There’s not a whole lot that I love more than really leaning into a holiday theme these days. And I feel like Fourth of July is always my sleeper holiday. I totally forget how much I love it until the day before and then I want to go all out. Last year at the very last minute I decided to make tie-dye shirts for Fourth of July and the kids were pretty pumped on them. And I have to say, they turned out kind of rad as far as tie-dye goes. Here’s how we made them!
(Psst — if you love these, here’s another tie-dye technique that’s super fun! Try it out if you already have all the materials.)
Make Tie-Dye Shirts for Fourth of July
- your favorite tie dye kit (we used these tie dye bottles)
- plain white tee shirts
- rubber bands
- plastic trash bags
- rubber gloves
Make Time: 15 Minutes Plus Cure and Dry Times
Step 1: Prep your shirt according to the instructions on your tie-dye packaging. Once it’s properly prepped, add your rubber bands. You can choose any pattern you like! We created small gathers of fabric, bunched them up, and wrapped a rubber band around each gather. We created the gathers so that the fabric bunched toward the front of the shirt; we used about 6 rubber bands/gathers.
Step 2: Dampen your shirt. Some people like to do this step before the rubber bands go on, but I like the way that the dye reacts when I dampen the shirt after it’s been banded. I don’t necessarily soak it; I just run it quickly under some water and then let the water do its own soaking for a minute or so. Squeeze out any excess water.
Step 3: Wearing rubber or plastic gloves, prep your dyes according to the instructions on the packaging. We used red and royal blue.
Step 4: Place your shirt on the plastic trash bag (or on a tarp or something similar). It’s probably best to do this step outside, or in a place where it won’t matter if you accidentally splash a little dye around! Place the shirt face up and right side up, as best you can with all of the rubber banding.
Step 5: Apply dye in your desired pattern. We did a diagonal design, with red on the top half and blue on the bottom in a diagonal.
Step 6: Place your shirt on a fresh trash bag for the dye to do its job. I also like to place another trash bag over the top of it while the dye is curing. Allow to cure for 4-6 hours.
Step 7: If desired, rinse out any excess dye. Then carefully cut away the rubber bands. This is highly debated, but I don’t like to rinse my dye out before I wash it. I wash the shirt alone, on cold, with color-fast detergent. You can try this, or you can follow the instructions on your tie-dye packaging.
Once that bad boy is dry, put it on and wave your flag! I love how the diagonal design came out, and how clean the colors stayed at the point where they meet. (I was a little worried we’d end up with a big purple mess.) This method would look super cute on tank tops, tote bags, cotton shorts, and more! xoxo