DIY Ombre Tie Dye Shirts

I was wondering if kids ages 5-10 could handle doing DIY Ombre Tie Dye Shirts. I had a bit of apprehension about doing this with younger kids, but it was highly successful! I’ll show you some tricks about how to organize it and do it without a huge mess! There still is time to do this before the nice weather ends!

DIY Ombre Tie Dye T-Shirts

It is possible to do it outside, but I didn’t want to chance the wind, possible rain and bug factor. I set up the garage as our workshop. On the floor, I put a tarp. On top of the tarp went three card tables which I covered in plastic. I had three work areas and placed a plastic kitchen garbage bag at each place. On top of the bags went the damp t-shirts.

With more kitchen-sized garbage bags, I cut a hole for their head and two arm holes and pulled it over them so dye didn’t get on them or their clothes. It worked great! Between the work areas went a plastic container for the water and brushes.

DIY Ombre Tie Dye T-Shirts

With the kits came plastic gloves, rubber bands, and the dye. I used the Tulip brand dye. (I am not compensated for this post) The gloves were huge for the kids so I put a rubber band around the wrist of the gloves to hold them on. It worked well! I watched the video on  ILovetoCreate   for instructions on just what to do for making the DIY Ombre Tie Dye Shirts. I  had the kids watch it before they started so they could see just what to do, too. The girls picked 3 colors and the boys picked 3 colors. In that way, I wasn’t wasting a color for just one shirt.

Once the dye was mixed according to directions, the fun began. I applied the dye for the younger kids and they spread it with the wet brushes. The older kids were able to do more for themselves.  Just remember to hold the opened end closed with one finger until you get to the area that you want the dye. It tends to leak out quickly when it is slightly tilted.

DIY Ombre Tie Dye Shirts

When they finished the shirts, it was easy to transfer to a drying area. By two people each taking an end of the garbage bag with the shirt on it, it was easy to move outside or to a special drying area.  No need to do the back side as both sides absorb the dye. Remember, the shirt is very wet with dye and it takes a while to dry. The wait is worth it!

DIY Ombre Tie Dye Shirts

 Yes, with some organization, younger kids can do this project.  They were so proud of how it turned out! It was as nice as any shirt you would buy at a store.

Summer is ending, but tuck this idea away for future use or quickly do it on a nice fall day! This is one of the crafts that we did at our Oma and Opa Camp 2014. Watch for the entire camp post coming soon!

Have fun!


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Summer T-Shirt Ideas

Summer T-Shirt Ideas

Summer T-Shirt Ideas!

There are so many ways to make fun summer t-shirts! Summer is the perfect time to do many of these ideas outside!  No mess to clean up inside! I’ve included 10+  Summer T-Shirt Ideas. Most of them are kid friendly! It is a good way to reuse a stained shirt and make it new again! Most work best if done outside, however, some ideas require less mess and are fine to do inside. So, don’t limit these ideas to just summer! (or to just t-shirts)

Summer T-Shirt Ideas

1. Tie Dye

This is old, but there are so many ways you can do it depending on how it is tied! Experiment with two primary colors and see how they mix to form a different color. There is an excellent site for ways to tie the shirt to create unique patterns here.

Tie Dye Swirl Shrt #1


Another design  for a  Tie Dye Heart is here

Don’t forget you can do hats, shoes, pants, pillow cases, etc.

t-shirt ideas

We made these shirts and hats using premixed dye. The kids loved the way they turned out!


2.Tie Dye with Permanent Markers

This is an easy method and turns out different every time. This one can be done indoors!

Create a special design like this….

Tie Dye with Permanent Markers

Or mix colors together to create this….

Tie Dye with Permanent Markers


Complete directions are found on an earlier post of mine here.


3. Bleach Techniques

Here are some ideas using bleach. The first one is using a bleach pen.

Bleach Pen T-shirt tutorial

Directions for the bleached shirt above are found here at The Trendy Treehouse

Another technique is what I used for our 4th of July shirts. The idea is easily varied to do with any theme. It uses bleach solution in a spray bottle. With proper supervision, it is easy for kids to do.

DIY 4th of July t-shirts

All instructions are found on an earlier post  here

Red star stamps were added after the bleach technique.

4. Taped and Painted Techniques

By applying painters tape or duct tape, areas of a t-shirt are blocked off and open areas are painted.

4th of July Flag t-shirts

This was the method we used for a 4th of July t-shirt, but any color can be applied for a great look! Place tape diagonally, criss-cross, vertically or a combination of all for a unique look! Dab paint with sponge brushes into areas that are left uncovered. Use a variety of colors or stick to a few! Your choice!

Hint: If you have lots of acrylic paints, just add Folk Art Textile Medium to your paints to make them permanent on fabrics! No need to buy fabric paints.


