May 12, 2020

233 Comments

Doll Tips ›




 

 


How To Tie Dye Clothes For Dolls

The Ultimate Resource Guide To Tie-Dye For Dolls

We've put together the ultimate resource guide to tie dyeing clothing for your dolls! We cover everything from choosing fabrics to folding techniques, and lots of other helpful tips. We've even included a few bonus pattern hacks!

Giveaway Alert! We're giving away one Tulip® 12-Color Tie-Dye Kit!

To enter the limited-time contest, be sure to scroll to the end of the post to leave a comment about which tie dye method is your favorite.

Choosing Fabric

Tie dyeing or other at-home dyeing works best with fabrics made from natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, or rayon. This is because natural fibers are more absorbent than synthetic materials, which are more likely to just repel the dye. For the examples in this post we have used woven rayon, an upcycled cotton jersey t-shirt, and a cotton spandex blend knit. 

Choosing Dyes

For this project we experimented with dyes from a Tulip Tie Dye Kit, as well as Rit® all-purpose liquid dye. For the Rit® dye option we followed this tutorial where they explain how to mix their liquid dye for tie dyeing with the squirt bottle method. 

Tie-Dye Crumple Method Tutorial

The crumple method is an easy tie dyeing technique to begin with because it relies on randomness for it's neat pattern, so it's hard to get wrong! This technique is great for a finished garment, as well as a cut piece of fabric, as shown above. 

For the crumple method:

  1. Scrunch the fabric or garment together with your fingers. 
  2. Begin securing small bunches of fabric together with rubber bands. Try to gather different areas of the fabric together in each bunch. Vary the sizes of each section to add more variety throughout the fabric.
  3. Continue tying off sections with rubber bands until the entire piece is crumpled together and secured. 
  4. Wet the bundle of fabric, then apply dye. For a multi-colored look, apply each color to alternating bunches of fabric. Use like colors next to each other, as some blending of the colors will occur.

Spiral Method Tie Dye Tutorial Photos

The spiral method is a classic tie dye look. For a doll-sized spiral, it's important to note that what might seem like a small amount of white space left undyed could look like a lot of white space on the doll. For a more defined spiral, be sure the dyes soak all the way in to the fabric and in every fold. 

For the spiral method:

  1. Pinch the center of the garment with your fingers or a small clip.
  2. Twist the pinched fabric so the rest of the garment begins swirling around it.
  3. Twist the rest of the fabric around the center spiral until the entire garment is wound in one round spiral. For the above example, the body of the sweatshirt was wrapped on one spiral while the hood was wrapped in its own spiral.
  4. Tie the spiral together in a pie shaped pattern with twine or rubber bands. 
  5. With the garment wet, apply two or more colors of dye in an alternating pattern in each pie shape. Flip the piece over to apply die to the back side as well. 

Get the Pattern:

123 Mulberry Street Hoodie DressHoodie Dress Sewing Pattern For 18-inch dolls

Get the look: Use the Hoodie length variation with no band. Add two holes to the center front on the hem and feed a cotton twill drawstring through the hem to create a drawstring hoodie. 

 

 

Shibori Inspired Tie Dye Technique Tutorial

Shibori is the name for traditional Japanese tie dye using indigo. If you are looking to read more about shibori and see more traditional tie dye techniques, this article from Heddels is an interesting read. 

For the Shibori-Inspired Method:

  1. Use a pencil or other thin tube shape (such as a reusable straw, etc.) and roll the garment or fabric around the object. The direction you roll the garment will be the direction of the stripe pattern; rolling from top to bottom will create vertical stripes while rolling from side to side will result in horizontal stripes. 
  2. Once all of the fabric is rolled onto the pencil, begin securing with rubber bands or twine. Secure all along the length. 
  3. Wet the fabric, then apply one or more colors of dye until no white fabric is visible on the outside. For more defined stripes, leave a small amount of white around each rubber band. 

Get the Pattern:

Liberty Jane Free T-Shirt Pattern For 14.5" dollsFree T-Shirt Pattern For 14.5-inch dolls

Get the look: Add about 4-inches of length to the hem to create a fun and trendy t-shirt dress.

 

 

 

Shibori Inspired Tie Dye Technique tutorial for yardage

This method is similar to the one shown above, but it is applied to one cut piece of fabric rather than a garment. The effect is a kind of ombre stripe that we think would make a great dress for any doll. 

For the Shibori-Inspired Method For Fabric Yardage

    1. For horizontal stripes, begin tightly rolling the fabric along the long end of the piece. For vertical stripes, begin rolling on the short end. Roll the piece of fabric all the way to the end to form one rolled tube-shaped piece. 
    2. Tie the roll with rubber bands or twine all along the length. 
    3. Wet the roll of fabric, then apply dye. For more defined stripes, leave a small amount of white around each rubber band. 

