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Glue Resist Tie Dye Technique

This glue resist tie dye technique is amazing – the results come out so cool! It’s like a super easy and crafty version of a batik-dye.

The image below is of batik, a wax resist process originating in Indonesia. After the wax is applied, the dye is added tot he fabric. It is usually applied to a large piece of white cotton fabric.

Traditional batik fabric.

For this glue resist tie dye technique project, we are starting with a white cotton T-shirt.


If you are new to this, start with a basic T-shirt, even a bandanna. Wash the shirt to remove any fabric softener (for an old shirt) or sizing if the shirt is brand new. 

Insert a piece of freezer paper inside the shirt and iron the top of the shirt. This will protect the glue from bonding with the back layer and will keep the shirt stiff so you can easily apply your design.

Create a sketch of the pattern you want to draw on the shirt. Keep in mind the glue is kind of thick when it comes out of the bottle and even beads up a bit. Make sure your pattern is loose and easy to follow for the best results. 

Once you have your pattern, draw it on the shirt using a piece of yellow chalk.

Take a bottle of clear gel glue and draw over your chalk. It’ll wash off, promise! 

glue resist-dye-3

Once you have your design finished, let it dry thoroughly! Tap the glue areas to make sure they are hard.

Dye your shirt

For this application, I suggest using spray bottles. You want even coverage of the dye over the front of the shirt. Cover the whole shirt with the dye!

glue resist 4

Let the shirt sit for six hours.

When it is completely dry, carefully remove the paper from the inside and rinse the shirt in the sink using a sprayer. Keep spraying until the glue softens and comes off the shirt. 

Wash in the machine by itself and then your shirt is done!

glue resist technique

Tulip One-Step 12 Color Tie-Dye Kit Super Big – this is the kit I used for this project.

RELATED: Popcorn dye technique

Thank you for checking out my glue resist dye technique. I hope this works for you and you have lots of fun with this idea!

Here is my video tutorial!

YouTube video

Here is another idea – popcorn style dye technique!

OK, I didn’t actually use popcorn in the making of this shirt, but you’ll see in my video why I called it that name. It’s a traditional technique from Japan, but I gave it my own rubberband twist! It’s easy and the final look is spotty and fun!

YouTube video


Washed white shirt

Rubberbands, lots of them

Tulip One-Step Fabric Dye

Plastic gloves

Table covering

First work on the front of the shirt and add rubberbands on one side of the shirt.
Tie each one three to four times so it is super tight. This will take a while, put on a movie or a podcast or something!
Now do the back side of the shirt. Soak the entire thing in water and blot dry.
Cover your work surface with a plastic table covering and put on the gloves.
Mix your dye according to the package directions (add water to the bottle and shake) and apply to the shirt. All over the place!
Make sure it is nice and soaked. Wrap it in a plastic bag and leave it to set for six hours, then rinse in the sink to remove as much as of the dye as possible. Then carefully cut away the rubber bands, rinse again and wash alone in cold water, hang dry. DONE!
Another version: before you tie up each section, add a penny inside to give it shape!
Glue resist dye technique, Crafty Chica.

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