10 Vibrant Tie Dye Patterns

5 Months ago by

Hello there! My name is Stephanie Lynn from ByStephanieLynn.com and I’m pretty excited to be guest posting on The Glue String today.

Whether you have been tie dying for decades or are trying it for the first time, the whole tie dye experience is one crafting activity that never gets old.

Creating unique patterns and colorful designs is a lot easier than you may think, making it a perfect activity that can be enjoyed by all. Today I’m going to show you how to make the following tie dye patterns:

10 Vibrant Tie Dye Patterns

Pictured from left to right: Accordion Rectangle, Accordion Galaxy, Horizontal Stripe, Tube Scrunch, Center Stripe, Bold Vertical Stripe, Inverted V, Center Knot, Accordion Block and a classic Spiral.

!0 Vibrant Tie Dye Patterns #MakeItWithMichaels

While there really are no rules when it comes to tie dying, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity today to share a few tips and designs as we celebrate National Tie Dye Day on April 22.

10 Vibrant Tie Dye Patterns

All of the designs in this post were created on White Gildan® 100% cotton T-Shirts.

The dyes used for the Tie Dye Techniques below are Tulip® One Step Dyes. All of the colors are conveniently included in the Tulip® One-Step Color Tie-Dye Kit® found at Michaels. The colors are also available individually.

A few Maker tips to keep in mind before you begin:

  • Plan on dedicating some time to folding the fabric. The ‘folds’ are one of the main components in creating unique tie dye patterns, as it prevents the dye from reaching certain areas – which in return, create resists.
  • Each fold made will create a line in the final pattern. Narrow folds will create a smaller pattern and wider folds will create larger patterns.
  • Crumbling, scrunching or twisting the fabric will create more organic-like patterns and spirals. Creasing and folding the fabric will create geometric-type patterns and stripes.
  • When securing the fabric, make sure the rubber bands are really tight. This will not only will hold the fabric together, but will help prevent the die from seeping through the folds, creating crisp resists.
  • The other main component of creating unique tie dye designs is choosing the right colors. Many of the designs below were created using just one color of dye. Using one color will create an ombre or gradient effect as the dye seeps through the fabric.

Tie Dye Mixing Chart for Colors

  • Different color dyes applied close to each other will bleed together and create a ‘new’ color.
  • When combining colors, stick with the primary basics.
  • Avoid combining secondary colors – like orange and green, green and purple, & purple and orange – which will result in muddy brown hues.

How to Make an Accordion Fold

For reference: The term ‘accordion fold‘ is used in several of the techniques below. This simply means folding the fabric in a zig-zag pattern, creating a series of pleats, as shown above.

1. Accordion Rectangle Tie Dye Technique

Accordion Rectangle Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Fold the t-shirt in half, lengthwise, aligning the sleeves.
  • Accordion fold the t-shirt from the bottom hem up. This fold can be as wide as you like – ours was about 2 inches.
  • Secure the folds with five evenly-spaced rubber bands, as shown above.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Flip the fabric over and repeat the dye on the backside.

Tulip® One Step Red dye was used for this particular design. The dye was generously applied to every other rubber-banded section. As the dye processes it will bleed into the sections left white, creating a gradient effect, as shown above.

Accordion Rectangle Tie Dye Results

Accordion Rectangle Tie Dye Pattern How to Tie Dye an Accordion Rectangle Pattern

2. Accordion Galaxy Tie Dye Technique

Accordion Galaxy Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Fold in each sleeve of the shirt.
  • Accordion fold the t-shirt from the bottom hem up. This fold can be as wide as you like – ours was about 2 inches.
  • Secure the folds with three evenly-spaced rubber bands, as shown above.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Flip the fabric over and repeat the dye on the backside.

Tulip® One Step Orange Dye was used for this particular design. The dye was generously applied to the fabric surrounding each rubber band. As the dye processes it will seep through the fabric and create the gradient effect, as shown above.

Accordion Galaxy Tie Dye Results

Accordion Galaxy Tie Dye Pattern How to make a Tie Dye Accordion Galaxy Pattern

3. Horizontal Stripe Tie Dye Technique

Horizontal Stripe Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Accordion fold the t-shirt from the bottom hem up. This fold can be as wide as you like – ours was about 3 inches.
  • At this point you will have a long strip of folded fabric.
  • Fold the strip in half.
  • Secure the folds with three rubber bands, as shown above.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Flip the fabric over and repeat the dye on the backside.

Tulip® One Step Lime Dye was used for this particular design. The dye was generously applied to the outer edges of the fabric, completely saturating the ends.

Horizontal Stripe Tie Dye Results

Horizontal Stripe Tie Dye Pattern How to Tie Dye a Horizontal Stripe Pattern

4. Tube Scrunch Tie Dye Technique

Tube Scrunch Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Fold the t-shirt in half, lengthwise.
  • Fold in the sleeves of the shirt.
  • Starting at the bottom hem, roll the fabric around a tube – we used a paper towel roll.
  • Tightly scrunch both ends of the fabric toward the center.
  • Secure with rubber bands.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Rotate the tube and continue applying the dye until the fabric is completely saturated.

Tulip® One Step Green Dye was used for this particular design.

Tube Scrunch Tie Dye Results

Tube Scrunch Tie Dye Pattern How to Tie Dye a Tube Scrunch Pattern

5. Center Stripe Tie Dye Technique

Center Stripe Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Starting right under the arms, accordion fold the center of the t-shirt, lengthwise. This fold can be as wide as you like – ours was about 2 inches.
  • Secure the center section with four evenly-spaced rubber bands, as shown above.
  • Loosely fluff open each end.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Flip the fabric over and repeat the dye on the backside.

