Tie-Dying Has Become A Viral Activity During Quarantine, So I Tried It Out

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Spoiler alert: It took a few tries.

Hi! I’m Hannah, and I am not an influencer!

HOWEVER, I do follow some ~influencers~, and I’ve noticed a LOT of them have really cute tie-dye sweatsuits.

Since I am not rich, I decided to try and make my own! Here’s what I started with:

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

If you don’t have white* clothes lying around and want to buy these supplies, here’s the sweatshirt, sweatpants, and dyes. I bought all of the above for about $50, but obviously it’s cheaper if you already have some materials or buy fewer dye colors.

*I don’t know why these sweats look blue — they’re definitely white. But you could use any light color!

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos before I started, and it seemed like everyone was doing something called the scrunch or crinkle technique.

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

Basically, you just sort of bunch the fabric together.

Most videos had you then secure the pattern with rubber bands, but I actually found that a lot of the crinkles came out when I did this. It was also difficult with the sleeves to incorporate it all into one ball.

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

The pants were a lot easier than the sweatshirt. I ended up securing the sections (like the pant legs and sleeves) separately.

I also left some sections unbunched so I could just bunch it with my hands and spray the dye on, thus giving me more control. Then I got started!

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

My dye was actually a spray, which made it easier to control but also less tie-dye like. I’d recommend liquid dye for better results, but if you want to have less mess, the spray is a great option!

Afterward, I undid the elastics and looked at the pattern, then rebunched and continued to dye until almost all of it was covered.

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

Yes, I used a LOT of colors.

I left it to dry in the sun, then washed it and…voila!! It came out horrible!

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

Thanks, I hate it! (Also, please excuse my hair and face. Working from home has taken its toll.)

I was pretty discouraged, but I still had a bunch of extra dye, so I decided to try again! I ordered another sweatshirt and some shorts and got to work, keeping what I’d learned in mind!


This time, I decided to just stick with one color, as I didn’t like the mix of colors in the original. I also decided to dilute the dye with water to make the color lighter. I also secured the elastics more tightly!

Using my failed garments as a mat, I scrunched up my sweatshirt and shorts the best I could and secured them.

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

As you can see, I again had trouble bunching the sweatshirt because it was so thick, but I did my best.

Using the diluted pink, I sprayed all around the bunches, then unbunched them to see the pattern.

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

I think the shorts came out really well! However, the sweatshirt had too many white spots.

Since the sweatshirt wasn’t as saturated, I bunched up a few small sections on the sweatshirt and sprayed them, then wrapped both the sweatshirt and shorts up in plastic wrap!*

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

*I didn’t have any plastic bags. You make do with what you have, people.

I waited about eight hours, then threw them in the wash. Here’s how they came out after they dried!

Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

Honestly?? I’m impressed! Am I a VSCO girl yet??

Final thoughts:


Honestly, this experiment ended up being a little expensive, since I didn’t have any of the materials beforehand and also had a failed attempt. If you’re on a budget, I would definitely practice tie-dying on some rags or old clothes first, just to make sure you like the pattern and color combinations. If I had only bought the sweatshirt, shorts, and pink dye, my total would’ve been about $20 – so this project definitely can be cheap if you’re careful.

Overall, I definitely think it was worth it! I had fun and now I have a cute new loungewear set. I’m definitely going to tie-dye some other items since I have so much leftover dye! I also think this is a great activity to do with your family or roommates.

Want to try it for yourself? Show me in the comments how it went!

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