Homemade Gift Idea- Tie-Dye

Homemade Gift Idea- Tie-Dye

This is a homemade gift idea we had some fun with a number of years back. Tie-dye clothing makes a good homemade gift idea because each one is unique, you can customize the colors, they are fun to make, fairly easy and many people love to receive them. This might be one of those elusive homemade gift that men would like. You can apply tie-dye to almost anything that is cotton… T-shirts, socks, clothing for toddlers. There are also many techniques to create unique designs.


Ritdye. This brand worked really well, creating nice vibrant color. I was unsuccessful with another brand that came in squirt bottles, as the color turned out dull.

Cotton clothing. Socks, t-shirts, clothing for toddlers, anything made of cotton will work. I’ve seen examples of bed sheets and curtains as well. Just remember to use items that are at least 60% cotton, preferably 100%. Polyester blends will not turn out as vibrant. The more cotton that is in the item, the more vibrant the color will be. You can get a bunch of cheap 100% cotton t-shirts at Michael’s.
Rubber bands or string to tie the item up with. This creates the unique tie-dye effect.

  • A 3 gallon bucket for each color
  • Rubber gloves
  • Long wooden spoon that you don’t mind getting permanently dyed
  • Clothes or sponges for cleanup – again, they ill be permanently dyed
  • Something to cover your work surface like plastic garbage bags, as the process can be really messy


There are a number of techniques for designs that you can find on the internet. Rit has a few pages from their website on techniques as well as tutorials.

Consider preshrinking your garment in the washer and dryer.

Prepare your dye bath(s) according to the instructions on the Rit dye container. The hotter the water is the more vibrant the color will be.

Working from the lightest color to the darkest color, immerse your garment in each bath for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally. After each immersion, rinse the garment.

After the last dye bath, rinse the garment in warm water then in cold water until the water runs clear.

Wash garment with warm water and detergent and rinse in cold water.

Repeat step 5 one more time without detergent. This is just so that the garments don’t bleed on your gift recipients other clothing when they wash them together.

Let hang dry and you are done.

Dude… you now have some wicked-cool clothing to give as gifts!

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