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How to Create Tie Dye Patterns with Hearts & Other Shapes

Learn how to create tie dye patterns with hearts and other shapes in this Howcast video.


I'm going to teach you how to make any shape you want, up here on your fabric using tie dye. For instance in this example, I have these saw-edged shapes appearing and I have another example where I have these flower-like stars appearing too, but you really can make any shape you want. For that, all you need is shapes to use as resists. Any circular jar lids will make awesome circles, but you can also get rubber flooring. You can get it in any construction material store. You can cut it with an Exacto knife and transform it into any shape you desire; stars, hearts, waves, you think about it.

So I'm going to demonstrate with the circular ones. So pretty much all you have to do is to fold your fabric, and you want to think about the size of your shape when folding. For instance, I'm doing it with these circles, so I want my folds to be almost the size of my circle, but it can be smaller because my circle needs to fit in them. So I'm going to fold my fabric in thirds, using the accordion fold technique and when I place my circling in it, I can see that it actually fits. But it might be a little loose in it., so I'm going to go back and I might fold it into four creases and I think it would be a better fit.

So let's see. Yeah, perfect. So after that, you want to fold it the other direction, also an accordion fold, as many times as your circle can fit. So I fold the first one, and again I double-check if this is a good fit for my circle, and it is. Maybe I'll adjust it a little bit and then you just keep folding back and forth as any other folding technique. The last one and then this is where the magic happens. Using any shape you want you're going to sandwich it between the shapes that you've chosen.

So I've chosen the circles. I'm going to place one circle in the front, one circle in the back and I'm going to fill it out and make sure that the two shapes are pretty well aligned, so that one is not like hanging here and the other one hanging there. You want them to be exactly in the same place, and you can feel it with your fingers, too. And then using any size of clamps; I like these ones, even though they're sometimes a little bit hard to open; but they put a lot of pressure on it, so it's pretty good. You want to make sure that you clamp the shapes in place, so they can't go anywhere.

And this is all. You dunk it in your dye bath, and what will happen is that in each fold, the circle will make a resist. In this case, I used a shape as resist that was a saw-edged kind of shape and it was again, folded like this, the accordion fold and this one I just folded in half, because it was a smaller one. I put a saw-edged shape in one side, a saw-edged shape on the other side and what happens is that it multiplies for as many layers as you have. So just like that, you can make any shapes you want. So I'm going to dunk it in my dye bath, that was just prepared by mixing some dye with the dye activator, and after one hour I can rinse it and see the results. And this is how you can tie dye using shapes.

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