shirt because it was a bit much for a t-shirt and I already had little flat ones. I also had my handy dandy Bedazzler from middle school. You can also find iron on studs or just bend down the prongs with a ruler so something flat like that.
I didn’t have a particular pattern in mind for the studs I just started putting them on randomly on one side and then mimed it on the other as best I could. That’s it! Pretty easy and done in one day. The dye setting is what takes the most time but other than that it’s a pretty fast project.
As I mentioned above I did another shirt using the included squirt bottle and with the fabric laying down and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted but still really cute. This method really saturates the fabric and the whole tank ended up getting dyed even though that’s not what I was going for.