Friday, 10 August 2012

DIY: Tie dye and ombre tote bags and t-shirts

Ombre is everywhere at the moment and I absolutely love it. Ombre seems to be hugely popular alongside tie dye trends. So I thought I'd do a DIY on both!

Premium Ombre Silk Shirt, Topshop, £45

You can even purchase tie dye shoes...

So what do you need to create these effects?

  • Fabric dye, I purchased Dylon Fabric Dye in Bahama Blue for £2.99 from Wilkinson. Alternatively you can purchase all the colours from here for £3.29.
  • Elastic bands or alternatively I used some hair bands from Primark. You could probably use string too
  • Rubber gloves, these were £1 or so from Wilkinsons if you don't have them at home
  • A measuring jug for 500ml of water (I used a water bottle haha)
  • Salt
  • A sink, plastic containers or two buckets
  • Something to dye. I bought 3 Primark £2.50 White T-shirts and 3 Canvas Tote Bags for 75p each from here
  • Coat hangers are really useful
  • Something to stir the dye with
I recommend doing this project outside because you really don't want to get the dye anywhere!

1) Mix the dye with the 500ml of warm water using the instructions on the bag of the dye. I barely used a 1/4 of the packet as I wanted a light blue. If you want it to be bright bright bright blue, use all the dye.

You can see that I hardly used anything

Yet it came out very blue

2) Use a stick or something to stir the mixture and add the appropriate amount of salt, whatever you feel is right really

3) Fill both of your buckets (or sinks) up with warm water. Make sure you put everything you want to dye in the water and then wring it out so it is not dripping wet, just damp.

4) Add the dye to one of the buckets of water. Leave the other one with plain water as you'll be using this late to wring out the excess dye

Take everything outside.

5) If you want a tie dye effect, grab the bands and put them in random places where you want there to be a spirally effect:

(Note: I dyed a few of my tshirts pink at the bottom last week so that's why they're this colour)

I really don't think there's a perfect method to this, although maybe the more bands the better the effect

I did this with a tote bag as well.

6) Once you're happy with how many bands there are, put the tote bag in the bucket of dye. It really depends on where you want the dye to be. I put everything in but the handles.

7) Leave them in for as long as you want, mine were in for a few minutes. Put on your gloves and take whatever you're dyeing and put it in the other bucket of water. Rinse it out and wring it out well until the water runs out clean. This is really important as you want to get rid of all the excess dye.

8) Hang it out to dry

9) If you want the dip dye ombre effect, I recommend taking whatever you want to dye and attaching it to a coat hanger. This will stop it slipping in the dye by mistake. You can use the hanger to get the bag in the right amount which is useful.

10) Start with the light colour of dye and put the bag in as much as you want to, I went about 1/2 of the way. Do this to all your bags/tshirts where you want the light colour.

11) Rinse the dyed items out in the water and wring out

12) Now you're ready to make the dye a bit darker. Put more of the dye powder into the bucket and mix well

13) Dip the bag in but not as much this time and leave it for a bit longer. The longer you leave the item in the dye, the more saturated it will become.

14) Rinse, wring out and repeat the steps if you want a darker bottom

15) Put the items out to dry

This is what my items look so far:

White and Pink Shirt put in the Blue dye with a slight tie-dye effect

Tie Dye Light blue tote bag

Ombre tote bag

I'm leaving them out to dry for a few hours. Once they're dry I'm going to wash them by hand in warm water and then leave to dry again.

They should be ready to wash in a machine but I'd be careful doing this as you don't want the dye to run so use a low heat and a quick wash.

I'll post what the finished items look like!

What do you think?


  1. I've seen some multi coloured tie dye vans and they're so cool! I love the tie dye t shirt :D I'm following you now by the way! :)

    1. multi coloured tie dye vans would be super cool. thanks amelia, ill check out your blog now xx

  2. that came out really well ! I think I'm going to give it a go too !
    xoxo Gracie