5. Stamped

I love the way they use foam stickers to stamp this shirt. This opens up a multitude of possibilities. Check it out!

Use stamps made from corrugated cardboard as seen in the bleach technique. Stamp with fruit, veggies, etc. The possibilities are endless!


6. Glue Batik Techniques

Elementary kids can do this and come up with a unique shirt using glue and paints!

7. Coloring Book T-Shirt

This is a great idea for another t-shirt project. This can be permanently colored or by using washable markers, it can be repeated over and over with each washing! An adult or older child needs to do the first part, however.


Go to for complete instructions here.

8. Sand Paper Printed


Complete instructions are found on

9. Sun Printing Technique

This technique is a bit more involved, but certainly turns out interesting! This was used on a piece of material, but is able to be done on a t-shirt as well.



Finished sun printed piece


Go to for complete instructions.

This technique requires use of

Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Colors

  which is available through Dick Blick Art Supplies ( happens to be a sponsor of mine and ,yes, I get a little bit from them, perhaps a cup of coffee! Ha! Thanks!).

Order through their site here….

When doing a T-shirt, do one side at a time and be sure that you put something in between so the colors don’t bleed to the other side.

10. Stenciling Technique


 Complete instructions are found at

I have also used sponge brushes to use with stencils. Just make sure you don’t have too much paint on them!

10+  Here’s the “+”

(Remember, I said 10+?)

This next technique uses a product called Design Dye. You cut out a design from their special colored paper and iron it on to fabric. Only the color remains. The design you cut is removable and able to be used over and over again! This gives you all sorts of possibilities of making your own uniquely designed shirts, bags, napkins and pillows (just to name a few). It even works on wood!

Design Dye, Design Dye, crafts, art, material, silkscreen, t-shirts, scrapbooking

There is no mess with this product. All you need is scissors and an iron!  By overlapping a design, the colors blend together! The kit comes with pre-cut letters, too! You won’t want to throw a scrap away as every little bit can be used!

I made a simple butterfly design and found that I could easily do it three times at least. It was easier to adhere the design together before ironing. The colors were better that way. The color variation is due to how long you keep the iron on it. I liked the variations so kept it that way. Remember to always use fresh tissue as the color bleeds on it and by reusing it, you’ll get some color where you don’t want it. Making some special onesies for a baby shower would make a great gift!.  Use white or a light colors with this product for the best outcome.

Design Dye Butterfly

Check out this technique here at Design Dye!  

Now comes the creative part!

All these Summer T-shirt Ideas can be combined. Combine the bleach technique with the stencil or stamping! Combine the crayon technique with the bleached shirt! OR… Combine the Tie Dye with a stencil! Combine the bleach technique on light colors with the Design Dye. You see, there are endless ways to make your shirt unique! Hope this gives you some great summer t-shirt ideas to try on your own! Don’t limit them to just summer as many can be done indoors year round.

All of these same ideas would be great on a bag, pillow case, hat or skirt or whatever!

Now, off to the thrift store to find some items to make new again!

Which one will you try?

Have fun!

Phyllis (Oma)

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Patriotic T-Shirt

 Patriotic T-Shirt!

A personally designed Patriotic T-Shirt is always fun for the whole family to make for Memorial Day or Fourth of July!  In the last edition (June 2013) of Family Fun Magazine, they showed a T-shirt idea made by using a corrugated cardboard stamp. It sparked an idea of combining two methods to make a great patriotic designed  T- shirt. One method is fine, but the combination is even better!


4th of July T Shirt

The combination of two techniques blend into one fabulous patriotic t-shirt!




T – Shirt (I used Royal Blue)

newspaper or paper grocery bags

Freezer paper or foam star stickers

Spray bottle


Red Fabric Paint

Corrugated Cardboard (Cut up a shipping box)

Cap from a pop bottle or toothpaste cap


1.  Pre-wash and dry shirt.

2. Cut several stars from freezer paper and adhere on with a hot iron, shiny side down

If using foam star stickers, just adhere the stars on the shirt. Be sure to press down each tip of the star.

(I had foam stars on hand so I used them)

3. Place several thicknesses of newspaper or use a grocery bag placed inside shirt to prevent bleach from bleeding through to the other side.

(I trace the shirt on a grocery bag and then cut it out and slip into the shirt)

4. Spray the shirt with 1/2 water and 1/2 bleach combination in a spray bottle. Put the nozzle to a fine mist spray and spray the front of the shirt. The sun will bleach it, too. If you want a lighter color, spray again. Do this until desired lightness.

DIY 4th of July Patriotic T-Shirt ww/

Step #4

(I sprayed about 3 times, but it depends on the strength of bleach to water)

5. Remove inside paper and put shirt into water to stop the bleach process.  Remove the foam or freezer paper stickers.  Dry shirt.