Shibori Inspired Method Tie Dye Technique Tutorial

Similar to the method above, the shibori-inspired technique we used for these pants is super simple and creates a casual and carefree look. 

For this version of the Shibori-Inspired Method:

  1. Lay the garment flat on the work surface. Starting at the top, bunch together the fabric in one horizontal line and tie off with a rubber band or twine. 
  2. Continue banding the fabric by horizontal bunching at regular intervals. 
  3. Wet the fabric, then apply one or more colors of dye. To create more prominent stripes, be sure to thoroughly saturate the fabric with dye so that color is applied to the entirety of the garment, rather than just the surface of the bundle. 

Get the pattern:

Liberty Jane Drawstring Shorts Drawstring Short Pattern For 18-inch dolls

Get the look: Add length to the hem to make cute and comfy drawstring pants. Get access to the full tutorial for this project in Sewing With Cinnamon. This month our topic is Sewing the Themed Wardrobe: So-Cal Style!

 

 

 

Accordion Fold Method Tie Dye Technique Tutorial

The accordion fold tie dyeing technique creates a beautiful stripe pattern that is perfect for a more sophisticated tie dye look. Tip: the smaller you make your folds, the more intricate the pattern will look. You can also fold in a different direction other than a diagonal line to create your own unique look. 

The other method we used for this example was an ombre effect created by applying one layer of dye to the entire garment, then a second layer to the top 2/3 of the folded piece, then a final third layer to the top 1/3 of the piece. This created a subtle gradient affect that is easy to achieve. 

For the accordion fold method:

  1. Starting in one corner of the garment or piece of fabric, begin making small accordion folds in the fabric in a diagonal direction. 
  2. Continue folding until your diagonal line reaches the opposite corner of the garment. Secure this spot with a rubber band or twine.
  3. Continue folding and tying the rest of the garment in the same diagonal direction until all the fabric is bundled in one tube shape.
  4. Wet the roll of fabric, then apply dye. For a more defined pattern, leave a very small amount of white around each rubber band. 

Get the Pattern:

Liberty Jane Lightning Ridge Top 

Lightning Ridge Top and Dress Pattern For 18-inch dolls

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting, Rinsing, and Drying

For drying times and methods, it's best to follow the instructions on your dye kit. Our kit recommended to wrap the piece in plastic and let the fabric sit for 6-8 hours. Then, rinse the piece well until the water runs mostly clear. We also hand washed the pieces with clear detergent to make sure all the excess dye was removed, then ran through the tumble dryer for 20-30 minutes. 

Washing and drying the doll size pieces helps to give them a great warn-in look and softer feel- just like you want with tie dye pieces! 

WARNING: Once your garments are ready for wear, be careful not to leave the dolls dressed in the dyed pieces for too long at one time, as it is possible some excess dye will stain the vinyl skin. 

The possibilities are endless...

Tie Dye Doll Clothes Matching Set Tutorial

This example shows the 123 Mulberry St. Hoodie Pattern For 14.5-inch dolls made using the same drawstring hem method mentioned above. We used the spiral method and applied blue and purple dye. For the trendy biker shorts, we made the Liberty Jane leggings pattern as a shorts length, then dyed using the crumple method. 

Tie Dye Methods For Tie-Dyed Doll Clothes

For an easy sweatpants pattern hack, here we made the basic pants pattern from Liberty Jane, adding a drawstring through the waistband rather than elastic, and adding elastic bands at the hem of each leg. These were dyed using the crumple method and make such a cute matching set with our drawstring hoodie!

ENTER TO WIN A Tulip® DIY Tie Dying Kit

To enter this week's contest, simply click the link below and then enter through the giveaway widget at the bottom of the blog post, there are many things you can do to earn multiple entry points!

Contest Details: You enter through the entry form that is embedded on this page and appears just below this paragraph, if you don't see it, be sure to visit the page from your desktop or an alternate browser such as Google Chrome. It may not appear on all mobile devices. The complete rules and entry details appear on the entry form. This is not a comment contest - in other words, leaving a comment on the bottom of this page is not an official entry method. The only required entry method is to leave a comment under this post and then confirm that you did it in the contest widget. One person will receive the tie Dye Kit. You can enter once, or gain multiple entries by completing the other entry methods and increase your chances of winning. Please review all Terms and Conditions on the giveaway page before entering. While we wish we could run this contest everywhere, for legal reasons it is only open to eligible residents of the U.S. and Canada, not including Rhode Island. This contest is exclusively endorsed by Liberty Jane Clothing and Pixie Faire. Not endorsed by or affiliated with Tulip®.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell us - which tie dye method is your favorite! Commenting below and confirming your entry in the widget above gives you one entry method, the other methods are listed in the widget above, be sure to enter in as many ways as you can to receive the maximum amount of entries to win one Tulip® 12-Color Tie Dye Kit!

