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How To Make Tie-Dye Socks At Home

How To Make Tie-Dye Socks At Home

Looking for great outdoor summer crafts for kids? Tie-dyeing is the perfect project to tackle on a warm summer day. This craft can be a bit messy so it’s a great project to do it outside. Traditionally, t-shirts have been the most popular article of clothing to tie dye, but this year instead of making tie dye t-shirts, get crazy—try something new and make tie dye socks with your kids. Your kids will be proud to rock their psychedelic socks all year round.

Tie Dye Clothes Drying

Tie-Dye Patterns 

Tie-dye patterns are unique and remain a mystery until you snip the rubber bands off and unfold the material to reveal a colorful swirly pattern. There’s endless variety of tie-dye designs from swirls to zig-zags. Here are some ways to create a variety of cool patterns on your tie dye socks: 

  • Swirls: With the sock lying flat, pinch the middle of the sock and begin to twist it in a counterclockwise direction until the entire sock is twisted together. Place several rubber bands securely around the perimeter of the sock then squirt on the dye. 
  • Stripes: Tightly wrap rubber bands at even intervals down the length of each sock then add different colors to each section. 
  • Color Bursts: Pinch 5 to 6 small sections of the material along the length of each sock wrapping a small rubber band around each one before squirting die on each pinched section. 
  • Zig-Zag Lines: Pleat each sock accordion style then add rubber bands along the width of the pleated socks. Add several different lines of color dye to each sock to finish the pattern. 

Tie-Dye Powder Color Strength Tips

With easy-to-use tie-dye kits, anyone can make their own colorful tie-dye apparel. Most DIY tie dye kits come with dye powder packets. With some small changes to the water to powder ration, you can adjust the boldness of colors powder from your tie dye kit to get the look you want.

  • Bright colors: Mix 4 to 6 teaspoons of dye powder per cup of water.
  • Medium shades: Mix 2 to 3 teaspoons of dye powder per cup of water.
  • Light, pastel shades: Mix ¼ to 2 teaspoons dye powder per cup of water.
Tulip Carousel Tie Dye Kit
White socks on pink background


  • A tie dye kit
  • Socks
  • A big plastic container
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber gloves to prevent hands from dying
  • Baking or drying rack to lay the socks on
  • Gallon-sized zipper seal bags
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Tie-Dye Socks Step-by-Step Guide

  1. White socks work best, to showcase the colors you choose, and dye is best absorbed by socks that are at least 75% cotton. 100% cotton is even better.
  2. Pre-wash the socks in warm, soapy water to remove any chemicals or finishes that would interfere with the absorption of the dye.  
  3. Lay the clean, damp socks in the center of the plastic container.
  4. Choose the type of pattern you want to create on your socks using the pattern guide suggestions listed above. The rubber bands will resist the dye so the more rubber bands you use the more white spaces your socks will have. Use as many or as few rubber bands as you want depending on the type of tie-dye pattern desired. 
  5. Put on your rubber gloves so you don’t dye your skin. Then fill one plastic squirt bottle for each color of dye with 1 cup of warm tap water then follow the mixing ratios above or the guide on a tie-dye kit to mix your dye powder and get the shade of color you desire.  
  6. Place the socks on the baking rack with the large plastic container under it to keep the liquid dye from puddling under the socks. With the prepared squirt bottles squeeze different colors of dye onto the rubber-banded socks making sure to color all white sections of sock material. Place the dyed socks into a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and allow the socks to sit for 24 hours.  
  7. Remove the socks from the plastic bag, snip the rubber bands, remove and open your tie-dye socks to reveal the cool patterns you created. Rinse the tie-dyed socks several times with cold water until the water runs clear. Wash your tie-dye socks in a washing machine with detergent before wearing them.  

The tie-dye colors on the socks may continue to bleed a little during the next few washings so take care when washing the socks with other articles of clothing.

Armed with a tie-dye kit and this easy step-by-step guide you can get started making tie-dye socks today. Once you have the basics down, you can try more intricate patterns like an ice dye, or tie dying things like towels or even a tote bag. Your kids are sure to love this fun DIY craft and will probably want to make enough pairs of tie-dye socks to wear for each day of the week. 

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About The Author

Erin Evans

Erin Evans is a seasoned homeschooling mom of four from West Michigan. Her blog, Mommy Suburbia is about family, faith, food and fun with some life adventures sprinkled in. If you are looking for a simple kid’s craft project, homeschool advice, parenting tips or a delicious recipe you are in the right neighborhood!

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