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Resist-Dyeing T-shirts




  • Iron
  • Clamps
  • 3 gallon bucket or receptacle for dyeing
  • Polyacrylic sealer
  • Brush
  • 2 identical wood shapes
  • 1/2-inch-thick scrap wood pieces, about 4 to 5 inches square
  • T-shirts
  • 8-ounce bottle Rit dye
  • Rhinestones
  • Fabric or craft glue
  • Machine washer and drier


  1. Step 1

    Brush polyacrylic sealer on the wood shapes to seal; allow to dry.

  2. Step 2

    Iron the shirt on which you will be printing.

  3. Step 3

    Fold the T-shirt in half vertically.

  4. Step 4

    Place a wood shape on top of a piece of scrap wood, and place both under the folded T-shirt, a few inches up from the bottom hem.

  5. Step 5

    On top of the T-shirt, align a second, identical wood shape to the one under the T-shirt. Place another piece of scrap wood over the top wood shape.

  6. Step 6

    Making sure there are no pinches or wrinkles in the fabric, place two clamps around the entire "sandwich" to hold it tightly in place.

  7. Step 7

    Mix one 8-ounce bottle of dye with 3 gallons of water in a large bucket or receptacle.

  8. Step 8

    Place clamped T-shirt in dye; submerge completely. Let soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

  9. Step 9

    Remove T-shirt from dye and rinse thoroughly, until rinse water runs clean.

  10. Step 10

    Remove clamps, wood pieces, and wood shapes.

  11. Step 11

    Run T-shirt through a machine wash and dry cycle with moderate heat. (Do not wash with other clothes.)

  12. Step 12

    To highlight the resist-printed designs, add embellishments -- such as rhinestones -- using fabric or craft glue.

The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008



Reviews (9)

  • KrisBT 30 May, 2009

    How do you get the images to be so crisp on the shirt... mine ended up blurry...

  • ElyseLucie 30 Apr, 2009

    Instead of using Rit dye, try iDye from Dharma Trading Company. It's a better dye, Easy, too.

  • iceskatecutie89 30 Apr, 2009

    You can get a similar effect by using a bleach pen on a colored t-shirt

  • domestic-diva 24 Jan, 2008

    You can make a single image on a t shirt or onesie by placing one of the wood pieces on the front of the fabric and a wood scrape on top of it. Then place the identical wood piece on the wrong side of the fabric (the side that would come in contact with the skin) and place a wood scrape behind it. Clamp the pieces together and follow the rest of the directions. Good luck!

  • pinkfox 20 Jan, 2008

    how do you make the one image like on the onesie?

  • LindahlWoodcrafts 18 Jan, 2008

    Wood Pieces are available at our E-Bay Stores "Lindahl Woodcrafts". Click on the link mentioned in the resources, or do a stores search on E-Bay by typing
    "Lindahl Woodcrafts" in the stores search function.

  • frankzwolinski 17 Jan, 2008

    Where do you find the wood shapes??

  • domestic-diva 17 Jan, 2008

    The wood shapes are available at

  • surfotter 17 Jan, 2008

    There is no reference for the wooden shapes. Martha mentions one on the show.