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

Michelle
Michelle

May 13, 2020

The crumple method is my favorite because it reminds me of my teen years in the 70’s. They all look fun to try though.

Sparkle
Sparkle

May 13, 2020

All the methods look worth a try to me. I’d probably begin with the crumple method then try the others. What a refreshing idea!

Suzi
Suzi

May 13, 2020

Having not tie-dyed in years and years, I would have try these methods to remember which is my favorite! I’m sure my 10 yr old GD would be very willing to help me figure it out!

Inger
Inger

May 13, 2020

hadn’t thought of doing this before. What a fun idea!

Susan
Susan

May 13, 2020

I love these ideas! I like the Shibori method – fun art activity with the kids:)

Gail
Gail

May 13, 2020

I am used to the accordian fold method, but I like the idea of the shibori-inspired method.

Kathy
Kathy

May 13, 2020

How fun that we are back to tie dye. I am of the generation that wore tie dye clothing in my younger days. The T-shirts back then were so awesome. Thanks for the chance to win this kit. It would be so fun having something different to do.

Elin
Elin

May 13, 2020

Tulip tie dyes work well with any method. But, for small clothes, I prefer Sharpie pens with drops of rubbing alcohol. The colors are bright with amazing tie dye look.

Brandyn Barksdale
Brandyn Barksdale

May 13, 2020

My Littles & I just discovered tie dye {by “discovered, I mean DIY, because we’ve always been big fans”.
I like the Shibori inspired method!!

Anthea
Anthea

May 13, 2020

I’ve only tried the scrunching method but would like to try the others as well!

Colette Wilson
Colette Wilson

May 13, 2020

I love tie dye. This guide is a wonderful resource.

Liana
Liana

May 13, 2020

Such a fun project! Love a colorful tie dye whatever the method.

Florence
Florence

May 13, 2020

I love Tie Dye! I’ve used the crumple method and spiral method before. Now that I’ve heard about the shibori method I’m looking forward to trying it! Thank you for the giveaway!

Mae Lynn Beck
Mae Lynn Beck

May 13, 2020

When I think tie dye, I think the spiral method. But I’ve never really achieved that look when I’ve done it. I just like the surprise when you’re all done.

Lori
Lori

May 13, 2020

What an awesome look! I love the traditional tie die pattern but the others are intriguing as well. I had no idea there were so many different ways to tie dye!

Robin
Robin

May 13, 2020

I have always been a fan of the spiral, but I think my daughter would love to try the crumpled method. Thanks!

Eleanor
Eleanor

May 13, 2020

This is such an awesome way t o make one-of-a-kind fashions for a doll family. I’d love to try them all and probably will. I guess I’ll start with the Shibori.

Connie
Connie

May 13, 2020

The Shibori-Inspired method looks interesting.

Kim C
Kim C

May 13, 2020

I love the uniqueness of the accordion fold technique!

BettyAnn
BettyAnn

May 13, 2020

They all look interesting. I agree that the more colour the better

Bobbie
Bobbie

May 13, 2020

I like the spiral look.

Gail
Gail

May 13, 2020

I love any method of Tie Dye. I am all about beautiful colors. So the more colors the better.

Stephanie O'Connell
Stephanie O'Connell

May 13, 2020

I was a Girl Scout too. Our troop had a buddy activity with a special needs troop and we used rubber bands on our Dad’s tee shirts for Father’s Day! Everyone wanted the blue colors, lol.

Diane R
Diane R

May 13, 2020

Shibori is my favorite when the striping turns out right.

Francoise
Francoise

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral method, but i will try them all.
They are so cute !

Patti
Patti

May 12, 2020

My sister & I tie-dyed everything we wore 50 years ago. What fun to share this technique now with my grand daughter.

Glenda
Glenda

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral look.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

May 12, 2020

I taught tie-dye to kids at summer camp. I loved the crumple method for the younger age group. They were able to be very successful with it. Personally like spiral best.

Wanda Brito
Wanda Brito

May 12, 2020

I like them all but spiral the best. It’s like you said, the possibilities are endless!! ;-)

J.J. Goody
J.J. Goody

May 12, 2020

From what I could see of the pictures on my phone, some of the methods didn’t seem to do much. When I was a kid in Girl Scouts, we did some hankies. I don’t remember if it was knots we tied in them that got the cool effect but I liked it.