Shirt will look like this after the bleach process. 

DIY 4th of july T-Shirt

Remove the stickers and it should look like this.


6. Cut stars from corrugated cardboard. Hint: remove a layer of cardboard before you draw the star. By doing this first, your points will stay nice.
It speeds up the process to have the corrugated stencils cut out ahead of time.

7. Hot glue cap to non-corrugated side of the star. It is much easier for kids to grip the stamp this way.

  Patriotic T-Shirt

Hot glue a cap from a pop bottle or one from a toothpaste tube. Any cap will do!

8. Place small amount of paint on a disposable plate, spreading it around.  With your star stamps, gently dip into paint so that only the corrugated part holds the paint.

Corrugated Star Stamp

9. Place on t-shirt in desired areas.  Repeat for more stars. If you prefer, use different sizes of star stamps.

10. Set the dry paint with a hot iron (placing a cloth between iron and painted area) or according to manufacturer’s instructions.

11. Proudly wear your personally designed patriotic t-shirt for Memorial Day or 4th of July!

DIY 4th of July T-Shirt

Great combination of techniques!


This process is easy enough for kids to do. Carefully supervise the bleach process, however.

This t-shirt turns out awesome!

Both adults and kids will be proud to wear it.

Why not have the whole family design a patriotic t-shirt? You will certainly be noticed in a crowd!

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Happy Memorial Day and Fourth of July!

Phyllis (Oma)

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Tie-Dye with Permanent Markers!

I’ve seen this idea before and it has intrigued me.  I didn’t like the way it always turned out to be circles so I tried varying it for the boys sake. They didn’t want to wear “flowers” on their t-shirts so I knew I  had to change it a bit.


Washed t-shirts

Rubber bands

Permanent Markers of all colors

Cups or various “tupperware-type” squares or rectangles

Cardboard or brown grocery bags

Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

Eye dropper

First, take the t-shirt and trace on a grocery bag. Cut out and insert inside the t-shirt so that the colors don’t bleed through.

Next insert the cup or square plastic storage container inside and put rubber band over the t-shirt to hold it in place.

You can see the outline of the square item that I used.

The boys liked to mix the colors randomly and it still turned out in the end.  One used blues, greens, yellows and the other one used oranges, greens, and a little brown ( he wanted it camo).

After drawing all the colors, then take the eye dropper, dip into the rubbing alcohol and drop it on the colored area. Get it good and wet with the alcohol. Watch it spread and mix the colors.

If you are making a flower pattern, you can vary the size of the circles by using a different size cup or glass.

My granddaughter then added stems, leaves and grass.  She also dabbed them with the rubbing alcohol and let them spread.

All of them turned out very well! Each one was unique!

This one was done with stripes and the cup was moved and overlapped each time.

I happened to have some clear spray glitter paint so we added that to the flowers when they were dry. I set the colors by ironing them with a hot iron.

Here is the group modeling their creations…

For instructions on how to make a t-shirt look fabulous like my granddaughter is wearing, check out my post on T-Shirts  -“Making a Plain T-Shirt Look Fabulous” .

We may have to do this again as they enjoyed it so much!


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Making a plain T-Shirt look FABULOUS! No-Sew Method

Take one T-Shirt  ( It needs to be a bit large on you)

Cut the sleeves in approximately  3/4 inch segments. Cut through both sides at the same time.

On the hemline of the T-shirt, cut 3/4 inch slits along the front side only.

Cut a “V” in the front neckline.

When wearing, gather the back and secure with an elastic hair band.

Now you have a darling feminine-looking T-shirt !

So cute and easy! Looks fabulous! Now you try it!


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4th of July t-shirts

Before the 4th of July, my grandkids made these T-shirts and then wore them on the day of celebration. It was an easy project for preschoolers and they were very proud of their creations.  Each one looked great! The idea came from Family Fun magazine.

To start, tape off the stripes evenly across with masking tape or painter’s tape. (I did this for them before hand). The taped areas will stay white. I ,also, taped off a square area in one corner for the stars.  You can cut out stars using masking tape, stickers or contact paper. Stick them on the area where you want them.  Before painting, be sure to line T-shirt with newspaper so the paint doesn’t bleed through the other side. Have the kids dab over the areas with red (for the stripes) and blue ( for the star area) paint.  When the paint is dry, just remove the tape.

Your project doesn’t need to look like the flag. It can just be any combination of red, white and blue. I used sponge  brushes and let the kids have at it. The kids dabbed the paint on with the brush as the area doesn’t need to be totally covered with paint to look good! Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the fabric paint to set the design.  Be sure to use a paint shirt!









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