Let’s tie dye shirts today in red, white and blue! This is great for 4th of July, but also other patriotic events or everyday.
The 4th of July is a great time to show off our American pride and show our love for those that serve our country. We are using a sugar tie dye technique that can be customized for a million uses. We just happen to be making 4th of July Tie Dyed T-shirts for the entire family.
Sugar tie dye technique is a fun way to tie-dye anything. Aside from t-shirts, you can also use this method to tie-dye shorts, dresses, and so much more!
Make Patriotic Tie Dye Shirts Using Sugar Technique
This is surprisingly easy and can be done with kids of all ages. Younger kids will need a lot of assistance and you may want to do this on the back porch or bathtub. Older kids will get strategic about tie dye patterns and how different folds and twists affect the final tie dye shirt.
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- Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- White T-shirts (cotton seems to work best) – kids shirts can be found here & women’s shirts here & men’s shirts here
- Piece of Cardboard (that will fit inside the t-shirts)
- SEI Tumble Dye (comes pre-mixed in spray bottles) or Tulip Spray Dye Kit <–the blue in this one is a little brighter than a dark blue
- Old Clothes (anything you don’t want to get dye on)
- Paper Towels
- Bowl of Water
- Rubber Bands
- Wooden Template (we used a peace sign)
Directions to Make 4th of July Tie Dye T-Shirts
Start by prepping the surface you are working on by laying down newspaper. I suggest doing this craft outside and covering the table you are working on with several layers of newspaper. Next, make sure you and your child are wearing old clothes you don’t mind getting dye on. Anything the dye touches, will be stained.
Now it’s time to get your t-shirts ready. Lay the t-shirt flat out on the newspaper surface and place the piece of cardboard inside of the shirt. This helps the dye from soaking the other side.
Take a paper towel and soak it into the water. Wring it out so the paper towel is damp. Then start applying pressure onto the area you plan to place a design on the t-shirt. You just want the t-shirt to be damp and not soaked.
Next, take your template (we used a wooden peace sign) and place it onto your t-shirt.
Using a spoon (or your hands) carefully place sugar on the outer edge of the wooden template. You basically want to be left with an outline of the template.
Carefully lift the template without disturbing any of the sugar.
Put your gloves on and take one of your dye spray bottles and shake well. We used a combination of light blue, dark blue, and red but you can use whatever color you like.
Carefully spray on top of the sugar and inside of the area where the template was. This will give a very cool effect once it’s done!
If you want to add a bit more color, you can tie random sections of the shirt using rubber bands (be careful not to disturb the middle where the sugar is). Once tied, you can spray using other colors. These will give sort of a firework effect once dried.
Allow to dry for 6-8 hours. Once dry, carefully dust away the sugar and remove any rubber bands you may have placed on the t-shirt.
If you use the SEI Tumble Dry, this type of dye needs to be heat set (if you buy a different kind, follow the directions on that). Basically you dry on a high heat in the dryer or use an iron to heat set the dye. Once heat set, you can wash and dry as normal.
Allow your kids to wear their new 4th of July Tie-Dye T-shirts! See, wasn’t that fun?
Notes on Sugar Tie Dye
I really loved using sugar in this project because it was really different than many of the tie-dye projects you see on the web. The sugar gives a really neat subtle effect on the shirt. The best part is, you can use this technique to draw out your own designs and even place it randomly on your project. In the end, you will have a project you made by yourself and it’s going to look awesome!
If you are interested in seeing some of our other sugar tie dye projects, check it out!
More Patriotic Shirt Ideas for Kids
We have several other ideas of ways you can tie dye in red white and blue for the perfect fourth of July shirt, Memorial Day shirt…anytime shirt!
Watch Our Video Tutorial to Tie Dye Red White & Blue
American Flag Homemade Shirt
We have also created this cool homemade American Flag shirt that is perfect for kids of all ages & adults too! There are so many fun ideas you can do with paint, dye and red, white & blue!
More Tie Dye from Kids Activities Blog
- Oh so many tie dye patterns you can make easily at home!
- Make a personalized tie dye beach towel <–this is a super popular article on Kids Activities Blog!
- Now that you’re ready to rock the beach with an awesome tie dye towel, check out these other colorful things to tie dye!
- Tie dye art meets science in this cool ph science fair project.
- Tie dye with food coloring! Love this idea to use what you have on hand for tie dye.
- Make tie dye Mickey Mouse shirts…these are perfect for the entire family.
- Looking for an easy and awesome project? Check out this dip dye idea!
How did your 4th of July tie dye shirt turn out?