Pam H
Pam H

May 12, 2020

I really like the Spiral the best.

Eddie
Eddie

May 12, 2020

I have never heard of the Shibori method for tie dying and it looks like a lot of fun.

Cindy
Cindy

May 12, 2020

I do like the spiral look the best!

Lexi
Lexi

May 12, 2020

Spiral is my favorite but you did a fabulous job with all of these!

Cindy
Cindy

May 12, 2020

I love this look but have never been very good at the tie dye technique.

Susan Hebert
Susan Hebert

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral method.

Anna
Anna

May 12, 2020

I like the Shibori method best. I am going to go rummage around to see if I have any material I can die and create some stuff with!

Rita C.
Rita C.

May 12, 2020

I have had lots of experiences with the crumpled and spiral methods. I think I should try the Shibori-inspired method next! Thanks for a very cute tutorial!

Judith Martinez
Judith Martinez

May 12, 2020

I like the Shibori method.

Donna Landreth
Donna Landreth

May 12, 2020

I like the Crumple Method for a Tie dying. Thank you for the awesome giveaways.😘

Deb H
Deb H

May 12, 2020

Thank you for the article on the different methods of tie dye

LaLinda
LaLinda

May 12, 2020

Hi i think the tie dyed outfits are so cute. With so msny choices to make hard to chose. Look forward to trying them.

Sara
Sara

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral method.

Nancy
Nancy

May 12, 2020

Really interesting blog post Thank you

kathleen
kathleen

May 12, 2020

Haven’t done tie-dye in 40 years, may be time to try these methods!

Cath
Cath

May 12, 2020

The spiral method seemed to be working pretty well, but it’s really fun to keep trying different methods. The pink outfit turned out really cute. Thanks for the opportunity and inspiration.

Cristy
Cristy

May 12, 2020

I would like to try them all! I love tye dye!

Claudia
Claudia

May 12, 2020

I haven’t tried to dye but would like to

Deborah Hooper
Deborah Hooper

May 12, 2020

I like the crumple method the best. I’d love to try it out. I’ve always done the spork. It’s time to try something different.

Diane
Diane

May 12, 2020

My five year old granddaughter says she likes the crumple method and since the dolls are hers, that is the final answer. Someday Nebraska will have some warm spring weather and perhaps we can get outside. I am still quarantined (9 weeks now), since I am still doing chemotherapy for my ovarian cancer. It is messing with my brain, so we will put off sewing until I’ve been off the major drugs for a while.

ann
ann

May 12, 2020

love the tiny little spiral! my favorite in human size too!

Bernice
Bernice

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral and the Shibori methods.

Sue
Sue

May 12, 2020

My kids’ play school did something like the crumple method and bulls eyes. By the end of class everyone had multi coloured fingers! Brings back memories!

Jayne
Jayne

May 12, 2020

I have never done a tie dye project.

Deborah
Deborah

May 12, 2020

I like the Spiral method the best as it gives more colouring! My grand daughter loves bright colours for all her dolls… Ta, Deb

Sam
Sam

May 12, 2020

I like the results of the accordion method.

Kathy
Kathy

May 12, 2020

I like the crumple method best.

Jennifer
Jennifer

May 12, 2020

Love some tie-dye fabric!

Johnnie
Johnnie

May 12, 2020

I did not know there were so many ways to do tie-dye. Certainly have come a long way from the method used in the 70’s.

Jeanne
Jeanne

May 12, 2020

I think I would like to try all of the methods. I have done the rubber band method on adult size tshirts before.

Cynthia W.
Cynthia W.

May 12, 2020

I’d like to try the shibori-inspired. That’s a new technique to me

Dorisanne
Dorisanne

May 12, 2020

I like the shibori method the best as it is a classic.

Rachel
Rachel

May 12, 2020

I like the rubberband method – would luv to try in doll size

Kate
Kate

May 12, 2020

Back in the day we always did the Crumple or Spiral Methods. It was always so much fun when you opened your creation to see how it came out. I would love to try the Shibori-Inspired Method. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually done any tie-dying, but I still have my beautiful rainbow colored spiral tie dyed shirt. It’s still a keeper!

