Make Sharpie Tie Dye Shirts With Your Kids

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 by No Comments
Make Sharpie Tie Dye Shirts With Your Kids

The next time your kids are driving you crazy, keep them busy by having them make tie dye shirts using Sharpie markers. This is much easier than the traditional method of tie dying and the results are just as pretty.

To tie dye with Sharpie markers, you need:

  • A white or light colored t-shirt.
  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Sharpie markers in the colors of your choice. (I prefer the brush tip markers for craft projects, but a standard Sharpie will work if that’s what you have available.)
  • Squeeze bottle.
  • Rubber band.
  • Plastic bowl.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Stretch the shirt out over your plastic bowl. Hold it in place with a rubber band if needed.
  2. Draw designs on the shirt using the Sharpie marker. In my opinion, swirls, circles, and simple flowers work the best. However, there’s nothing wrong with letting your kids experiment.
  3. Use the squeeze bottle to add small amounts of rubbing alcohol to the design. The alcohol will blur the colors together to create a tie dye effect. Experiment with dripping the alcohol into the center or moving from side to side to see which effect your kids like the best.
  4. Wait for the shirt to be completely dry, then stick it in your clothes dryer for 10 to 15 minutes to heat set the colors. (Alcohol is flammable, so you have to wait for the shirt to air dry first.)

You can often buy inexpensive t-shirts at your local dollar store. The Sharpie technique is also a good way to hide stains on some of the shirts your kids already own.

Photo credit: Sharpie

Posted in: Parenting
Dana Hinders

Dana Hinders lives in Iowa with her husband and son. She has been a freelance writer since shortly after earning her degree in journalism from The University of Iowa in 2003. She writes extensively about parenting, crafts, and creative ways to save money. Visit her at

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