Thanks, everyone!

The Pixie Faire Team

 


100 Comments

Rosemary
Rosemary

May 29, 2020

i want to try the tie dying it looks fun

Kay
Kay

May 18, 2020

Oops- meant the Spiral one is my fav- disregard previous comment- yeesh!

Kay
Kay

May 18, 2020

Maybe it’s the pink and yellow colors but I like the crumpled one best . . .

Ruth Ann
Ruth Ann

May 18, 2020

I like most of the methods, but would probably try the crumple method first.

Alma
Alma

May 18, 2020

My kids would have so much fun. This wouldbe incredible to win right now. They would have a blast.

sue
sue

May 18, 2020

I have never done this! I like the spiral method best. It seems more deliberate, a must for my need of organization. :)

Terri silva
Terri silva

May 18, 2020

I like the accordion method!

Christine
Christine

May 18, 2020

This would be a great pattern to make and tie dying would be so much fun.

Kathy
Kathy

May 18, 2020

I would love to do this with my Granddaughter! She’s so creative, and I love tie dye!

Ramona Curtis
Ramona Curtis

May 18, 2020

I have never tried tie dye but I love them all..

Linda
Linda

May 18, 2020

These are the cutest!! I remember the dying my clothes back in the day.

Amanda
Amanda

May 18, 2020

i like the spiral method the most

Beth Watness
Beth Watness

May 17, 2020

I choose the spiral method. I’d like to try to create an ombre effect.

Cindy R
Cindy R

May 17, 2020

Great Tutorial, thanks Cinnamon! I would love to try tie dying – it looks like fun. Also it would be a cute looks for the dolls to wear! :)

Patt
Patt

May 17, 2020

This looks like fun. I’ve wanted to learn the Shibori style of dying fabric.

Doreen
Doreen

May 17, 2020

Looks fun! Could also tie dye before you cut and sew the garment.

Rabbit
Rabbit

May 17, 2020

This looks like a fun activity.

Kimberly C
Kimberly C

May 17, 2020

I think the spiral method is my favorite tie dye method.

Lyn K
Lyn K

May 17, 2020

brings back memories

MAUREEN
MAUREEN

May 17, 2020

I like the crumple method, it looks easy and gets great results.

Sharon
Sharon

May 17, 2020

Looks like a lot of fun ! Thanks for this give away!

Amy
Amy

May 17, 2020

I like the Shibori methods. Tie dye is so fun!

Brittany
Brittany

May 16, 2020

I really like the spiral method. I love the pictures of how to do it. This will be fun to do with my kids.

Marcy Mahle
Marcy Mahle

May 16, 2020

thank you for the tutorial. Great ideas for my granddaughters to have fun.

Jeanne
Jeanne

May 15, 2020

I like the spiral method. Never done the before, should be fun.

Pat
Pat

May 15, 2020

I really like the spiral method.

Donna
Donna

May 15, 2020

I would like to try the spiral method… remembering the warning that the clothing piece is small!

Vicky U.
Vicky U.

May 15, 2020

I’m especially interested in trying the Shibori method, it’s a new one to me. Would love the stripe affect. My craft loving granddaughters would love this. Also the 55+ community sewing group that makes clothes for the 14.5 and 18 inch dolls, all proceeds from the sales are donated. Woohoo!

Sandy
Sandy

May 15, 2020

Wood Stock, Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead. All memories of tie-dye. Has there ever been a music festive since that hasn’t had a booth selling tie-dye garments? It really has never gone out of style. Always so much fun. Like the spiral method best.
Thank you.

Jennifer
Jennifer

May 15, 2020

I tend to get impatient so I like the crumple method.

Marichu
Marichu

May 15, 2020

I love the squirt bottle method for tye-dying!

Krynne
Krynne

May 15, 2020

This is so much fun to do! I last did tye dye when I was a scout leader for my son’s scout troop. The kids had so much fun! We did mostly the spiral and scrunching method. Did not realize what the other types were called… we just did them lol!

Nancy
Nancy

May 15, 2020

I’ve only tried the spiral tie dye, but would like to try Shibori. All the methods look fun. Accordion looks interesting too! Would love to win the die kit and try all the methods. I’m sure the dolls would love their new look.

