My Tie Dyed Sales Pitch

Hi everyone linking over from Craftgrrl.  Last summer when I posted this tutorial, I was hoping to use it to lure people to my Etsy craft shop, Lisa’s Studio, to buy tie-dyed onesies.  Since then, I’ve closed that shop that I link to, but I hope you’ll still enjoy the tutorial and please let me know if you have any questions.

My real goal with this post is to get you to go to my Etsy shop and buy a tie dye onesie (or three), figuring that making one yourself is just too darn much work. But on the off chance you’re a a Martha wannabe, or even a hippie wannabe, here goes, my very own tie dye tutorial.

First you need these:

Or maybe some t-shirts, or whatever you’re in the mood to tie dye. You’ll need to soak your boring white things in a mixture of one gallon warm water to one tablespoon soda ash. (If you buy a tie dye kit at the craft store, it will probably come with soda ash. If not, check at your local art supply store.) The soda ash breaks down the cotton fibers so they’ll accept the dye and your design won’t wash out as easily. Soak everything for at least 30 minutes. Then squeeze most of the water out and…

Find a bunch of these. Lots and lots, all different sizes. The thicker elastics work the best.

Now mix up some dye, I have red, blue and yellow. It might seem like you’d need more than just three colors, but remember: red + yellow = green, etc. etc.

I like to mix my dye into these little squeeze bottles. It makes it easier to apply colors to certain, specific areas, and it’s also a lot neater.

Now tie up your onesies – remember, it’s just like cutting out paper snowflakes. Don’t try to be perfect. The crazier and more creative you get, the better your end result.

These simple designs are for basic, striped onesies. The more complicated ones are for circles and stripe combinations. Once you get everything tied up, put on some rubber gloves. Trust me. Either that, or make friends with someone who has a pool. One summer I tie dyed several dozen onesies for a craft fair and didn’t use gloves. My hands, feet, arms and legs were tie dyed, too – I’m not kidding. I went to a friend’s house to swim in her pool and voila! The dye was bleached off. Sort of freaked me out about swimming in so much bleach, but hey, my feet weren’t green anymore. So anyhow, gloves on, start dyeing!

Switch up your colors and dye some more.

Now combine your colors – pour yellow onto the red to make orange. Bleed the blue into the yellow to make green – have fun with it!

Once you’re happy with your dye, wrap your onesies in individual plastic bags and let them rest as long as you can possibly stand it. It’s best to let them rest overnight, but an hour is the absolute minimum. The longer you wait, the better the color sets.

After you’ve waited as long as you can, put your rubber gloves back on and bring your onesies to the sink, or the bathtub, wherever you feel like making a mess. Under cold running water, rinse and squeeze the onesies over and over and over and over. Carefully cut the elastics off and rinse and squeeze some more until the water runs moderately clear. Now you’ll have something pretty like this:

Ohh… pretty. Hello dirty Kitchen Aid mixer, what a nice reflection you have. Now take your glove off and pat yourself on the back, but don’t fall in love with them as they are – remember, they’re wet so the color is darker, and the color will wash out a little when you wash them. OK, now wash them and, for Pete’s sake, don’t use bleach. Wash them with some dark clothes, too, unless you want everything you won to be tie dyed. After you’ve washed and dried them, you’ll have something fantastic like this:

Or this:

Snuggly and adorable, huh? Well get yourself to the craft store and tie dye yourself some tonight. Or… if that seems like too much work (there are a LOT of steps, and it looks like it’s NO fun at all) then just allow yourself to cheat just a little and head over to my Etsy shop where you can buy yourself an already made tie dyed onesie. See, wasn’t that easy?

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