Easy Sharpie Tie Dye T-Shirt

We had a blast making these Sharpie Tie Dye T-shirts for a play date last Tuesday. Seriously no artistic talent needed. If you know how to scribble, you will do fine. You just need a little imagination. I was watching my friends children, since she was taking a class for the day. I had to come up with something to entertain the kids for a couple of hours. I saw something like this on Pinterest, but of course I had to try something completely different.

Sharpie Tie-Dye T-Shirt

Sharpie Tie Dye

This is a great project, since Sharpies are on sale around back to school time. I found this 24 pack of Sharpies. This pack should have every color you need to design a great looking shirt. I picked up the plain white t-shirts for every one of the kids at Michaels last week for $2.00 a t-shirt. These are perfect for Tye Dye t-shirts and I love a bargain. 

Directions for Sharpie Tie-Dye T-Shirts:

We started with the plain, boring white t-shirts I purchased from Michaels. Put some paper, magazines or cardboard between the shirt. This is to prevent the Sharpies from bleeding through the front part to the back, unless that is the design you want. Then just make sure you put something under the shirt to prevent it ruining your carpet or table. I didn’t care what mess the kids made with Sharpies. I didn’t even care they forgot to put the lids back on, since we were ripping out the carpet that week anyway. Very stress free for me. If you see my previous post carpet is now gone! Yippee.

Sharpie Tie Dye DIY

Next draw any design you wish. I just let the kids draw with the Sharpies whatever tie dye design they wanted. They loved using their creative freedom. You don’t want to be really detailed, since in the next step all the colors will bleed together to create a tie dye effect. This is where we had lots of fun coming up with different tie dye designs.

How to make Sharpie Tie Dye

After you have created your design then the fun part starts. Take a squirt bottle and filled it with rubbing alcohol. I would then recommend taking this outside. Liberally spray the front of the shirt with alcohol. The colors will bleed as soon as you start to spray. We found red, orange and black run the best.

Sharpie Tie Dye Design

Let the front dry and then spray the back. These dry fast outside and since it is alcohol. 

Design possibilities for Sharpie Tie-Dye T-Shirts:

I used duct tape (the duct tape is zig zagged)  to create a cross that had a negative area then colored around the duct tape. I just used squiggles. I sprayed the alcohol around the duct tape and let it dry. Then I removed the duct tape. I was surprised it bled under the duct tape, but it came out really cool. 

Sharpie Tie Dye ideas

We created a rainbow circle like a tie dye T-Shirt on one. It turned out awesome. We found the more you color with the Sharpie marker on one area the more the Sharpie colors will bleed like a tie dye shirt. The swirl effect is created by drawing a spiral. Try different colors of Sharpies for an even cooler effect. The dot tie dye effect turned out awesome by put a dot of the Sharpie and let it set for a second or two to soak the shirt. Once this is sprayed it spreads.

Here are the designs we created using this Sharpie tie dye method. Now my mind is reeling thinking of all  the other possibilities that can be done with this great Sharpie tie dye style. You have so much more control of how the design of your tie dye t-shirt turns out by using Sharpies.

I would love to know if you made any of these yourself. Send me a picture or leave me a comment. So what do you think of this idea?

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What have you been working on this week? Do you have a fabulous craft, recipe, organization or furniture redo? I would love for you to link up at our PIN IT Wednesday party! Pin this post if you like it.


  1. says

    Super neat! I was going to post a list of things to do with old t-shirts on my blog like making different bags and tie dying and I was wondering if it would be cool if I put a link to your neat new tie dye method!! This looks like something that would be great to try!!! Thanks for the great idea :)

  2. Amy says

    That would be wonderful Alison. Yes, please list this idea with a link back. I would love that! Let me know when you do the post. I am always looking for great ideas!

  3. says

    Hello! Stopping by from Activity Corner – love your post! I hope you’ll come visit me at jugglingactmama.blogspot.com. Have a great day!

  4. Noelle says

    How did they hold up in the laundry? Thinking of doing this as team shirts for our bible quiz team – thanks to another mom who found your post.

    • says

      They hold up fairly well. I would recommend heat setting the shirt once you are done. For 30 min in the dryer or iron it before you wash for the first time. Just like any tie dye it will fade over time.

  5. says

    Oh my! This looks so fun! Pinned and tweeted. Please join us tonight at 7 pm, and party with us. I can’t wait to see your new masterpieces or amazing classics! Lou Lou Girls

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