Monica Zacher
Monica Zacher

May 15, 2020

Wow that looks cool

Rachel
Rachel

May 15, 2020

Shibori-inspired method

Dorothy
Dorothy

May 15, 2020

I think I like the spiral method best, but the others look like fun, too. I made a little cross body purse with a tie-dyed fabric that was really cute.

Marylin
Marylin

May 15, 2020

This could be fun. Shades of 70’s revisited.

S.C.
S.C.

May 15, 2020

I really like the Shibori – inspired method the best. It looks clean while still having the cool tie die effect.

BSecrest
BSecrest

May 15, 2020

Tie dye is one of those project that I keep saying that I want to try. Maybe this will get me motivated to finally do it!!! Thank you!

ET
ET

May 15, 2020

I really like the spiral and crumple methods. They seem to provide the most diverse and interesting patterns

Ravishingrosie
Ravishingrosie

May 15, 2020

Ah, the 70’s, I remember them well. This is a little activity that can keep children busy for an afternoon. My four granddaughters are just itching to do this!

Katvisions
Katvisions

May 15, 2020

I’ve done the dying off and in for years. By far my favorite method is spiral but with this last post on Pixie Faire I’m excited to learn about new methods and I’m excited to try them all!

designdreamer
designdreamer

May 15, 2020

Looks like fun!

Carol
Carol

May 15, 2020

Thank you! Very interesting. Especially the Shibori method.

Amber Hayes
Amber Hayes

May 15, 2020

All of these are really cute, I am going to have to try them with my Kids!

Connie
Connie

May 15, 2020

I have never done tie die before. It would be fun to do with my granddaughters.

Carol
Carol

May 15, 2020

I always used the Rit dye crumpled method. I like how the colors blend.

Janet L.  P.
Janet L. P.

May 15, 2020

It’s been many years since i did any tie dye – I’d love to give it a go for my dolls!

Sandra L.
Sandra L.

May 15, 2020

I’ve never attempted to tie dye though I have dyed fabric with Rite Dye but it’s been on my list of wanting to learn. This is perfect and would love to win. This would be a perfect project for me and my oldest granddaughter as she loves tie dyed clothing. I love the Shibori method.

Barbara
Barbara

May 15, 2020

The other methods are interesting, but I prefer the crumpled method.

Mary
Mary

May 15, 2020

Never thought about doing this for dolls. Now I see so many possibilities. Thank you so much for helping us! Can’t wait to start!

Sherry
Sherry

May 15, 2020

I have been wanting to try this for a couple years and just have not taken the plunge. I loved seeing how to do this and will try it soon. The kit would help me get on my way to creating.

Tamara
Tamara

May 15, 2020

My daughter just told me that she would like to do some tie dye projects!

Joyce
Joyce

May 15, 2020

My granddaughter will doing this project

Cindy
Cindy

May 15, 2020

Cute ideas! Looks like a lot of fun to do!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

May 15, 2020

Love the spiral and accordion methods- this is or will be fun to try and do! thank you for the offer!

Marlene Lohman
Marlene Lohman

May 15, 2020

Love the pull up and secure with a rubber band method. I am anxious to try tie dye for the doll!

Marlene Lohman
Marlene Lohman

May 15, 2020

Love the pull up and secure with a rubber band method. I am anxious to try tie dye for the doll!

Nancy
Nancy

May 15, 2020

Cute doll love her outfit

Sharon Joy
Sharon Joy

May 15, 2020

I love the looks of all the meth9ds and working with them small size, but I especially love the look of the spiral method. Especially worked in just two colours give a wonderful completeness to the look. It’s great to find info on how to recreate our tie dye looks in this scale. Thank you

Diana G
Diana G

May 14, 2020

crumble method is my favorite used this on my cloths when i was young and used it recently on a white table cloth to give it some color.

Barb
Barb

May 14, 2020

I love the shibori look but think I’ll try them all!

sheila
sheila

May 14, 2020

love it; can’t wait to try.

Rebecca N
Rebecca N

May 14, 2020

Love these!! They are so cute!! I think I would try the crumbled method to start.

Piroska
Piroska

May 14, 2020

I like the “crumple” method. Looks easy and fun.

Janice
Janice

May 14, 2020

What a fun project. The results are awesome.

DianeKae
DianeKae

May 14, 2020

Great tutorials! I haven’t tried tie-dye projects, but this might be a new favorite avenue for unique matching doll and girl outfits. Is there a way to ‘set’ the dye so as not to worry about staining the fabric doll body or vinyl limbs?

JJ
JJ

May 14, 2020

I like the shibori method with some white space.

Heather
Heather

May 14, 2020

I would love to make the tie dye sweatsuit! Super cute!!

