Pastel Rainbow Tie-Dye T-Shirt

Make a fun and creative colourful tie-dye T-shirt with a radiating rainbow! This is a great activity for kids and parents to do together!

Pastel Rainbow Tie-Dye T-Shirt

Skill Level

Beginner. Adult supervision needed

Time to Make

1 hour + drying time for dye

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

Before you start:
Soak a T-shirt in a bowl of water then squeeze hard to remove as much water as possible, or rinse and spin dry the T-shirt in a washing machine. Follow the instructions in the kit for adding water to the dye bottles and applying it onto the fabric.

To make a rainbow pattern:

  1. Lay out the damp T-shirt flat on a clean work surface. Use a washable pen to draw a curved ¼ circle in one corner of the T-shirt, starting the line 12-15cm from the corner. You could use a large plate or a circular tray as a guide. Draw a couple more bigger ¼ circles following the same curve as the first circle. Make the biggest circle under the T-shirt arm.
  2. Carefully start pleating the T-shirt following the curved outlines. Bunch the fabric together keeping the lines straight. Re-position the T-shirt sleeves and edges as you pleat the fabric each time, to help keep the lines straight. When you reach the end, wrap an elastic band around the T-shirt over the lines. Wrap a couple more elastic bands around the T-shirt to hold the pleats together.
  3. Cover your work surface with the polythene sheet from the kit then place a wire rack on top. Wear the gloves from the kit to protect your hands. Place the T-shirt onto the wire rack then squeeze coloured dye over the fabric. Squeeze blue dye over the upper area of the T-shirt then fill in the curved lines with rainbow colours. Turn the T-shirt over then add more dye on the reverse side. Press the fabric so the dye reaches inside the folds.
    Leave the T-shirt to dry for 6-8 hours on the wire rack. Remove all the elastic bands then open it out. Leave the T-shirt to dry for a bit longer if the middle is damp.
  4. Rinse the T-shirt in water, try keeping the colours separate by holding the fabric under a running tap or dip it into a bowl of water to remove most of the blue dye first then rinse the rainbow colours.
    Once most of the excess dye has been rinsed, you can wash the whole T-shirt together. Leave to dry. Cover the T-shirt with a thin cloth then press with a warm iron.
Pastel Rainbow Tie-Dye T-Shirt Pastel Rainbow Tie-Dye T-Shirt Pastel Rainbow Tie-Dye T-Shirt

Top Tip

To make a semi-circle rainbow shape at the bottom of the T-shirt, fold the T-shirt vertically in half before drawing the guidelines then fold the fabric in the same way along the lines before dying.

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