As far as summer trends go, what’s more evocative of the season than tie-dye? It immediately conjures feelings of being poolside, makes any outfit pop, and best of all, it’s incredibly easy to create yourself at home. With unlimited pattern and colour combinations, you can turn that old t-shirt into something that looks tailor-made. If you’re looking for specific techniques, check out our tutorials on splatter print, dip-dye and shibori (a Japanese way of tie-dye to produce more elaborate prints).
For absolute beginners, here are three simple ways to try out this DIY-trend at home.
1. Tie-Dye Kit
What you’ll need: A tie-dye kit, rubber bands, gloves, a plastic tube.
Toronto-based Wendy Liu (a.k.a. Withwendy) is a DIY guru on Youtube, where she demonstrates how to recreate everything from celebrity red carpet looks to cult fashion pieces. In this tutorial, she uses a store-bought tie-dye kit, which is the easiest option if you want more vibrant colours. Many kits contain the basic equipment for any type of tie-dye in addition to the actual dye, like rubber bands and gloves. Other than that, you’ll need a tube to wrap the shirt around and plastic sheets to protect the work area.
SHOP TIE-DYE KITS:
2. Natural Food Dyes
What you’ll need: Onion skins, rubber bands, vinegar.
If you prefer a more subtle colour, using natural dyes made from food is great option for a sun-faded hue. In this tutorial, Youtuber Quynh Ho creates a dye from boiled onion skins to produce a muted orange colour (she also has a tutorial that uses blueberries). However, natural dyes may not last as long so you’ll have to be more careful with washing.
SHOP WHITE ITEMS:
What you’ll need: Bleach, water, a water bottle, rubber bands.
This might be the simplest project since it requires no dye at all. Canadian Youtuber Lauren Riihimaki of LaurDIY shows how to make your own bleach-dyed outfit (this works best on black fabric) for all future TikToks using a few household supplies. The recommended bleach solution for fabrics (avoid wool, silk, mohair, leather and spandex) is three tablespoons added to one gallon of water (or one part bleach to 12 parts water). For best practices on how to use bleach safely for crafting, see guidelines from Clorox and the Government of Canada.
SHOP BLACK ITEMS:
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.