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Project

Sharpie Tie-Dye T-Shirt

Materials

  • White, 100 percent cotton T-shirt
  • Cardboard
  • Sharpie permanent markers
  • Baking pan (or glass or plastic container)
  • Binder clips (or rubber bands)
  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol (91 percent)
  • Eyedropper
  • Iron or clothes drier

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Wash and dry T-shirt. Insert a piece of cardboard into T-shirt to prevent ink from bleeding through to other side.

  2. Step 2

    Using desired marker colors, make a preliminary design on T-shirt. (Note: For a flower pattern, make a large dot of ink in one color, then surround in many smaller dots of a complementary color.)

  3. Step 3

    Remove cardboard and stretch T-shirt over a baking pan, securing with binder clips. Be sure shirt is taut enough that it is not touching the bottom of the pan. (Tip: Individual sections of shirt can also be stretched over the mouth of a glass or plastic container and secured in place with a rubber band.)

  4. Step 4

    Using an eyedropper, slowly drip desired number of drops of rubbing alcohol into center of ink design. The more drops of alcohol used, the further the ink will spread and the larger the design will be. 
(Note: Avoid flooding design with alcohol all at once.)

  5. Step 5

    Once desired design is achieved, let T-shirt dry completely. Set color into shirt by applying a hot iron for 5 minutes or placing shirt in clothes drier on high for 15 minutes. (Tip: Be sure your iron is on the highest heat possible when setting the ink. Wash shirts separately on the delicate cycle and in cold water.)

Tags

Reviews (18)

  • Georgie Mcinerney 4 Aug, 2013

    Hi I tried this on several tshirts all 100% Cotton and prewashed. The initial result was amazing and we were really excited by how well it worked...we set with a high iron and tumble dried a couple too on extra heat. BUT when we washed them as instructed cold/delicates the sharpies faded...so disappointing! as we spent hours doing...I did another and washed by hand in salted cold water and tho it still faded quite alot not quite as badly. I agree also with the ladies who say it ran...Shame!

  • Scooter9846 12 Jun, 2013

    We tried this with a bunch of kids and it turned out great!

  • Gemjazz 14 Apr, 2012

    I'm think'n a kids' birthday party (would) be supervised by adults.

  • spramani 11 Apr, 2012

    Although, this is a really neat way to dye a shirt, I have to agree with the comment above this is not safe for children under the ages of 12 years old. I am an ecological art teacher for young children and write about the dangers of young children using art supplies that are meant for adults. I would suggest this project be done with adult supervision. You can also read some of my writings about safe non-toxic art for kids at www.ecokidsart.com or facebook, nature of art for kids.
    Spramani ELau

  • herbalistmom 10 Apr, 2012

    I absolutely love Martha; she is an amazingly talented woman. This project may seem like a cute idea, but in my opinion, Sharpies are very toxic and the fumes are horrible. Our skin absorbs everything we put on it. As a mom of six children, I think I would look for safer products.

  • herbalistmom 10 Apr, 2012

    I absolutely love Martha; she is an amazingly talented woman. This project may seem like a cute idea, but in my opinion, Sharpies are very toxic and the fumes are horrible. Our skin absorbs everything we put on it. As a mom of six children, I think I would look for safer products.

  • Georgina-a 10 Apr, 2012

    We have a craft club, and we did these one night. They turned out really cute.

  • figgy01 10 Apr, 2012

    A few tips for those of you who have been having problems with this craft...Be sure that you use a 100% cotton t-shirt, poly blends will not hold the ink as well; Be sure to have your iron set on the highest heat possible when setting the ink; And like you would do with any bright color articles of clothing, wash them separately and in cold water.

  • winterbug55 3 Apr, 2012

    POOR Idea! Absolutely the WORST home project/craft I did! It sounds and looks like a really cool idea.. Wanted to make some cute shirts for 2 yr old girl to wear with skirts in the summertime. What a waste of money, time and energy! I followed the directions exactly. I am very strict with following directions of recipes and everything. Anyhow--long story short: It ran in my laundry, wasted new white t-shirts, and not to mention almost ruining my whole load of laundry. Don't waste your time!

  • Saps22 17 Mar, 2012

    My daughter and I tried this and the shirts turned out great. The only problem is that most of the design came out in the wash. Ieven ironed the shirts first to set the design, as instructed. I'm wondering if anyone else had this problem?

  • Hamrsark 12 Mar, 2012

    We tried this technique on a small canvas bag and it turned out GREAT!!! We're going to have everyone make a bag at the start of my daughter's birthday party so they'll be dry enough to use for the favor bags!!! (We're still going to put everything in baggies...just in case something isn't quite dry though)

  • alanearts 11 Mar, 2012

    What a great project. I cut up a white t-shirt and made a scarf...it is beautiful. I plan on doing this to a skirt on the bottom edge for summer. AND for my grand daughters too!

  • GreatFallsGranny 26 Feb, 2012

    I love this idea, but wish you could add a picture of the finished product along side the instructions.

  • Yellowpeacock 24 Feb, 2012

    This was an easy project to do with my daughter. We watched your show today and hunted around the house for all the materials. Twenty minutes to an hour later we had four t-shirts done. We only had a red and black sharpie but wow - they came so out beautiful. My daughter plans on putting together kits with instructions for her friends at our next playdate. Thanks Martha - as you and Ali W. said - "...Genius...!" L & N

  • PB925 24 Feb, 2012

    This was a great idea. I plan on using it for some of my oil splattered or ink stained shirts to camouflage the stains!
    Thank you.

  • PB925 24 Feb, 2012

    This was a great idea. I plan on using it for some of my oil splattered or ink stained shirts to camouflage the stains!
    Thank you.

  • PB925 24 Feb, 2012

    This was a great idea. I plan on using it for some of my oil splattered or ink stained shirts to camouflage the stains!
    Thank you.

  • KaranZee 23 Feb, 2012

    What a fantastic craft shirt !! Can't wait to make these with my grandsons! And... I am always looking for craft ideas to make with my girlfriends! I think we will do this with them as well! Much easier than tye dyeing !!