Jennifer
Jennifer

May 12, 2020

-I would use both the crumple and spiral methods. I began doing tie-dye in the late 1960s (yes I’m that old). When I do my own clothes, I tie the garment then put rubber bands around it.

Anne C-E
Anne C-E

May 12, 2020

I have the most experience with Shibori. properly done it gives the dyer more control over design.

Ellen
Ellen

May 12, 2020

I really enjoy tie-dye. I love the spiral method a lot. I enjoy looking at the pictures of the other methods as well.

Cathy
Cathy

May 12, 2020

Oh how fun. Did tie dye with my children. Good memories a d would love to tie dye again.

Gail
Gail

May 12, 2020

I will have to choose 2 methods, the spiral and the crumple methods, as I really liked both.

Wendy
Wendy

May 12, 2020

I love doing my own personal tie dye and never thought of doing it fir the dolls. But now I have to try it! Your examples are so cute. The spiral is my favorite, but sometimes I find that just random tying of the rubber bands is the most fun. No pressure and a really fun surprise when the bands come off!

candy
candy

May 12, 2020

All the methods look interesting. I will try the crumple method first.

Katherine E Ackerman
Katherine E Ackerman

May 12, 2020

This looks interesting. Neve tried tie dying.

Lorraine M
Lorraine M

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral method the best.

Lorraine M
Lorraine M

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral method the best.

DONNA Sherry
DONNA Sherry

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral method best but all are pretty

Laurie
Laurie

May 12, 2020

I like the crumple look. Thanks!

cris
cris

May 12, 2020

This looks like so much fun. can’t wait to give it a try.

Jessie
Jessie

May 12, 2020

I love the spiral the best. I have done some tie-dye for humans, but it just never occurred to me to do it with doll clothes! My daughter’s doll would be thrilled!

Debra
Debra

May 12, 2020

I love the crumpled look.

BrendaK
BrendaK

May 12, 2020

I like the end result of the spiral method. Thanks for posting these instructions. I have been wanting to try this for doll t shirts!!

Bridgette
Bridgette

May 12, 2020

The crumpled looks pretty good! Thank you for all the giveaways!

Cindy
Cindy

May 12, 2020

I have never done tye dyed stuff so I don’t know which is my favorite! Thank you so much for the giveaways!

Bridgette
Bridgette

May 12, 2020

The spiral is probably my favorite. Thank you pixie faire for all the giveaways!

Glenn
Glenn

May 12, 2020

I like the ‘Spiral Method’. It looks the more natural. Kinda give flowers design!

Maureen W.
Maureen W.

May 12, 2020

The shibori-inspired method ~ and with bright, happy, colours!

Pamela
Pamela

May 12, 2020

spiral

Karen Ann Hitchcock
Karen Ann Hitchcock

May 12, 2020

Awesome tutorial and giveaway! Love the Shibori inspired method!! Thank you!

Frances
Frances

May 12, 2020

I liked the results from the crumpled method!

Sonja
Sonja

May 12, 2020

I like both the crumple and the spiral. They really give that 60s tie dye look.

Sue
Sue

May 12, 2020

I like the Spiral method.

Joyce
Joyce

May 12, 2020

I love the crumple method. Always a surprise!

Doll LOver
Doll LOver

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral method, but recall using a favorite one that gives more a multicolored bullseye effect, that I don’t see listed above.,,

Leslie
Leslie

May 12, 2020

I also like the spiral method being a crafter in the ’60’s.

Carol B
Carol B

May 12, 2020

I like the random patterns resulting from the Crumple Method. Reminds me of my teen years~

Nancy
Nancy

May 12, 2020

As a child of the 60’s, I love the spiral method.

Maureen
Maureen

May 12, 2020

I like the look of the shibori method,

Megan
Megan

May 12, 2020

I really like the shibori-inspired technique, it just looks so cool! Thanks so much for this giveaway!
~ Megan

sharon lee
sharon lee

May 12, 2020

crumple method looks great!!!

Bonnie
Bonnie

May 12, 2020

I like the spiral method. Would love to try it.

Betty
Betty

May 12, 2020

I have always loved the spiral, but have never tried it myself. I might have to…

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