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How to Decorate Girls' T-Shirts


Tie-Dyed and Pleated T-Shirt
This wearable craft has all the colors of the rainbow.
This wearable craft has all the colors of the rainbow.

Create a tie-dyed girls' t-shirt craft and you'll be seeing shades of the seventies. With the pleated tie-dye technique, you'll bring the colors of the rainbow to your t-shirt with leggings to match.

What You'll Need:

  • White cotton t-shirt
  • 6 rubber bands
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, light blue, and purple fabric dyes
  • 7 squeeze bottles
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors
  • White cotton leggings
  • 4- to 5-gallon bucket
  • Paint stir stick

How to Make the Tie-Dyed and Pleated T-Shirt:

Fold t-shirt over two inches.
Fold t-shirt over two inches.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 1: Soak t-shirt in cold water. Remove from water and wring water out. Lay t-shirt on work surface. Put left hand at tip of sleeve and other hand at bottom of t-shirt at corner. Fold over 2 inches.

Fold t-shirt into an accordion-pleated tube shape.
Fold t-shirt into an accordion-pleated tube shape.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 2: Flip shirt over onto back side and fold over 2 inches. Repeat folding every 2 inches and make sure to flip t-shirt over after each fold. When finished, t-shirt should look like an accordion-pleated tube.

Wrap rubber bands around t-shirt.
Wrap rubber bands around t-shirt.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 3: Wrap rubber band around center of folded shirt. Continue to wrap rubber bands around t-shirt every 2 inches (above and below center band).

Prepare color dyes in squeeze bottles.
Prepare color dyes in squeeze bottles.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 4: Wearing rubber gloves, prepare each color dye in a squeeze bottle.

Apply dye to t-shirt in rainbow order.
Apply dye to t-shirt in rainbow order.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 5: Start at the bottom of the t-shirt and squeeze red dye into the first rubber-banded section. Continue with the other sections in different colors. Apply dye in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, light blue, and purple).

Apply dye to the back side of the t-shirt.
Apply dye to the back side of the t-shirt.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 6: Turn t-shirt over and apply dye to the back side. Make sure to squeeze the same color dye in the same color section as on front. Continue until all sections are dyed.

Cut the rubber bands off with scissors.
Cut the rubber bands off with scissors.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 7: Let dye set 30 to 60 minutes, rinse under cold water, and gently squeeze until water runs clear. Blot with paper towels. Cut rubber bands off with scissors. Unroll shirt and let air dry.

Prepare the dye bath in the bucket.
Prepare the dye bath in the bucket.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 8: Soak leggings in bucket of cold water. Remove from water and wring water out. Empty water from bucket. Fill bucket with hot water. Prepare the dye bath. (We used purple for the leggings.) Mix the dye.

Put leggings in dye bath.
Put leggings in dye bath.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 9: Put leggings in dye bath. Use paint stir stick to push down. Let set in dye for 30 to 60 minutes. Remove leggings from dye bath. Blot with paper towels.

Run cold water over leggings.
Run cold water over leggings.
2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Step 10: Run cold water over leggings. Gently squeeze and release the fabric under running water until water runs clear. Let air dry.

Fabric scraps turn to fun accessories on the next girls' t-shirt craft.

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