Shibori Tie Dye Bag

Japanese Shibori is a technique for pleating and binding fabric. This style is traditionally coloured with indigo dyes. Try transforming a plain fabric bag with your own unique tie dyed design!

Shibori Tie Dye Bag

Skill Level


Time to Make

1 hour + drying time for dye

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Wash the bag by hand then squeeze out most of the water until it is damp. Place the polythene sheet from the kit on your work surface. Place the shoulder bag flat on top then pull out any creases or wrinkles.
  2. To make pattern with horizontal lines: Position the bag horizontally with the handles at one side. Fold up the bottom corners nearest you to meet the top corners so the bag is folded half, making a rectangle approximately 17cm x 40cm.
  3. Fold up the bottom edge by 3cm. Turn the bag over then make another 3cm fold. Turn the bag back over and repeat to make 2 more folds so the bag is folded into a long concertina.
    Fold the bag in half then tightly wrap 5 or 6 elastic bands around the bag. Each elastic band needs to be wrapped 3 or 4 times around the fabric.
  4. Fold over the handles 2 or 3 times into a bunch then wrap an elastic band over the top.
  5. Wearing the disposable gloves in the kit, follow the instructions adding water to the dye bottle and applying it onto the fabric. Squeeze the dye over the bag. Press and roll the bag to make sure the dye covers the fabric.
  6. Leave the bag to dry for 6-8 hours over a bowl with newspaper or paper towel underneath.
    Remove all the elastic bands then open out the bag. Leave it to dry out again if the middle is still damp.
  7. Rinse the bag in water then leave it to dry out again. Cover the bag with a thin cloth then iron out the creases.
  8. To make different patterns: There are lots of ways to make exciting tie-dye patterns. The results will vary depending on the number of folds, how the fabric is folded and where the elastic bands are tied.
  9. For a pattern radiating from the centre, fold the bag into quarters then fold it diagonally into a triangle, then again to make a thinner triangle. Wrap elastic bands along the fabric before dying.
  10. For a zigzag effect, pleat the fabric using the same method for making straight lines then twist it around a thin cardboard tube covered with a plastic bag before adding the elastic bands.
Shibori Tie Dye Bag Shibori Tie Dye Bag Shibori Tie Dye Bag

Top Tip

Try using 2 colours for an interesting tie dye effect. Choose colours that will blend easily together, for example purple and blue or orange and red.

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