Tie-Dye DIY

By: Nia Howard

Lexi posing in her tie-dye shirt

We’re all for creativity, which means that just because you buy a Life is Good tee, doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own! In fact, we encourage it. So, to help you tap into your artsy side, we enlisted Life is Good Senior Designer, Lexy Burnett, to show us how to tie-dye and crop a Life is Good tee for a groovy, summer-inspired spin on an original design.


For Tie-Dying: A white Life is Good tee (Note: Lexy is using our Life is Good Logo Shop tee in the video), plastic table covering, rubber gloves, Rit dye or a tie-dye kit, dye fixative, salt, rubber bands, and a dye applicator (e.g., measuring cup, squeeze bottles)

For Cropping: Measuring tape, scissors (Note: Lexy is using our Life is Good “Kind is the New Cool” tee in the video)


Video Thumbnail

About Wistia


1. Pinch, pleat, or fold the fabric to make a design in your tee. Lexy uses the swirl and stripe technique:
 Swirl: Place fingers around center point and slowly twist the fabric in a spiral direction. Loosely wrap rubber bands around the tee to hold the spiral together.
 Stripe: Fold or pleat your tee vertically or diagonally and wrap rubber bands every 2-3” or as desired.

2. Soak both bundles in a bath of clean water to saturate the fabric, and squeeze out excess.

3. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dye, ½ tablespoon of salt, and 1 cup of hot water to create each dye color. The hot water and salt both help the color stick to the fabric. Shake well. If you’re only using 1 color for both tees, double the recipe above.

4. Place tee bundles on baking rack with tray or container under it. This keeps the dye from pooling underneath the fabric and affecting the color on your tee.

5. Squeeze dye onto your tee as desired. Things to remember:

• The rubber bands create the resist on tie-dye (resists are the areas where the fabric will stay white).
• The folds and pleats in the fabric also create white space. If your bundle is tied too tightly, it will be hard for the dye to get into these areas. Use your dye applicator and fingers to work the dye into these areas and the folds so your tee is fully saturated with dye. If you are trying to achieve more sections of white space, skip this step.
• The dye color will be lighter once dry, so make sure the color on your tee is darker and more saturated than how you want it to look when dry.

6. After dye is applied, let tees sit while still tied up for 30 min to allow the dye to absorb.

7. To do while the tees are still tied up:

• Wrap the bundles in plastic wrap and leave out in the sun for about an hour. The sun’s heat helps bond the dye to the fabric.
• In the video, Lexy uses Rit ColorStay Dye fixative on the tee bundles before rinsing to set the dye. Mix 2 tablespoons of the fixative with water and apply generously to both sides of tee bundle.

8. Rinse tee bundles in clean, cold water until the water runs clear.

9. Carefully remove the rubber bands and unfold your tee.

10. Rinse once more in cold water and lay flat to dry.


1. Lay your tee flat on the table. Grab your measuring tape, and measure from the highest point on the shoulder (next to the neckline) down to the hem. Lexy cuts her tee at 20”.

2. Cut the fabric at your desired length.

3. Time for the sleeves! Cut right above the sleeve hem, about 6 ½” from the shoulder seam. If you prefer a longer sleeve, skip this step.

This tutorial is part of our Life is Good@Home Series, featuring our talented Life is Good employees. If you liked this post, check out Lexy’s other tutorial on How to Make a Face Mask from a Life is Good T-shirt.

A close up of Lexi Burnett, Senior Designer at Life is Good

Lexy Burnett
Senior Designer

Lexy is the Senior Designer for Women’s and Accessories at Life is Good. On the product team, she designs new silhouettes, researches concepts/trends, and merchandises graphics and color to help create your latest Life is Good product.

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