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3 Tie-Dye Trends To Try In 2021 With Step-by-Step Guides

3 Tie-Dye Trends To Try In 2021 With Step-by-Step Guides

With the bright colors and happy patterns found on all things tie dye, it is no wonder that tie dye continues to be a favorite trend for all ages once again in 2021! Did you know you can easily create your own tie dye shirts at home? It is the perfect summertime activity for the whole family! Let’s take a look at how to DIY three popular tie-dye trends.  

Supplies

To begin this tie dye project, you will need to gather the following craft supplies 

  • Plain white shirts 
  • Plastic squeeze squirt bottles; one per color  
  • Rubberbands, string or zip ties   
  • Fabric Dye; powder or liquid 
  • Wire rack, baking rack, or dish drying rack.  
  • Gloves 
  • Tray or container 
  • Plastic Bag or cling wrap 

Due to its resurgence in popularity, you can also easily find prepackaged craft kits. 

Tie-Dye Prep

Be sure to set up a work space with all the necessary supplies prior to starting. Here are some tips for preparing your space to tie-dye:

  • Prepare dye in your plastic squeeze bottles, one per color, according to the directions on the package. Using squeeze bottles allows for more precise color applications.  Add additional water for diluted, or pastel, colors.  
  • Pre-wash your piece of clothing. If it is new it may have chemicals on it that don’t allow the dye to absorb. Skip fabric softener for the same reason! 
  • You will want your garment to be damp (but not wet!) so that the dye can spread more easily. 

General Tie-Dyeing Tips

  • Place the wired rack over your sink or plastic bin/tray to apply the dye. This ensures that no dye puddles under your shirt.  Outside is best for this messy project, especially with kids! 
  • Create bright and appealing color blends by keeping basic color theory in mind. Blues near yellows will create greens. Reds near yellow will create orange. Stay away from mixing blue and orange, purple and yellow, and green and red or else you will get a murky brown color.  
  • Once dyed, wait longer to achieve more saturated colors.  
  • Wash your dyed item separately for the first few washes to make sure it doesn’t bleed onto other clothing. After the initial washes, wash in cold water and air dry for best color preservation.  

3 Tie Dye Trends to Try in 2021

1. Rainbow Spiral Tie Dye 

When you think of traditional tie dye the first image that probably crosses your mind is a classic spiral pattern. Here is how you can create a rainbow spiral tie dye shirts. You will need to fill squeeze squirt bottles with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple dyes.  

  1. Lay a damp white shirt flat on your work surface.  
  2. Locate the center of your shirt, this is where the spiral will begin.  
  3. Pinch the center of your shirt and twist until a spiral begins to form. 
  4. Continue to twist until the whole shirt has formed a tight spiral.  
  5. To secure the spiral, criss-cross three rubber bands to create 6 equal segments. 
  6. Move the shirt onto the wire rack placed above the sink or a tray to catch any dripping dye.  
  7. Apply one color of dye per segment. Go in rainbow order for the best blends. Flip your shirt and also apply dye to the other side, making sure the dye penetrates through the entire shirt.  
  8. Experiment with leaving more or less white space between colors, this will slightly change the pattern and alter your result.  
  9. Place the dyed shirt into a plastic bag or wrap with cling wrap (this helps keep the shirt moist).  
  10. Allow dye to set for at least 6-8 hours. Waiting overnight and up to 24 hours is often recommended by experienced tie-dyers.  
  11. Put on gloves and rinse the shirt in cold water until it runs clear.  
  12. Remove the bands and admire your one-of-a-kind rainbow spiral tie dye shirt! 
  13. Machine Wash & Dry: Before wearing, wash with hot water to remove any excess dye and dry on high to fully set the dye. Repeat for the first few washes.  

2. Ice Dye

This technique is a hot 2021 tie-dye trend and recognizable by its more watercolor-like patterns and subtle gradients. Instead of using squirt bottles, for this technique, you will need fabric dye powder and ice. Less is more with this method so you may want to choose only one color; you will still see lots of color variation! If you decide to use 2-3 colors, be sure to leave plenty of white space when applying the dye.  

  1. Bunch up a damp white shirt on your wire rack. 
  2. Cover the shirt with ice. Experiment with different sizes and shapes of ice to get different patterns! 
  3. Use a spoon to randomly sprinkle the powdered fabric dye onto the ice. Applying more powder will result in more saturated color so try to include some areas with more dye.
  4. Allow the ice to melt completely.  
  5. Let the garment sit untouched 8-24 hours for the fabric fibers to completely soak up the dye.  
  6. Put on gloves and rinse the shirt in cold water until it runs clear.  
  7. Machine Wash & Dry: Before wearing, wash with hot water to remove any excess dye and dry on high to fully set the dye. Repeat for the first few washes. 

3. Random Tie Dye

This method leaves the result up to you and your creativity! This easy technique results in the ultimate surprise when revealing the finished design. 

  1. Start by twisting and bunching up a damp white shirt. Secure different sections at random with rubber bands.  
  2. Use various colors of fabric dye in squirt bottles to apply dye to different areas of the shirt. Areas without dye will remain white. Be aware of how different colors may blend if applying side by side. 
  3. Let the garment sit for 8-24 hours for the fabric fibers to completely soak up the dye. 
  4. Put on gloves and rinse the shirt in cold water until it runs clear.  
  5. Machine Wash & Dry: Before wearing, wash with hot water to remove any excess dye and dry on high to fully set the dye. Repeat for the first few washes.  

Now that you know how to do DIY tie-dye, there is no limit to what you can create! Continue by modifying the above techniques slightly with different colors or application methods and the result is a whole new look. The same 2021 trending tie-dye techniques can be used to make your own lounge sets, home decor, and even bedding! 

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About The Author

Jessica Grant

Jessica Grant highlights a joyful and creative childhood, motherhood, and home through her social media and her blog, JessicaEtCetera. With a background in preschool education and now a mom to 3 young kids, Jessica enjoys sharing all kinds of fun including crafts, DIY, and learning through play with the goal of creating a magical and memorable childhood!

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