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Resist-Dyeing T-shirts

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008


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

  2. Iron the shirt on which you will be printing.

  3. Fold the T-shirt in half vertically.

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

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

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

  10. Remove clamps, wood pieces, and wood shapes.

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

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

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