20 different tie dye patterns and how to make them

Get creative when tie dyeing with these fun patterns and techniques. There's over 20 different tie dye patterns for you to choose from and recreate!

Published: April 7, 2022 at 9:42 am
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Tie dyeing is the hottest craft trend right now and we love it. It's a great way to upcycle clothing and give your plain items a new, funky edge! Once you've gathered up your items and selected your favourite dye colours, it's time to choose a tie dye pattern. There's hundreds of different tie dye patterns out there and you can always experiment with your own creations. To give you some inspiration we've collected a huge range of cool tie dye patterns. There's everything from the classic spiral pattern through to more unique designs. We've taken you through six different designs step by step then included 14 more patterns from around the web. Have a browse through our tie dye patterns and get groovy!

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To learn the basics of tie-dyeing head over to our how to tie dye guide. It covers all the basics of tie dyeing and is perfect for beginners. If you'd rather learn to tie dye through a kit then head over to our best tie dye kits round-up.

Step by Step easy tie dye patterns

Top Tip: Take a small piece of fabric and practise these tie dye patterns before you move on to your clothing/items. This way you can finesse your design and make sure you have the right dye ratio.

1. Spiral tie dye pattern

  1. Lay your damp t-shirt flat on the table. Now, pinch the fabric in the middle of the t-shirt between your thumb and fingers, and start to twist the fabric round to create a spiral effect.
How to tie dye a tshirt step 3 twist more

2. Keep twisting until you have spiralled the whole t-shirt into a tight ball.

How to tie dye a tshirt step 4 2 bands

3. Take your elastic bands and wrap them around the spiralled t-shirt. Overlap them, using at least three to create different sections.

2. Stripes tie dye pattern

  1. Lay the t-shirt out flat.
Tie dye patterns stripes step 1

2. Fold up the bottom edge of the t-shirt a few centimetres, then fold it under in a concertina motion.

Tie dye patterns stripes step 2

3. Continue pleating the fabric in this way until you get to the top. The t-shirt should resemble a long strip.

Tie dye patterns stripes step 3

4. Use 6-7 elastic bands to tie the t-shirt into sections (this will create the stripes), then squirt dye onto each section.

5. Turn over the t-shirt and make sure the back is covered, too, before popping in into a plastic back to set.

6. For a different effect, concertina-fold from sleeve to sleeve, or even bottom corner to opposite top corner for diagonal stripes.

3. Polka dot tie dye pattern

Tie dye patterns polka dots step 1
  1. Pinch small sections of the t-shirt fabric and tie an elastic band around each one.
Tie dye patterns polka dots step 2

2. For larger dots, make sure you pinch out more fabric, tying it further down. This technique can be quite time-consuming if you cover the whole t-shirt with dots.

Tie dye patterns polka dots step 3

3. Once you have added as many elastic bands as you want, squirt on the dye to the entire t-shirt, both front and back.

4. Crumpled tie dye pattern

Tie dye patterns crumpled step 1
  1. One of the easiest binding methods is literally scrunching the fabric into a ball, then tying the ball into segments with a few elastic bands, criss-crossing at the centre.
Tie dye patterns crumpled step 2

2. You can also scrunch the t-shirt into a long, thin shape and tie the bands along the length to create a crumpled stripe effect.

Tie dye patterns crumpled step 3

3. Add the dye to each section, both front and back.

5. Bullseye tie dye pattern

Tie Dye Patterns Bullseye Step 1
  1. Lay the t-shirt out flat and pinch the centre, where you want the middle of your bullseye to be. Pull the fabric straight upwards into the air, so that the rest of the t-shirt drapes down.

2. Guide the fabric underneath with your other hand to create a tube shape.

Tie Dye Patterns Bullseye Step 2

3. Wrap an elastic band around the tube, a few centimetres beneath the centre point.

4. Continue adding elastic bands at different intervals.

5. Add dye to each section, making sure the t-shirt is completely covered.

6. Triangles and squares tie dye pattern

These patterns work better if you use just one colour of dye, and are often used in Shibori indigo dying (learn how to make a shibori tie dye scarf here on Gathered).

