Sharpie Marker Tie Dye T-Shirts

It may not be the 60’s anymore, but tie-dye is still in. You don’t have to buy a tie-dye shirt from a store when you can make it at home! While searching the internet, I discovered a new, cheap, and easy way to tie-dye just about anything! No messy dyes and no waiting hours before wearing! Plus, it’s a new twist on a classic design, so you can look retro while still staying modern.

To get started, you will need:

Start by putting the cup underneath the inside of your shirt so that the section you are dying is laying over the top of the cup. I used a Flanigan’s cup because it is plastic, and it had a larger mouth. Then use your rubberband to hold the fabric in place over the cup. Using the markers of your choice, create a star like shape in the middle of the fabric. You can use as many colors as you like, or create any design or pattern. The star pattern creates the circular shape in the end, but you can experiment with other shapes to see what happens.

Then, using an eye dropper, add drops of rubbing alcohol to the middle of your star. The more drops you add the further the design will spread. Always start from the middle so that you end up with a circular shape at the end. I didnt have an eye dropper, so I dipped the back end of a pen into the rubbing alcohol and let it drip onto the fabric.

You dont have to wait for the rubbing alcohol to dry before removing the rubberband and moving on. The marker will not bleed through to the other side of your shirt once the cup is removed. Continue doing this all over your shirt until you have covered all of the areas you want dyed. You can overlap the circles, even when the rubbing alcohol is still wet. It will run into the other circles, but will not affect the design.

Once you have finished dying your shirt, you have to set the design otherwise the markers will wash out or fade over time. Stick the shirt in the dryer on high for about 15 minutes or so (or more!). After that you should be able to wash and wear your shirt like any other shirt. If you have any doubts, simply wash your shirt seperately from your other clothing to keep the markers from bleeding. READ BELOW!

And there you have it! A cheap, unique, and colorful new t-shirt!

UPDATE: I washed my shirt, and all of the marker washed out!!! I followed the directions to set the shirt, but sadly it still washed away. Maybe the marker just didnt take to the kind of fabric in my shirt. If anyone knows of a way to keep the color in, let me know!



11 responses to “Sharpie Marker Tie Dye T-Shirts

  1. I love this! It’s too bad that it washed out. Maybe instead of putting in the dryer to “set” the ink, maybe iron over the design several times. Also, I noticed in your picture that you used Bic markers instead of Sharpie. I have the same Bic markers you have and have noticed they are not as “permanent” as real Sharpies are. They tend to smear and take longer to dry on plastic. Maybe try real Sharpies. You might get a better result. If you do this project again I would love an update. I hope to do this soon with my kids.

    • You know something? I never even realized I wasnt using Sharpies. Maybe that is why it washed out. I’ll have to pick some up and try again. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  2. I also know that when dying you must wash the shirt first to remove the sizing or it will not take the color well and stay. Try this first and see if it helps.

    • The shirt was washed first before dying. Perhaps it was the markers I used, although I don’t know if Sharpie is any more permanent than Bic.

  3. I wonder if it was washed in cold and then dried if it would set it? It does that for regular fabric you buy. Hmmm. I am going to try it.

  4. This is wonderful idea… I haven’t tried yet but I want. If you put them in a water with vinegar for 5 or 10 minutes… then to wash, it would stay! I know this because of some fabric/clothes that are dying… So I leave them in this water with vinegar. It works… I hope it works for your idea too. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • I did this on three shirts using sharpies. Washed and dried as usual. Colors stayed in with no problem 🙂

  5. I made this with Sharpies on a new pre- washed fruit of the loom 100% cotton kids tee- shirt. It came out beautiful. I let it sit for a day then I washed it by itself (without detergent) took it out of the washer and all the design was gone. Tried again but soaked in salt water to set the colors and hand washed and design still came out. Three times a charm… Not for me! Too bad because I really like how these designs look but need to find a way to make them REALLY PERMANENT … Back to the drawing board.

    • So sad to hear the designs washed away! My designs also came out after washing, and I’m still unsure of what makes the ink take hold on the shirt. I’m sure someone somewhere found the secret and wont share! If you ever get it to work, please come back and let me know what you did. 🙂

  6. I’ve made designs on white canvas tote bags that I had found oat the craft store. The colors spread out beautifully and they are still vibrant after much usage. I haven’t had the need to wash them yet, guess we’ll see when the time comes.

  7. From other sites on this subject, you must use 100% pre washed pure cotton. You must use the right Sharpie. Not all are permanent. You must heat set after it dries by hottest steam iron or boiling. I am yet to try it, but gathering all the info before I start.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s