Things You'll Need
- Cotton T-shirt
- Fabric dye in assorted colors
- Salt or soda ash
- Rubber bands
- Rubber gloves
- Bucket or tub for each color
- Squirt bottles
- Pencil or fabric chalk
You can jazz up one of your boring old cotton T-shirts with a colorful mushroom design. Tie-dyeing is an easy and fun way to make one-of-a-kind articles of clothing. When deciding on fabric dyes, remember that you can use warm-water or all-purpose dye to tie-dye the background, but you must use cool-water dye for the mushroom design on top.
Tie-Dying the T-Shirt
Wash and dry the T-shirt to get rid of any residues from the factory that could keep your dye from adhering to the fabric.
Tie your shirt using the rubber bands. A mushroom design looks great in the middle of a tie-dyed sunburst pattern. Create this pattern by making a "pocket" out of the fabric in the middle of your T-shirt. Fill the pocket with one or two marbles, and then twist the fabric of the T-shirt around the pocket. Wrap a rubber band around the marbles.
Wrap another rubber band around the twisted T-shirt fabric, a couple of inches away from the rubber band that is enclosing the marbles. Keep adding rubber bands until you have most of the T-shirt fabric tied up.
Prepare the dye according to the package instructions, using a separate tub for each dye. Depending on the type of dye you are using, you may need to prepare the fabric by soaking it in hot water or in a soda ash solution.
Dip the fabric into the dye. The end of the T-shirt that has the marbles in it will be the middle of your sunburst, so choose a light color here. Contrasting dye colors can look muddy if they are allowed to bleed together. To avoid muddiness, leave a little bit of white space between colors, or use colors that will blend together to produce intermediate colors, like blue and yellow.
Leave the dye in the fabric for the length of time specified on the box.
Rinse your T-shirt until the water runs clear.
Remove the rubber bands and marbles and allow the fabric to dry.
Creating the Mushroom Design
Draw the outline of a mushroom onto the front of your T-shirt using a pencil or fabric chalk. If you only want a mushroom design on the front of the shirt, place several layers of good, thick cardboard inside of it. Otherwise, the dye will soak through, and you will have a mushroom design on both sides.
Mix the dye for the mushroom design according to the directions on the package. This must be a cool-water dye.
Transfer the dye into squirt bottles and carefully drip the dye onto the T-shirt to create a mushroom design.
Let the dye sit on the fabric for the length of time indicated on the package.
Rinse the shirt according to the directions on the package of dye.
Wash your mushroom T-shirt in cool water with like colors.
Use cool-water dye like Procion MX to drip-dye the mushroom design. If you don't, your design will bleed when you try to wash it.