This quick and easy Kool-Aid Tie-Dye T-Shirt craft project makes cool colored fabric art designs that’s fun for kids and adults.
When you think of tie-dying, does the 1960’s come to mind? Well, it’s not old fashioned anymore, in fact, kids of all ages love this fabric art and it’s one of the easiest to do, especially if you use this most unlikely ingredient: Kool-Aid.
When I first heard about this craft I was curious. After all, I love Kool-Aid and the prospect of making something tie-dyed sounded like a lot of fun.
But then, as a mom, I started wondering all the what-ifs…
I know from experience that Kool-Aid has the potential to stain things, so I wondered how this would work out with kids in the picture.
Through my internet research, though, I found out that kids love this project and they love making tie-dyed anything, including their very own t-shirts.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind…
I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention these couple of things about this craft. You probably already know this but if you don’t, I don’t want you to feel disappointed if your project doesn’t come out quite as you had planned.
–The first, is that Kool-Aid isn’t a formal dye, meaning it wasn’t manufactured to do this–it’s a kid’s drink, after all!
–The other thing to remember is that if you want to tie-dye clothes and have it set for the life of the garment, you will need to purchase a dye made especially for this purpose, Tulip Tie Dye. Food dyes are fun but are not made for permanency.
–Nevertheless, this is still a super fun craft project to do with kids. Have fun mixing and matching colors and designs!
RELATED: Fabric Mug Rug Sewing Project
What Can You Tie Dye?
There are many things you can dye with Kool-Aid. You can tie-dye most fabrics (silks are fun to dye), yarn (SEE VIDEO BELOW) and even wood and other porous surfaces. So keep that in mind when you are doing this craft.
But if this is your first time trying out tie-dying, I suggest start out simple with a white t-shirt. Beginner crafters will love it for its great results.
How to Hand Paint Dye Yarn with Kool-Aid (Video)
Discover how simple it is to use Kool-Aid to dye yarn with this helpful video tutorial.
A Few Hints before You Start
Before you get started there are a couple of things you will also need to know:
1. Use gloves. Beside staining surfaces, Kool-Aid can also dye little hands. So you may want to take advantage of gloves, if you do not want your kids running around with rainbow-colored hands.
2. Let it dry. Allow your project to fully dry first before rinsing it.
3. Heat set it. Then, be sure to heat set your project with either a hot iron or in a dryer on a hot setting or both. That way, the colors will have less chance to bleed.
4. Wash it separately. And, speaking of washing…you will want to wash your project by itself in the washer without any other things for a wash or two, otherwise, you may risk it staining your good clothes. (I found this out the hard way.)
5. Do it outdoors. Finally, if you don’t want any muss or fuss, you can have your kids tie dye on the grass. Just remember to hose off the area after use.
Craft Tip: Avoid unwanted staining of your tabletop with a plastic sheet–which I highly suggest.
Kool-Aid Tie-Dye T-Shirt Craft Project Tutorial
- Dish Pan
- Playtex Gloves
- Squeeze Bottles
- Plastic Tablecloth
- Variety of Kool-Aid Packs
- White Vinegar
- White T-Shirt
- Rubber Bands or Cotton Twine
For this tie-dye project, you have a choice to dip (in a bowl or small dish tub), use a squeeze bottle, or spray on your dye.
1. First, dampen your t-shirt. It shouldn’t be soaking wet, but damp to the touch.
2. Place t-shirt on plastic tablecloth and lay it out flat.
3. After putting on gloves, scrunch cloth up and tie with twine or wind with a rubber band in a random or preset order.
3. Fill sprayer/squeeze bottle/bowl with 1 cup of vinegar and 2 packets of Kool-Aid. Mix well.
4. Apply dye to your t-shirt by spraying, drizzling or dipping, as the case may be.
5. Let the dye set on your t-shirt for about 30 minutes.
6. Remove any rubber bands or string. And stretch out your t-shirt to view your design.
7. Allow it to dry completely on a protected surface indoors or better still outdoors on a clothesline.
6. Next soak your shirt in white vinegar for 15 minutes to set the dye then rinse well. (Until you no longer see any dye in the water.)
7. Wash the t-shirt on gentle cycle with a little bit of laundry detergent.
8. Heat set the t-shirt in your dryer by using a HOT cycle.
9. Finally, it’s time to wear your masterpiece! Enjoy!
Love this craft? For more great crafty ideas, be sure to check out the DIY Crafts section on Wisconsin Homemaker.