How to Tie Dye a Heart T-Shirt

    by Isabell Hue

    About the Author

    Isabell Hue is a licensed esthetician and makeup artist. She is also a freelance writer. She is published on various websites, specializing in informative skincare articles, and is the Reno-area health expert for yet another prominent online publication.


    Tie dye is the process of dyeing fabric in several different bright colors at once. The fabric is tied with rubber bands or other kinds of ties. Then, dye is applied to certain areas of the fabric to create a brightly colored design. Most tie dye T-shirts are made in a spiral pattern, but you can make a tie dye heart T-shirt for a more flirty design. Tie dyeing is a relatively uncomplicated craft that you can do at home.

    Things You'll Need

    • Plastic trash bags
    • White cotton T-shirt
    • Bucket
    • Rubber gloves
    • Rubber bands
    • Fabric dyes
    • Plastic wrap
    • Measuring cup

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    Prepare your work area by covering the floor and nearby furniture and appliances with plastic trash bags, a plastic tarp or clear plastic sheeting. Tie dying can get pretty messy, and you want the dye to end up on the T-shirt but not on your belongings. On a warm day, tie dye on your deck, patio or in your back yard.

    Wet the T-shirt in a bucket of water and wring it out. It should be damp, but not dripping.

    Fold the damp shirt in half vertically. The front side of the shirt should be showing. Use a light-colored pen to draw half of a heart shape along the folded edge.

    Gather the fabric along the line that you have drawn with your fingers. When it is all gathered together, place a rubber band around the fabric at the line tightly. To enrich the design, tie a few more knots on the T-shirt using rubber bands.

    Put on the rubber gloves. Open the fabric dye bottles and follow the manufacturer's directions. Most instruct you to add water with a measuring cup. Add the water slowly. The dye may bubble up as you add the water.

    Pour the dyes on the shirt strategically, especially around the rubber bands and gathered areas. Leave some white space. Do not mix the colors too much as this will make the shirt just look muddy. Leave white space between the colors.

    Place the shirt in a plastic bag and let it sit for 6 to 8 hours. This allows the dye to sink into the T-shirt's fibers.

    Remove the shirt from the bag and remove the rubber bands. Rinse the shirt in a bucket until the water runs clear and hang it out to dry.

    • Wash the shirt by itself for the first few washes so that the dye does not ruin other clothes.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images