Craft Better: Tie-Dye Kits For Fashionable Fun

This groovy DIY trend is back and easier than ever.

girl wearing tie-dye sweater
Laid-back fun.Jason Yoder/Unsplash

From the shibori fabric dyeing technique of 8th century Japan to the psychedelic fashions of the 1960s, tie-dye has a long and storied history. Now everything old is new again, as DIY kits make this colorful craft extra fun with easy-to-use supplies, fresh designs and all-in-one party packs.

Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit Party Creative Group Activities
Vivid hues for up to 36 projects.Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit

Tie-dye once required the careful mixing of salt, soda ash and hot water, but today’s pre-mixed kits eliminate those steps. One thing that hasn’t changed: it can get messy, so you’ll probably want to make sure you have gloves, a tablecloth and paper towels at the ready. If you still end up dyeing your hands bright red (or some other fabulous color), experts recommend using a paste of baking soda and hot water to scrub it right off.

Vanstek Tie Dye DIY Kit, 24 Colors Tie Dye Shirt Fabric Dye
Everything you need for to do this colorful craft several times over—just add clothing!Vanstek

Tie-dye is synonymous with shocking rainbow colors, but don’t let that cramp your style. Plenty of modern patterns skip the campy swirls for smaller, more subtle designs in fewer colors. If you’re feeling tie-dye shy, try a pastel or neutral-colored project on a smaller piece of fabric, like socks, a scarf, or a tank top.

SEI Galaxy Tie Dye Kit, 8 Colors, Non-Toxic, Permanent, U.S.A.
Pre-mixed spray bottles for making celestial, glow-in-the-dark patterns.SEI

Once your tie-dyed masterpiece is done, you’ll want to show it off. To make the colors last, try to go as long as you can before putting it in the laundry, so the colors have ample time to set. When it’s finally time for the washing machine, experts recommend turning your garment inside out and washing it either alone or with like colors in cold water to prevent bleeding. Friction can degrade color, so try to skip the dryer and hang the garment instead.