How to Tie-Dye a T-Shirt With a Sharpie

Learn how to quickly and creatively add a pop of color or a fun design to your clothes.

Here's a quick and creative way to add a pop of color or fun design to your clothes: With only a handful of affordable materials, kids and adults alike will love this project, which uses Sharpie's to create designs on t-shirts. Ahead, learn how to make your own tie-dye T-shirt using Sharpie permanent markers, rubbing alcohol, a dash of creativity, and more.

What You'll Need


  • White, 100 percent cotton T-shirt (Hane's "Nano" Women's T-Shirt)
  • Cardboard
  • Baking pan (or glass or plastic container)
  • Binder clips (or rubber bands)
  • Sharpie permanent markers (Sharpie Assorted Colors Permanent Markers)
  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol (91 percent)
  • Eye dropper (EZY Dose Ear and Eye Medicine Dropper)
  • Iron or clothes drier


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

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

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

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

  5. Once the desired design is achieved, let the T-shirt dry completely. Set the color into the shirt by applying a hot iron for five minutes or placing the shirt in clothes drier on high for 15 minutes. If you use an iron, be sure it's on the highest heat possible when setting the ink. Wash the shirts separately on the delicate cycle and in cold water.

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