Tulip® One Step Green Dye and Tulip® One Step Turquoise Dye were used for this particular design. The turquoise dye was applied to the ends, completely saturating the fabric, up to the first set of rubber bands. The green dye was then applied to the center section – completely saturating the fabric, up to the inner rubber bands. As the dye processes it will bleed into the sections left white, creating a blended effect, as shown above.

Center Stripe Tie Dye Results

Center Stripe Tie Dye Patten How to Tie Dye a Center Stripe

6. Bold Vertical Stripe Tie Dye Technique

Bold Vertical Stripe Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Accordion fold the t-shirt from the bottom hem up. This fold can be as wide as you like – ours was about 3 inches.
  • Secure the folds with four rubber bands, as shown above.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Flip the fabric over and repeat the dye on the backside.

Tulip® One Step Green Dye and Tulip® One Step Black Dye were used for this particular design. The black dye was generously applied to the ends, completely saturating the fabric, up to the first set of rubber bands. The green dye was then generously applied to the center section – completely saturating the fabric, up to the inner rubber bands. As the dye processes it will bleed into the sections left white, creating a blended effect, as shown above.

Bold Vertical Stripe Tie Dye Results

Bold Vertical Stripe Tie Dye Pattern How to Tie Dye a Bold Center Stripe Pattern

7. Inverted V Tie Dye Technique

Inverted V Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Fold the t-shirt in half, lengthwise, aligning the sleeves.
  • Accordion fold the t-shirt from the bottom, on a diagonal. This fold can be as wide as you like – ours was about 2 1/2 inches. At this point you will have a long strip of folded fabric.
  • Fold the strip in half.
  • Secure the folds with five evenly-spaced rubber bands, as shown above.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Flip the fabric over and repeat the dye on the backside.

Tulip® One Step Navy Dye was used for this particular design. The dye was generously applied to every other rubber-banded section. As the dye processes it will bleed into the sections left white, creating a gradient effect, as shown above.

Inverted V Tie Dye Results

How to Tie Dye An Inverted V Inverted V Tie Dye Pattern

8. Center Knot Tie Dye Technique

Center Knot Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Fold the t-shirt in half, lengthwise.
  • Gather the fabric at each end and tie a knot in the center.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Rotate the tube and continue applying the dye until the fabric is completely saturated.

Tulip® One Step Purple Dye was used for this particular design.

Center Knot Tie Dye Results

How to Tie Dye a Center Knot Pattern Center Knot Tie Dye Pattern

9. Accordion Block Tie Dye Technique

Accordion Block Tie Dye Design

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Fold the t-shirt in half, lengthwise, aligning the sleeves.
  • Fold in the sleeves then fold the t-shirt in half, lengthwise, again.
    At this point you will have a somewhat long strip of fabric.
  • Fold the bottom edge of the fabric up, creating a block shape.
  • Using that block shape as a guide, repeat an accordion fold until you are left with a single ‘block’ of fabric, as shown above.
  • Secure the folds with five evenly-spaced rubber bands, as shown above.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Flip the fabric over and repeat the dye on the backside.

Tulip® One Step Violet dye was used for this particular design. The dye was generously applied to the outer edges only, leaving the center untouched. As the dye processes it will bleed into the sections left white, creating a gradient effect, as shown above.

Accordion Block Tie Dye Results

Accordion Block Tye Dye Pattern How to Make a Tie Dye Accordion Block Pattern

10. Spiral Tie Dye Technique

Spiral Tie Dye Technique

  • Lay the t-shirt flat.
  • Pinch the fabric in the center of the shirt.
  • Begin twisting the fabric in a circular motion and continue until all of the fabric is in a spiral shape.
  • Tightly secure the spiral rubber bands.
  • Apply the dye to the fabric.
  • Flip the fabric over and repeat on the backside.

Tulip® One Step Black Dye was used for this particular design.

Spiral Tie Dye Results

Spiral Tie Dye Pattern How to Tie Dye a Spiral Pattern

Once dyed, each shirt was placed in a plastic bag, sealed, and left to process for 24 – 26 hours.

Rinsing Out Tie Dye Shirts

Once the shirts have processed it’s time to rinse them out!

  • Simply remove the shirt from the bag and run under cold water in a sink.
  • With the water running, gently squeeze the fabric to release as much of the dye as possible.
  • Flip the fabric over and continue rinsing, until the water just about runs clear.

How to Rinse Out Tie Dye

Lay the t-shirt on a protective surface and remove the rubber bands.

A pair of scissors comes in handy to carefully cut any bands that are tightly secured.

Processing Tie Dye Shirts

Place the fabric back under the cold running water and continue to rinse – unfolding the fabric as you go.

The fabric should be rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear of any dye.

From the sink, we always like to hang our wet fabric outside to completely dry prior to washing.

Tie Dye T-Short Folding Techniques

Interested in trying out tie dying yourself? Head to your local Michaels this Saturday, April 22nd from 1:00 – 3:00pm (your local standard time) for their MAKEbreak Tie Dye Event. You provide the t-shirt and Michaels will provide the rest of the supplies for FREE! You can bring the entire family and even making matching shirts!

For more Tie Dye inspiration and ideas be sure to check out last year’s Tie Dye Party. Thanks for letting me share. Happy Tie Dying!

Stephanie Lynn
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