How to Make Personalized Tie Dye Beach Towels

Nothing says summer fun like personalized tie dye beach towels! These kids towels are perfect for the pool or a beach outing. Kids will love tie dying these colorful towels and will be so excited to use them.

This DIY tie dye project is so easy that the kids can get involved.  You can customize the name on the towel and make one for every member of the family with different tie dye pattern colors.

Personalized Tie Dye Beach Towel - finished DIY project with rainbow tie dye and personalized with name Andrew
Add your name to make a personalized tie dye beach towel…never lose another towel at the pool!

At first, I was sure making a tie dye towel would be too difficult.  Back in the ‘olden days’ of tie dye it was often incredibly messy and the results were unpredictable.  What I love about today’s tie dye is that when you get the right tools, you will end up with something that you love and it is surprisingly easy.

That is one of the reasons why we love this tie dye idea to do with your kids.  They will love the process fabric dye. Check out the live video tutorial we did a couple of years ago for this project (look below).  It has been seen by almost 300K people!  This personalized beach towels project has become one of our most popular DIY ideas on Kids Activities Blog.

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DIY Personalized Tie Dye Beach Towels

Supplies to Make a Tie Dye Towel with Your Name

Tulip One-Step Spray Dye Kit - 7 pack shown in package - this is one of the supplies for tie dye towel
Using a spray dye kit makes tie dye a breeze!

Spray Dye vs. Tie Dye for Personalized Towel

We used the Tulip One-Step Spray Dye Kit for this project.

Spray tie dye is incredibly kid-friendly. You just spray fabric dye right where you want the color to appear.

This spray dye kit has everything you need for tie dye projects, including gloves and rubber bands.

With a traditional tie dye, it would be harder to control the color and the mess.  I am a big fan of the spray dye for tie dye projects like this personalized name towel.

What Towel is Best for Name Tie Dye?

We went to the source and asked Tulip Tie Dye what the best towel would be:

“White 100% cotton towels” work best.

Tie Dye Your Summer

We have always used 100% cotton white towels.  The second thing that is very important is the size of the towel.  Traditionally, beach towels are larger than 30 x 60 inches to be officially beach towels.  I like mine to be a little larger than that.

Here are some of our favorites from Amazon:

Instructions for Making Your Name Tie Dye Beach Towel

Step 1

Cover your work surface with the disposable table cloth. This makes clean-up so easy because tie dye can get a little messy.

Personalized Tie Dye Beach Towel step 2 - write the name in duct tape on the towel
With duct tape, add your desired name or personalization to the white beach towel.
Step 2

Lay your white cotton towel out and use the duct tape to write your child’s name across the front.

Personalized Tie Dye Beach Towel - step 3 with gloved hands start to spray on the tie dye
Start to spray the dye onto the towel.
Step 3

Now comes the fun part! Put on your gloves and start spraying the fabric dye colors onto the towel.

Tie Dye Tip: We wanted a rainbow look for our towel, so we started in one corner and moved from color to color.  The kids tie dye kit we used had all the colors in one package to make it really simple.

Personalized Tie Dye Beach Towel - tip - start at one end with a color and work toward the other
Think ahead what you want the colors to look like on the finished personalized beach towel.

Tie Dye Tip: We sprayed pretty lightly so that it would have more of an ombre look.

Personalized Tie Dye Beach Towel - tip - to create an ombre look you want lightly colored transitions
If you want light color transitions, make the color lighter to layer on the next light color for an ombre look.

(Optional) Step 4

If you have a thick cotton towel, the colors may not bleed through the towel.  In that case, turn the towel over and repeat spraying the colors on the back in the same pattern.

Personalized Tie Dye Beach Towel step 4 - allow to air dry
The towel will air dry if you are patient!

Step 5

Allow to air dry.

Step 6

Once both sides are dry, remove the tape and rinse the towel in cold water.

Some of the color will run onto the white letters — that’s ok! It will still be much lighter than the rest of the towel and it looks really cool!

Tie Dye Beach Towel completed with the name 'Andrew'
Look at our completed personalized beach towel…ready for the pool!

How to Wash Your Tie Dye Towel

Wash separately in a large load of hottest water suitable for fabric and a small amount of laundry soap.

Dry separately.

Wash and dry separately for the first few washes.

Watch the Video to See the Steps for Making Name Beach Towel

We had so much fun making this personalized tie dye beach towel over at our Quirky Momma Facebook page! <–If you would rather watch the video on FB, just click!

More Tie Dye Fun from Kids Activities Blog

What name will you put on your personalized tie dye towel?

15 Comments

  1. Thank you for showing us your tie-dye towel projects. I love the idea, I think it would be awesome to let the kids have fun making the towels like that. Then maybe for a more permanent look, get them embroidered with a letter for the kids. I’ll pass this along to my friend and see if she wants to do it for her kids.

  2. I love this as a project for my girl scouts troop! I would like to know how many towels do you think the kit is good for?

  3. Does a person need to wash the towels after dying them and before using them or can they be used after being rinsed in cold water?

  4. Kristen Yard says:

    Hi, Shantel! I would recommend washing them first so that the dye stays on the towel and doesn’t come off on you, haha!

  5. How many towels will 1 spray kit do?

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Will the spray work on t shirts? And do the products that are dyed need to be pre-washed before sprayed? I plan on doing this at a school function for 120 students at their end of year party. Any idea of how many bottle of dye I’ll need? 😉

  7. Yes! We have used the dye spray on t-shirts with good results. Generally you do want to prewash the t-shirts because it gives you a consistent surface free of sizing, etc. As far as the number of bottles, when you are using the tie dye spray, you use less and then you have the issues that there may be some colors more popular than others (or if you are leading in a specific design, it might use one color more than the others). My suggestion is to go through the process with several people ahead of time and then calculate from there. Sounds super fun! Have a great tie dying party!

  8. I tried this technique with my kids with a non-tulip brand dyes (they were in squeeze bottles and once mixed I transferred them to spray bottles to be easier for my kids to spray). Anyways, the towels looked amazing after drying in the sun, I washed them in washing machine and nearly all of the color left the towels! I’m SO disappointed and my kids don’t even know yet, but I know they’ll also be super bummed when they see how sad they look. Any advice on where I went wrong? The white towels I used were from Costco and definitely 100% cotton terry cloth material. I’m just so sad!

  9. There are two things I might look into for next time…because that is sad!!!

    Washing the towels first may be helpful because there is a protective layer or glaze that is applied to nearly all clothes/towels/etc called sizing. This can block the color in some cases.

    The second thing I might try is adding a cup of vinegar to the first wash of the towels to see if it can help hold the color.

    I have only used the Tulip brand. GOOD LUCK!!

  10. How many towels did your kit do?

  11. Can you use painters tape instead of duct tape? Can you put names on ahead of time? My husband thinks duct tape will leave a residue. What width tape do you use?

  12. Kristen Yard says:

    Hi, Cathy! I haven’t tried it with painter’s tape. Maybe try it on one towel as a tester, first?

  13. Kristen Yard says:

    Hi, Tema! My kit did (2) of the larger sized beach towels, but it really depends on how much of the dye you use per towel, and how big the towel is, etc.

  14. Hello looking for a suggestion… I am doing these towels for a party and plan to send the sun dried towels home to wash..I plan to send instructions home..should I have them rinse in tub of cold water then wash in hot? When should the tape be removed? Thanks for the great idea!

  15. You will want to let the towels air dry before you remove the tape. At that time you can rinse in cold water. When washing, wash separately in the hottest water suitable for the fabric with some gentle laundry detergent and dry. You will want to wash and dry separately for the first few washes.

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