I had always wanted to create my own Tie-dye shirts, but turned away from them when I saw that most tutorials required vinegar to set or brighten the color(which is safe, but smelly- not all kids/ people tolerate the smell well). I found some people who seemed to use permanent markers, but I wasn’t fond of that smell either for the kids to be exposed to for over a half an hour. I saw the easy shake Tulip tie-dye (updating this post now and it’s the best and easiest, mess free way to tie dye! Colors are vibrant and the shirt gets squirted on easily and left in a ziplock overnight) which I will be purchasing and trying out for our upcoming trip with all the children in July, probably a little messier, but I like how it comes with ready to shake bottles of the coloring (just add water). Stay tuned for that post (I shared about the Tulip tie dye kit used in the Kid Friendly Cape May Trip Itinerary)!

I was looking for an alternative to permanent markers and searched Pinterest for fabric marker tie dye and Lo and behold, it had been done before by Stay at Home Educator. I was convinced ready to give it a try. Here’s my go at it!


Cotton t-shirts

Rubber bands

Creative Fabric Markers

Gloves for kids (the fabric markers are permanent- but not as smelly like permanent markers)


1. Search online for videos on tie-dye for inspiration . I saw and read several lists and videos who picked up the middle, and spinned it around in one direction. 2. Strap on rubber bands to keep it closed. **Note: be careful when the kids have it because if they pull too hard and it snaps, they can hurt their finger or it can go flying and hit their eye. ADULT SUPERVISION highly recommended. 4. Now you are ready to color away! Use whatever colors you like, coloring it over the rubber bands. We started withif the spray bottle with water, but realized the water helped the color deep in better, making it easier for the colors to bleed and for the kids to color and hold on to. Plus, that must’ve been their favorite part, spraying water onto their shirts, hah! 5. The shirts are completed. Make sure you colored all the surface and try to dig inbetween each fold to colornthise as well. This tie- dye is much subtle than the typical one with the soaking of the t-shirt is drenching them with colors. It was a good home activity.

6. I’ve read blogs where people say to throw in the t-shirt after a day or after the t shirt is completely dry to set it, prevent fading in the wash. Haven’t thrown it to the dryer yet, but my husband already got to wear it, all three over the past few days for the busy weekend we had celebrating Father’s Day and his birthday too. Will update afterwards on how it fares after a wash.


Final products:

What is your favorite way to tie-dye? Has anyone tried the Tulip Brand method before? Any tips for the upcoming trial of that would be greatly appreciated!

Disclaimer: Hopscotch Mom is a proud participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I love Amazon and love sharing all things that inspire. By purchasing through my affiliate link(s), you are actually helping to support Hopscotch Mom! Thanks for all your support!

4 Replies to “Easy Fabric Marker Tie Dye Shirts”

  1. Beautiful! They look designer and as though a lot of money was spent on them. So cool this was just an afternoon project!
    I have fabric markers by Sharpie, so am going to try this on some white cotton scrunchies I got for dyeing and some white cotton knee-high compression socks too. Excited!
    I like the look of this better than ones where they add alcohol. Plus, like you mentioned with vinegar, it’s really smelly!
    I also really like how there’s not going to be any pollution from this going into waterways, vs. tie dyeing with synthetic dyes. This way you get the look you want without being bad for the environment. Plus, it’s easier too! Win-win-win!!!

    I think this page needs to turn into an article in a magazine! The shirts are gorgeous!!!

    1. Hi Shannon! Thank you so much for your kind words❤️ I hope you get to try it out. If you happen to find out any other cool tips, feel free to share it here 🙂 I love how everyone usually have new feedback on how to went they went about it and improve each time they try something new.

      P.S. I also happen to have scrunchies that I will try them with next hehe

      Have a great week! With gratitude, Yvonne

      1. Hi Yvonne! You’re very welcome. <3 I'm excited you're going to do scrunchies too!
        Let me know any tips after making them, in case you get to them first, and I'll try to remember to do the same!
        Have a good one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.