THE tie dye clothing trend is back this season and you can save some cash by doing it at home with our guide to the best tie dye kits.
Why spend your hard-earned cash on bright clothes from the high-street when you can opt for a little DIY: dye it yourself?!
You’ll be able to create whatever colour combinations and patterns you like and it’s also great way to keep your kids entertained on a rainy day.
Different tie dye kits come with different tools and colours, so make sure you pick the right one that suit your needs and budget.
If you’re a beginner to the tie dye trend - welcome! We think that it’s best to go for an easy-to-use kit with some pattern guides and simple instructions.
For psychedelic rainbow swirls it’s best to buy a kit with a decent variety of bright colours, but if you want something less colourful, a pack of three sprays should do.
Here are our picks of the best tie-dye kits around to suit every colour combo, need, style and budget around!
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1. Best for the classroom: Tie-Dye Art Kit
(AD) Tie-Dye Art Kit, £22.50 from Amazon - buy here
This kit is perfect if you want to entertain a group of kids, or if you want to get creative as a whole family.
It might seem a little pricey, but that's because this kit contains 18 separate bottles of dye, 12 protective gloves, 90 rubber bands as well as a reusable surface cover, an instruction sheet and a hand carry case.
This essentially means you won't have to buy anything extra and you'll be able to start working on your tie dye creations as soon as you get the kit.
The variety of colours also means you can achieve pretty much any pattern you want from groovy swirls to smaller bullseyes.
2. Best for beginners: Tulip One Step Tie Dye Kit
- (AD) Tulip One Step Tie Dye Kit, £9.99 from Amazon - buy here
Tulip’s One Step tie dye kit has a wide range of colours and is great for beginners.
It features five easy-squeeze bottles and you'll just need to add water to activate it.
There's also an instruction manual and colourful labels to make the process even easier for those using a tie dye kit for the first time.
This kit is ideal for use with a range of fabrics like cotton, rayon or other similar, super absorbent materials.
3. Best for kids: Tybo Tidy Tie-Dye Print Studio
If you want to keep the kids entertained without creating a humongous mess, then this kit is a great option.
The Tybo Tidy Tie-Dye print studio comes with four themed stencils (burger, unicorn, hearts, and pineapple), as well as fun stamps (heart, peace symbol, star, and a flower) that can be used to add a little more detail to your creations.
Thanks to its easy-to-use instructions, it offers a unique and (relatively) mess free experience for your kids and at only a tenner, it's a bargain.
Bear in mind that this aimed at children aged six or over.
4. Best for varied patterns: Jacquard Tie Dye Funky Groovy kit
- (AD) Jacquard Tie Dye Funky Groovy kit, £22.40 from Amazon - buy here
Are you a fan of seventies hippy and psychedelic rainbow swirls? Than this kit is for you.
You supply the white or pastel coloured shirts and everything else you need is here, including three pre-mixed colour bottles of Procion MX dye, which has superior colourfastness.
There's also gloves, rubber bands and simple written instructions to help you perfectly tie dye up to five shirts.
This kit claims the dye is great for cellulose fibres such as cotton, linen and viscose rayon. Happy dyein'!
5. Best for Shibori: Rit indigo Shibori tie dye kit
Introducing Shibori: the Japanese dyeing technique that is here to change your tie dye game.
Shibori involves folding, twisting and bunching cloth, then binding it and dyeing it with indigo.
This affordable kit for sale on Etsy has everything you need for a cracking Shibori tie dye experience, including all-purpose indigo dye, rubber bands, twine, gloves and easy-to-follow instructions.
The kit also boasts including a ColorStay Dye Fixative, a 'secret weapon' to stop the dye bleeding and fading. We're sold.
6. Best eco friendly tie dye kit: Etsy Eco Tie-Dye and Ice-Dye Kit
This kit has ditched single use plastic, so you'll need to provide your own gloves, aprons and protective sheets - but everything else you need for a fun tie dye experience is included.
The packaging it arrives in is fully recyclable, and everything else in the kit is either biodegradable, or can be reused over and over again.
This kit comes with five different colour and pattern options, and each kit comes with enough material provided to dye up to eight shirts.
Have good fun, while doing good for the planet.
7. Best tie dye kit gift: Etsy DIY Activity Box Tie Dye Kit
Looking for a fun gift for Secret Santa, your kids, friends or even just yourself?! Instead of hunting around for the dyes, the string, the instructions, the white tee from various retailers... this DIY kit offers it all from under twenty quid.
