DIY tie-dye heart shirt #craftychica #tiedyeheart #tiedyeshirt

DIY Tie-Dye Heart Shirt

How to tie-dye a heart! #craftychica #tiedye
Did you know a tie-dye heart design is much easier to make than you think? It’s all about the folding and rubberbanding. I’m gonna break it down for you! This pattern is a fun one to teach to kids and you can mix and match your colors for any time of the year. I made this one for the fourth of July and recently made it for Valentine’s Day.

See why I love tie-dye? There are so many possibilities and it’s a fun craft for any age. As long as you stick with colors that complement each other, you can’t go wrong. 

Supplies for a tie-dye heart design:

100% cotton T-shirt, pre-washed, damp

Fabric dye  (you can find this at the craft store, I like the kind where you just add water and shake)

Yellow chalk

Rubber bands or zip ties


Plastic table cover

Baker’s cooling rack or any other kind of tray to prevent dye from pooling under the shirt.

Oh – and plastic gloves!

Directions to make a tie-dye heart!

1. Pre-wash your shirt to remove sizing and, while it is damp, fold it in half lengthwise. Along the fold, draw half of a heart, really accentuate the dip and the bottom point. Make it a big juicy heart!

Find some kind of an elevated grid, I use cooling racks for baking. They are under $10 and last forever. I also use these for my ceramics. Really nice craft investment. Separate the crafts ones from the ones you’ll use for baking.

Use plastic gloves.

Also – put some water in a spray bottle. I do this to keep my fabric moist while I color it with the dye.



2. Starting at the bottom, accordion fold the shirt so that the yellow chalk lines up straight. This will make your heart outline crisp and defined. It might take a little practice. Go all the way around the shape of the heart until you see that yellow “straight” line!

If you mess up, simply try again. Keep the line straight as you fold! You can do it, I believe in you!



3. Carefully slide on the rubber band or zip tie. You want the folds to stay lined up, but you also want them tightly bound. After you add the rubber band, adjust the folds with your fingers to keep the yellow chalk line straight. Add a second rubber band if you feel it needs to be tighter. This will give you a crisp design once you unband it.



4. Prepare the dye according to package directions.

Tulip dyes are my fave because all you do is add water and shake. Here’s how I do it though – add water halfway, shake and then add more water. if you add all the water to the bottle at one time, some of the chunks of dye won’t have room to break up and dissolve. Then it will blast out of the bottle onto your fabric. So fill halfway – shake, then fill more, shake, etc.

You can use squirt dye or spray dye. Line your work area with a plastic cover and put on plastic gloves so your hands don’t get dye on them. Add other rubber bands to the rest of the shirt for more design. If your shirt feels dry, run it under water and wring it out. You want it to be damp, but not totally soaking. Place the shirt on the baker’s cooling rack. This is so the dye won’t bleed and spread, the rack is raised just enough so the shirt won’t touch the table.


Add the dye!

5. Start by adding the red dye to the top heart area. Flip it over and add it to the other side as well until it is fully saturated. Keep the red away from the rubber band, about half an inch, so it won’t bleed into the blue. Next, add the dark blue dye in the middle of each section on both sides. Next fill in the white areas with the light blue dye. Make sure it is nice and juicy! Cover with plastic wrap and let the shirt sit for six hours.


6. Rinse in the sink until the water turns clear, then wash in the machine in cold water. Hang to dry.


If you want, you can cut off the neckline. And. . .



to snip the back, simply snip lines within the shape of the heart.

Thanks for checking out my tie-dye heart tutorial! If you do any kind of tie-dye, this is such a fun project and you’ll love the result!

And here is another project to try – tie-dye sneakers!

Tie-dye heart shirt by
Tie-dye heart shirt by
Love & light,

9 Responses

  1. Do you avoid the acid washing the shirt first? My colors don’t stay vibrant and I wonder if this is why. Also, is it better to leave the finished project in plastic over 24 hours to seal in color?

    1. Hi! If it is a new shirt, wash to remove sizing, and make sure the shirt is slightly damp before adding dye. Then cover with a bag for six hours and then rinse in cold water. Then wash in machine on cold water and hang dry. Hope this helps!!

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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