It looks like I robbed a bank!

After five months of putting it off, I have caved to the quarantine cliche of tie-dye. That’s right, I defied my stubbornness, bought fabric dye and made one hell of a mess.

I opted for blue, as it’s my favourite colour. I opted to not buy gloves because, again, I’m extremely stubborn. Initially the plan was to purchase the dye and give a little flare to my face masks. However, whilst I was at the store they had white t-shirts right next to the fabric dye (marketing on point) that were screaming my name. As a result, the plan changed.

Next week is my mom’s birthday and she happens to love all things 70’s fashion – bell bottoms, patches on everything, permed hair and especially tie-dye. So, when I bought the shirt, I thought I could turn it into something she might love, and then I could add it to her birthday present.

The plan, turn a boring white t-shirt into a crystal sea of blue tie-dye. I bought a big shirt so that if it turns out crappy, she can pretend that she likes it (like moms do) and wear it as pajamas.

It seemed easy enough:

  1. Crinkle Shirt.
  2. Put elastics around shirt to keep it crinkled
  3. Line sink with trash bag
  4. Put shirt in trash bag
  5. Cover shirt in dye
  6. Tie a knot in trash bag and leave it to sit for several hours
  7. Rinse shirt thoroughly and then put in washing machine
  8. Wash shirt in cold water
  9. Give to mom

What actually happened? I made a huge mess. Damn. did I ever make a mess. The bottle of dye dumped all over my counter (which if you’ve seen pictures of my counter it is a very light cream colour) and I had to wipe it up in a hurry because I also have wood floors and I did not want the dye to drip onto the floors too.

In the process of cleaning the spilled dye, all of my dish towels and one bath towel got covered in a sea of blue. The good news is that it came off the counter. The bad news? I didn’t buy gloves. My hands look like a dye-pack exploded all over them. Please say a prayer for me that there are no banks in this neighbourhood that are robbed in the next few days.

I may or may not also have dye on my nose and my ear. I’m just going to pretend that was intentional.

Everything is presently in the washing machine. After cleaning the dye off the counter, I did the shirt for my mom and had a tiny little bit left, so I dyed a white shirt of mine. As I type this there’s 32 minutes left on the washing machine. So I’ll have to update later as to how it turns out.

I have high hopes. But also, I don’t.

Almost done…

Okay, it’s been a few hours since I left this post. I have to admit, I really don’t love this. Considering the colour I bought was royal blue, I’m a little disappointed that I used so much dye and got only a pale blue and so much white. I’m not really sure if I even want to add this to the package for my mom.

What I did learn though is that different types of fabric soak up the dye differently. This second set of pictures is an old shirt of mine that I’ve had for several years. With this shirt I literally had less than a third of the dye left and just decided to try it to see what happened. I have to say, I like this one a lot better.

All that being said, I definitely can’t give a several year old shirt to my mom for her birthday. So, I will be keeping this one. I kind of dig it. It’s crazy that I only bought one colour of dye and there’s distinctly different colours in each of these shirts.

As for the towels and the dish towels, they definitely look like crap.

It’s a good thing that I really don’t care what my dish towels look like, as long as they work.


  1. Buy gloves.
  2. Seriously, buy some gloves. Spare your hands.
  3. Use 100% cotton clothing if you have access to it.
  4. Don’t do this on, or near, your white counters or wood floors. Garage? Great! Deck? Great! Kitchen? Avoid if you can.

Okay, that’s it for the tie-dye experiment. I’m not sure that it’s worth all the hype that everyone has given it over the past few months. Although, I do reserve the right to change my mind. Let’s hope I don’t start dying everything I own in the next few days. You really never know what’s going to happen when I get bored.

37 thoughts on “It looks like I robbed a bank!

  1. If it were me I would be dying everything – and be going for a week and then suddenly stop even though I now have several bottles full of dye and T-shirtโ€™s etc. thatโ€™s what my flights of creation are like. Full steam then full stop. Bet you panicked when the dye hit your bench tops ๐Ÿ˜ฑ. Great project and Iโ€™m sure second time round it will be easier meanwhile perhaps they need an extra on the Avatar movie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I definitely panicked thinking that everything was going to turn blue if I didn’t soak it up fast enough.

      I think I want to switch my passion and make my hobby being a plant mom. Let’s see how bad I can screw that up. haha

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Does robbing banks usually leave a dark residue on your hands? ๐Ÿค”

    Your mum could use the shirt for decorating! ๐Ÿ˜…

    You shouldn’t give up, though! These things will always take repeated experiments and learning, just like any kind of art or creative thing :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently your comments are being sent to my spam filter again. A lone with 3,000 comments in Spanish. WHAAAAT THE HECK.

      The comment about robbing a bank was to do with the fact that there’s a story that if someone makes off with a lot of money banks will put dye packs into the bag with the money in hopes that explodes all over the robbers hands and face to give them away to the police.

      I think I’m going to try to do more tie dye. But I also think I’m going to become a plant mom because that’ll take far less effort.


  3. I really like the attitude that you have and I think that there are lessons for us all to learn.
    I have to admit that I have never tie dyed although my ex wife used to however in life how often do we not follow the instructions.
    I know that whatever I build flat pack furniture I always end up with screws or nuts and bolts left over.
    I hope that whatever you decide to give your mum that she will like it.
    Enjoy your weekend. ๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank You!
      I’ve heard that the extra nuts/bolts and screws are because things can often get lost in transportation so companies have adopted sending extras because it’s much cheaper (likely less than a dollar) to put extra in the initial package then to have to send it after the fact because the assembly line miscounted.


  4. I love the way you write. You really made this project into a story full twists and turns. Iโ€™m glad your countertops came out fine. The shirts look good but I would have thought the colors would be brighter. We tie-dyed shirts as a family project when my girls were younger. The shirts came out colorful. I guess it depends on the fabric. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if I did that if it would bleed with the colour already on there though? I’m worried I might end up with like brown or something…


    1. It’s not bad! I feel like if I did it again it would probably look better!
      And there are some styles from the 70s I love, but bell bottoms I do not like! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m certain I’ve seen shirts with those tie designs and colours in store before ๐Ÿ˜‚. I’ve always wanted to try this, it looks like an enjoyable experience. I’m sure your mum will love it. I like the second one better too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bought ‘RIT’ dye from Michaels Craft Store. It’s between $3-7 per colour depending on the size of the bottle you buy and the popularity of the colour (the more popular colours are $1 more than the less popular colours)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi V! Such a cool and fun activity. Two years ago (or so) we did a tie dye project with all of the kids – our 4, and my brother’s 5, AND all of us adults! We had SO MUCH FUN!! We definitely did them on the basement floor, and even laid plastic. I actually ended up getting two shirts out of it, because the shirt I was wearing was white, and it got some dye on it. Welp, we can’t stop there, can we? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜œ


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