Rachel
Rachel

May 14, 2020

I want to try some combination of the 2nd shibori method with the accordion method.

Michele
Michele

May 14, 2020

Definitely something I’d like to try! Thanks for this contest, Pixie Faire!

Andrea
Andrea

May 14, 2020

I have always had an interest in tye dying, but was reluctant to handle a large project. These projects look much more manageable.

Alisonl
Alisonl

May 14, 2020

Whoops totally forgot – - I want to try the Spiral method. And then well all of them!

Alison
Alison

May 14, 2020

I was just looking through pixie Faire patterns to see which would be good to use for Tie-dye! Thank you so much for all the ideas. I’m excited to try it.

mariann
mariann

May 14, 2020

I have been saving fabrics ‘specially to tie-dye for my dolls… I can’t wait to give it a try… thx for the chance to win

Katie
Katie

May 14, 2020

The Shibori method looks real interesting. We did the rubber band in Girl Scouts whenever we went to Disney. The whole troop had the same color, as well as our leaders….that way we could spot each other from far away!

Lynett
Lynett

May 14, 2020

i would love to try this

Leanna
Leanna

May 14, 2020

I like the spiral method

Patty Gennario
Patty Gennario

May 14, 2020

I can’t wait to try this! Thank you so much for the tutorial. I can make my granddaughter and all her dolls matching shirts- she’ll love it💜

kimberly Zais
kimberly Zais

May 14, 2020

The cumple method is my favorite technique. Definitely trying it next time.

Ellen Barth
Ellen Barth

May 13, 2020

I like the spiral method.

Toni C.
Toni C.

May 13, 2020

My favorite tie-dye technique wasn’t listed. This works best if you trace the pattern pieces onto the cloth first and cut them out after the dyeing process is completed.
**I like to contour the pattern by making a row of double-thread running-stitch around the neckline, hem, sleeve edges, etc., and pull it as TIGHT as possible. (This would work well for the spiral pattern, too) Dip in the lightest color first, let dry, then repeat a row of TIGHT running-stitch at least 3/4 to 1 inch away from the first row(s) of running-stitch, Dip in a darker color. Then set colors as directed.

kathy m.
kathy m.

May 13, 2020

I have not done tye dyed but look like fun do what great idea to rethink a pattern and a make it unquie

Michelle Eusebio
Michelle Eusebio

May 13, 2020

I’ve always used the crumple method, but would love to try the spiral method. Looks like fun!

Ashley
Ashley

May 13, 2020

I really love the crumple method best! My daughter would love to have matching tie dye outfits with her dolls.

Cassandra
Cassandra

May 13, 2020

Would be fun to tye die do again for dolls outfits. I like the crumple and spiral best I think.

Cassandra
Cassandra

May 13, 2020

Would be fun to tye die do again for dolls outfits. I like the crumple and spiral best I think.

Christie
Christie

May 13, 2020

I tie-dyed onesies for my little girl when she was a baby, but I haven’t done any tie dying since. I really liked the spiral method but I would love to try Shibori.

Julie
Julie

May 13, 2020

I love the crumple method…on the hoodie dress!

Joanne G
Joanne G

May 13, 2020

I’d like to try all of the methods to create custom looks for my dolls.

Glenda
Glenda

May 13, 2020

The Shibori method of dying looks like the best! My doll loves to be a hippie and wear tye dye! It’s groovy.

Judy
Judy

May 13, 2020

I like the spiral method

Janice S
Janice S

May 13, 2020

LOVE the spiral method!! It was my favorite growing up and it still is. :)

Denise Darby
Denise Darby

May 13, 2020

I would love to try the crumple method and the spiral method look like great fun to do. Never thought about dying doll clothes.

Tari Samples
Tari Samples

May 13, 2020

I believe I like the crumpled method better than the others, although they are all nice! Thank you for the opportunity to win the Tie-Dye kit!

Sharon
Sharon

May 13, 2020

I have always been a fan of the spiral method, but would like to try these others and maybe even batik.

Pat
Pat

May 13, 2020

I have used several methods, but want to try shibori next.

Karen Cook
Karen Cook

May 13, 2020

I love tie dying! I did a shirt with my granddaughter last year and it was so fun! It would be even more fun for my dolls!

Joanne
Joanne

May 13, 2020

Soooooo …. my granddaughter saw this post and now wants outfits for her doll in every tie dye style in every colour imaginable. I’m going to have to find cotton knit!

Joan Miller
Joan Miller

May 13, 2020

I like all the methods and want to try them. I have a Kimberly dress that is just waiting to be dyed Thank you Team

1 2 3 Next »

Leave a comment