How to Tie-Dye: The Crumple Method

Get on trend and put your DIY skills to the test with these Pro Tips on how to tie-dye.

The classics never go out of style – but they do make comebacks. The tie-dye trend is the perfect way to express yourself while creating your own one-of-a-kind pieces. Whether you want to add some flair to an old t-shirt in your closet or spice up a new loungewear set, Pro Tips is here to help with this step-by-step guide.

There are many tie-dye techniques that give off their own personalized style. This guide will walk you through how to tie-dye with the crumple method. Before you begin you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Pre-washed white clothing made with at least 70% cotton
  • A tie-dye kit or fabric dye
  • A plastic squirt bottles for each of your dye colors
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rubber bands
  • Gloves
  • Plastic storage bags
  • Old rags or towels
  • A plastic cover or tarp

STEP 1: SET UP YOUR TIE-DYE STATION

Before you begin, you’ll want to ensure that your area is tie-dye ready. Roll out a plastic tarp over your chosen surface and put on gloves you don’t mind getting dirty. The tarp and gloves can help create less mess and shorten your post-craft clean-up.

STEP 2: PREPARE YOUR DYE

After your set-up is complete, you’ll want to mix your dye. Instructions vary depending on brand and kit, so make sure you read them ahead of time. Use your measuring spoons to measure out the needed dye and put it into your squeeze bottles.

You can check to see if you’re happy with the shade by testing a bit of each color on an old rag or towel. If you want to lighten the color, add more water. If you want your color to be a darker shade, add more dye.

STEP 3: CRUMPLE YOUR CLOTHES

This step is where the technique comes to life. First, make sure your item is damp to help the dye absorb. Next, lay your item flat on your surface. This is where the fun starts! With your rubber bands close by, tightly crumple sections of the clothing into balls and use the rubber bands to hold in place. The tighter your crumples, the more white space your item will have.

STEP 4: ADD THE DYE

Place the crumpled clothing on top of your rag or towel and begin squeezing the dye onto each section. Flip it to make sure that each side has been fully saturated with the dye. Once the dye has been squeezed onto the piece of clothing, place it in a plastic bag for six hours to settle.

STEP 5: RINSE AND DRY

After the dye settles, take your item out of the bag and remove the rubber bands. Rinse the clothing under cold water until it runs clear. Lastly, wash your item alone in cold water and let it air dry for at least 12 hours.

Once your item is dry, your one-of-a-kind piece is ready to wear! Finish off your look with more of the latest trends for 2020. Still feeling crafty? Learn how to turn a t-shirt into a tote bag with these Pro Tips.