Sharpie Tie Dye

A bit of science and art you can wear.

Here’s a different take on the traditional tie dye: it’s still colourful and it’s lots of fun making it.

What you’ll need:

An old white t-shirt
Embroidery hoop
Sharpie pens (permanent markers)
Piece of cardboard (or a flattened empty cereal box)
Surgical spirit
Old jam jar
Pipettes (or old Calpol syringes)
Dye fixative

What to do:

Put the embroidery hoop in the middle of the front of the t-shirt.

Slip the cardboard inside the t-shirt (so the design and surgical spirit doesn’t go through to the back)

Draw your design inside the hoop.

Put a little surgical spirit in an old jam jar.

Using the pipettes, drip surgical spirit onto the Sharpie design.

NOTE: Do this in a well ventilated room or outside as the surgical spirit fumes are strong.

Watch what happens to the inks with the surgical spirit. This is the fun part!

When you’re happy with how the t-shirt looks, leave it to dry.

Take the embroidery hoop off.

Spray the t-shirt with a fixative (there are lots of fixatives out there, see what you can find and follow the instructions).

Wash the t-shirt before wearing.

The colour will fade a little, even with a fixative.

Here’s a great tutorial (and a different way of doing this experiment) on Steve Spangler Science.

art / science / tie dye