Glue Resist Tie-Dye

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By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

Make some fun summer shirts with this different take on normal tie dye.  Fun to make, fun to wear–this is a great projects do with kids, and adults alike!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

To begin find something stiff, like a piece of cardboard (I used a large plastic cutting board) that will fit inside your shirt to hold the fabric flat while you apply the glue.  Cover your insert with a plastic bag, or piece of parchment paper, so when the glue sinks into the fabric, your shirt won’t stick to your insert when it dries.

Place your insert inside the shirt to separate the layers, and then begin applying your glue design to the front of the shirt.

I suggest keeping your design fairly simple, like the mermaid scales we made, or the simple sea turtle outline.  Don’t make too many details–big, simplistic designs are best, as the glue will spread some as it soaks in, and blur your design a bit.  Let your glue dry completely before you apply the dye color.

When your glue is completely, mix your dye colors of choice with water, according to the directions.

Working on a protected surface (we used the plastic sheet from the kit, and worked out in the yard), and wearing your gloves, begin applying colors to your shirt.

I suggest not using more than about 3 colors per shirt, or your colors may get muddy colored.

Keep applying colors, and letting them spread, until your design is covered.

Carefully cover your shirts with plastic wrap, or a trash bag (or we used some plastic wrap, and then wrapped the plastic sheet we worked on around the edges, and let the shirts sit in the sun for 6-8 hours.

After the 6-8 hours, rinse the shirts to remove the excess dye.

We used a garden hose in the yard to make less mess, but you could also just rinse them in the sink as well.  I rinsed, and squeezed them until the water ran fairly clear.  Wash in the washing machine according to package directions, and then dry.

Unlike other glue resist I’ve done, where the fabric under the glue remains white, this style of dyeing resulted in a much more subtle resist–much like that of a batik print.  Because the dye is left on the shirt for 6-8 hours, the glue has time to rehydrate, and pick up some of the applied dye color.1

My kids loved this project, and the results.

Happy crafting!

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4 thoughts on “Glue Resist Tie-Dye

  1. Rebecca Marie Hobbs

    Does the glue remain on the finished product, or do you wash the off the glue somehow? It seems like it would be a hard dried glue but it doesn’t look like it in the pictures.

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