Tie-dye projects provide great outdoor fun in the summertime, and this red, white and blue T-shirt is perfect for the Fourth of July. The nostalgic firecracker popsicle theme is fun and easy to do, but be warned: It can be messy!
Surface cover (drop cloth or vinyl tablecloth)
White, 100 percent cotton T-shirt
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Tulip tie-dye zip ties (or regular zip ties)
Gloves (I don’t recommend using the ones that come with the dye; they’re not protective enough.)
Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye in red and royal blue (one bottle each for making two shirts)
1. Spread out your surface cover, preferably outdoors.
2. Wet or dampen the shirt, then wring out excess water.
3. Lay the shirt on the surface cover.
4. Using two zip ties, cinch the shirt into three equal sections (try folding it accordion-style). Place the first zip tie just under the armpits and eyeball the second one so all three sections are roughly the same length. Use pliers to pull the zip ties as tight as possible and cut off the leftover zip tie tails. This is helpful later when you wrap the T-shirt in plastic wrap.
5. Wrap the middle section (your white section) in plastic wrap to protect it from splatter.
6. Put on your gloves and prepare the dye according to the package instructions. Read all instructions before starting.
7. Carefully apply the red dye to the top part of the shirt within the folds, leaving about a half inch of space between the dye and the zip tie. The dye will bleed and eventually seep to the zip tie.
8. Repeat Step 7 with the blue dye applied on the bottom section of the shirt.
9. Carefully turn over the shirt and apply both dyes to the back of the shirt.
10. Roll and wrap your shirt with plastic wrap and let it sit for six to eight hours.
11. Rinse each end carefully under the faucet to remove excess dye. Rinse until water runs clear.
12. Leave your zip ties on and machine wash. After washing, cut off zip ties with scissors and dry.
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