Choose from t-shirts for adults or kids, tote bags, and ponchos in this kit that comes in a range of sizes - starting from the age of two, and up to an adult XL.
As well as the clothing or bag to dye, the kit also comes with five different fabric dye colours, rubber bands, gloves, and plastic protective tablecloth.
8. Best tote bag tie dye kit: Etsy Botanical Tie-Dye Tote Bag Kit
We've been foregoing the landfill-clogging plastic bag for years and swapped them for a trusty, durable tote bag - so stand out from the crowd with the chance to make your tote unique with this tie dye kit.
From just £13, choose from five different colour combinations to create a batik-style tie dye masterpiece tote bag.
What's more is the dye and colours are all completely natural, and derived from plants - all you need at home is two pots and a stove!
9. Best for parties and sleepovers: Copper Top Tie Dye Kit
- (AD) Tie Dye Kit With 8 Tie Dye Paint Colours Plus 10 Iron-On Patches, £20.49 from Amazon - buy here
Now this is the true party pack! This kit from Amazon comes with eight different colours and 10 fun iron on patches to add that extra bit of oomph to a newly dyed tee!
There's enough dye in this kit to create up to 20 unique shirts, so there's more than enough to go around for kids' (or adults'...!) parties and sleepovers.
10. Best fuss-free kit: Smyths Tybo Tie Dye Design Studio
Raining outside? No problem! This amazing fuss-free tie dye kit comes with an actual tie dyeing machine to help save your home from turning into multicoloured chaos!
Simply twirl up your preferred clothing to dye, wrap it up in an elastic band, squeeze in one of the six colours from one of the holes in the orb, then spin it around and rinse water through the top.
It's super easy to use and totally mess free - each kit comes with absolutely everything you need to entertain the kids on a rainy day.
What is tie dye?
Tie dye clothing was first brandished in the '60s by hippies and free spirits, and now is making a major fashion comeback.
Tie dye is essentially what it says on the tin - you twist and tie a piece of (usually white or light coloured) clothing in a spiralised shape with an elastic band, then you dye it with an array of different colours.
The band stops the colour from dyeing the fabric, leaving an array of spirals and psychedelic-like shapes and patterns.
How to tie dye
First, lay a protective sheet down to stop your home from getting messy, and gather your tie dye kit from this list or your own supplies together.
Gather and twist, crumple or pleat portions of your chosen item of clothing (usually white) and tie them with rubber bands - this will create different spiralised pattern all over the fabric.
Or, instead, you could twist your item of clothing into a snail-like spiral, and tie it up with an elastic band.
Squeeze out your dye according to the packet's instructions (usually in a bucket!) onto your fabric, rinse with cold water and repeat.
Then, dry your item of clothing and bung it in the washing machine, dry and iron before use - voila!
Can you tie dye with food colouring?
Yes, you can tie dye with food colouring - except the results won't be as vibrant or bright as packet dyes.
Instead, you could opt for a kit with plant-based, natural dyes like this one from Etsy.
Fill a water bottle with 120ml of water and eight drops of the preferred food colouring, then follow the same steps as above!
How to bleach tie dye a shirt
Using bleach is like tie dyeing in reverse! Instead of white, choose a black or dark coloured item of clothing, as bleach will make it go white.
You must remember that bleach fumes are toxic, so make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area, or outside, with gloves and a mask.
First, submerge your chosen item in water, wring it out, and then pinch with elastic bands into spirals or swirls, then submerge in bleach!
You'll be able to see the change in colour, but this can take up to 20 minutes - once you're happy, remove with tongs or gloved hands then thoroughly rinse under cold water, wash and dry!
What do you need to tie dye?
Your best bet is to purchase one of the kits from this round-up, and most of them have absolutely everything you need in order to tie dye!
Otherwise, you'll need a variety of packet dyes in different colours, a bucket, protective gloves and a tablecloth, and a lot of elastic bands!
How much does a tie dye kit cost?
As seen in our round up of the 10 best tie dye kits, they can cost anywhere from £10-£20, so there's bound to be the right kit out there to suit your needs and budget.
Where to buy tie dye kits?
Online retailers like Amazon and ebay offer a range of tie dye kits, as well as Etsy, and high-street kids stores like The Entertainer and Smyths offer them, too.
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