Tie dye patterns triangles step 1
Tie dye patterns triangles step 2
Tie dye patterns triangles step 3
  1. Firstly, fold in the sleeves of your t-shirt, then fold the whole t-shirt lengthways into a long strip. Working from the bottom edge of the t-shirt, accordion-fold the fabric in either a triangle or square shape, going from front to back until you reach the top.
Tie dye patterns triangles step 4

2. Now cut two pieces of cardboard to the same shape (triangle or square), a little bit smaller than the fabric.

3. Place one piece of cardboard either side, sandwiching the fabric in between, and secure in place using two or three elastic bands.

4. Add dye to all the exposed surfaces.

14 Different tie dye pattern

7. Sunburst Tie Dye Technique

Sunburst pink Tie Dye on a sheet hanging in a field

By Stephaine Lynn has a fun range of tie dye patterns on their blog. They show you how to recreate this pretty sunburst design.

8. Pokemon ball design!

Riahs Tie Dye's Youtube channel is the place to go for really unique patterns. In this video, they show you how to make a Pokemon ball design! If you're a Pokemon fan then make sure you also check out our Pokemon cross stitch and Pokemon Go crochet patterns.

9. Heart tie dye pattern

Pink tie dye shirt with a heart in the middle

How pretty is this tie dye pattern? Creative Ramblings shows you how to make this cool heart design on their blog.

10. Chevron tie dye pattern

Chevron tie dye pattern

Master the art of chevron tie dyeing with the Tulip Tie-Dye Store. We love this design and think it would look amazing in so many different colourways.

11. Rainbow tie dye pattern

Rainbow tie dye pattern

Combine colours with this pretty rainbow design. We think this would look so sweet on kids' clothing. The Neon Tea Party shows you how to recreate this design as well as several others on their blog.

12. Skull tie dye shirt

skull tie dye shirt

This tie dye pattern by I Love to Create gives us Halloween vibes! Follow their tutorial and upcycle an old t-shirt for an easy DIY Halloween costume.

13. Ying yang design

Yin-Yang-Tie-Dye-Shirt
Let your inner hippie fly with this ying-yang design by Lilgamoma. Tie dye + ying-yang = perfect festival attire! Head over to Lilgamoma's Youtube channel to learn how to dye this design step by step.

14. Watermelon tie dye pattern

Watermelon tie dye pattern

Give your clothes a summer makeover with this cuter watermelon pattern. Follow Dharma Trading's step by step tutorial to make your own watermelon pieces. You could even make our beaded watermelon brooch to match!

15. Tie dye star pattern

Tie dye star pattern

Shoot for the stars with this fun tie dye pattern. Tulip Tie Dye show you how to make this pattern over on their blog.

16. Diagonal stripes

Diagonal tie dye stripes on a tshirt

We showed you how to do horizontal stripes early in this post but how about diagonal stripes? It's a great pattern to switch up your tie dying game. Pineapple Paper Co shows you how to do this pattern as well as 9 other techniques.

17. Sunflower tie dye pattern

sunflower tie dye pattern

Chandye's Youtube channel features lots of different tie dye patterns. We loved this sunflower design and think it's a great one to recreate for summer. If this sunflower isn't for you then head over to their Youtube channel as they have tutorials for alien tie dye, mandala tie dye and much more.

18. Diamond tie dye pattern

Diamond Pattern Folded Tie Tye Technique

We've got another tie dye pattern By Stephaine Lynn. Learn how to make this cool diamond tie dye pattern with a few simple folds.

19. Ombre tie dye pattern

Ombre tie dye pattern

Ombre your favourite colours with Tulip Tie Dye Store's free tutorial. We think this ombre effect would look great on bags, socks and even curtains.

20. Ice dyeing technique

Ice dyeing technique 

Finally, if you want to try something different to traditional tie dyeing then this is the tutorial for you. Bre Pea teaches you all about ice dyeing and shows you how to use the technique to make this cool pattern.

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We hope you've enjoyed these cool tie dye patterns! For more fun craft tutorials make sure you check out our free craft patterns and t shirt yarn projects.

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