One of the great crafts that came out of the 1970s is tie dying. Everyone LOVES to tie dye…girls and guys! What would you say if I told you that you can get similar results by starting with a dark shirt and removing dye rather than adding it? And you can be done in less than 30 minutes? It true! Check this out.
Reverse Tie Dyed Shirts
All of my children have tie dyed many t-shirts and they LOVE doing it every time. The down sides are that it can be expensive, you have to let the dye sit for a few hours to set, and it can be super messy. How would you like to know how to tie dye in a cheaper, quicker, and less messy way? Well, you can…just dye in reverse! Yup, rather than adding dye, take color/dye away from a dark shirt. Here’s what you need.
- Dark cotton shirts (undershirts work great)
- Spray bottle
- Rubber bands
- A couple of tubs
First tie up your t-shirt with rubber bands in any technique you choose. Make sure your rubber bands are tight. (If you’d like to learn different techniques for tying up your shirts, go HERE.)
In your spray bottle, add 1 cup bleach and 1 cup water. Then, to keep from killing the grass, place your shirt in a plastic basin and spray your bleach/water solution onto the shirt, getting it good and wet. Flip your shirt over to make sure both sides get sprayed with bleach. (Note: The fumes from the bleach can be strong so I suggest you do the “dying” outside.) It only takes a couple of minutes and you will see your shirt lighten.
Once your shirt has lightened to a color you like, submerge your shirt into a bucket of water to begin the rinsing step. Take your shirt indoors and place it in the sink and run more clean water through your shirt to remove as much bleach as you can.
Remove the rubber bands and spread out to see your creation. Pretty cool, huh? If you want more areas to be bleached, you can always re-band your shirt and spray more bleach/water solution onto your shirt. When you are satisfied, then wash your shirt (I would recommend washing it with towels or other items that you would not mind having bleach come in contact with just in case there is still some bleach left.)
So, in about 30 minutes, not including the washing step, you have a super cool tie dyed shirt!