How to Throw a Tie Dye Party!
Our best tips and ideas for how to throw an unforgettable tie dye party for kids and adults, alike!
After leading what feels like hundreds of tie dye workshops and parties the past two years, we’ve amassed quite a few tips on how to make a tie dye party smooth, fun, and relatively neat, no matter the age of the guests.
In this post, we’re sharing allll of our expert tie dye party tips and ideas with you, from decorations to clean-up and everything in between! Whether you’re hosting a kids’ birthday party, a baby or bridal shower, a family gathering, or simply a colorful crafternoon with friends, this post is here to help!
WHERE TO HOST YOUR TIE DYE PARTY
Setting up your tie dye party in the right space is half the battle of a stress-free tie dye party. Whether you tie dye outdoors or indoors, at your home or in a public space, depends on a few factors including the time of year, weather report, and available mess-friendly space. The key things to consider when choosing your space are: ease of clean up (i.e. no carpeting or fancy furniture that could get stained from dye) and access to a water source for both filling water and dumping dirty dye buckets.
There are great options for all circumstances, so you can truly throw a tie dye party any time of year! Here are our recommended places to set up your tie dye party:
- Lawn, either backyard or front yard, or at a public space like a park
- Patio or terrace
- Driveway or blacktop at a playground
Indoors – Home
- Dining room
Indoors – Public Space
- Art studio
- Rec center
- Fitness/dance/karate studio
- Party room at a hotel or apartment building
TIE DYE SUPPLIES
Below is a checklist of supplies you’ll need for tie dyeing at your tie dye party. (Find suggestions for decorations, food, and goodie bags later on in this post!) You have a few options as to how you can go about gathering all the supplies you’ll need for your tie dye party:
- Tie Dye PARTY Box: The Neon Tea PARTY Box includes everything you need for a tie dye party at a discount compared to purchasing everything you’ll need a la carte. It also includes a Tie Dye Party Host Guide filled with additional party planning tips, plus 27-page Tie Dye Project Guides for each of your guests. You can even add a live virtual teacher onto your purchase! (FOR REAL!) Learn more & snag your Tie Dye PARTY Box here!
- Order supplies à la carte: Want to supplement your Tie Dye PARTY Box or whatever supplies you already have on hand? You can find all our recommended tie dye supplies here in the TNTP Shop!
- Have The Neon Tea Party come to you!: The Neon Tea Party offers private craft parties both virtually and in-person throughout the New Jersey/New York/Connecticut area. When you book a private tie dye party with The Neon Tea Party, we provide all the supplies you’ll need, in addition to expertly-trained tie dye craft TEAchers — plus all the setup and cleanup! Learn more here!
Tie Dye Party Supply List:
- Tulip® One-Step Tie-Dye® Refill Packs* (this dye allows you to skip the fabric prep step & dive right into dyeing!)
- 4oz squeeze bottles*
- Plastic table cloth(s)*
- Rubber or latex gloves*
- Rubber bands*
- Items to dye* (make sure they’re 100% all-natural fiber such as cotton, or at least majority all-natural!)
- Ziplock bags* and/or plastic wrap
- Sharpie marker* for labeling tie dye bags
- Party bags* to take tie dye home
- Buckets or large bowls of water for dampening items
- Paper towels (double-ply works best)
- Tie Dye racks (optional but recommended!)
- Deep-sided aluminum baking pans for tie dyeing with young children
- Small containers or bowls for rubber bands
- Cardboard & scissors (for Shibori dyeing)
- Plastic tarp & masking tape, if tie dyeing indoors
*Item is included in the Tie Dye Neon Tea PARTY Box!
HOW TO SET UP
- Set up a table in an area in which you feel comfortable tie dyeing, keeping in mind that dye can drip or splash. (Also keep in mind that dye could accidentally leak through the tablecloth should it tear, so choose your table accordingly!)
- Cover the table(s) with a plastic tablecloth.
- If tie dyeing indoors, cover the floor with a plastic tarp. Hold down the tarp by taping along the edges with masking tape. For more tips on setting up tie dye indoors, check out this blog post!
- Fill your dye bottles in advance so your guests can dive right in! (Or they can help fill bottles once it’s time to dye!) To make your dye, pour a packet of dye powder into each 4oz bottle, add water and shake well until all dye powder sitting at the bottom has dissolved. Be sure to do this while wearing gloves! If you’d like to make your own custom dye colors (such as pastels and jewel tones), you can find our Tie Dye Color Chart here! (Note: You’ll want to use a tie dye scoop when making custom colors!)
- Put rubber bands into small containers or bowls for easy grabbing while dyeing.
- Fill a bucket or large bowl of water for every 3-4 people and place on the tie dye table or another nearby surface.
“Clean Phase” vs “Messy Phase”
We recommend breaking up the tie dyeing process into two phases: The Clean (or Water) Phase and the Messy (or Dye) Phase. In other words, you can plan to dampen and tie all items first, and then move onto dyeing everything. This ensures that you can prep all your items for dyeing without errant dye on your work surface.
To set up for the Clean Phase and the Messy Phase, you can either:
- Set up two tables, or
- Use the same table and simply swap out supplies between phases
Here’s what you’ll need for each setup:
- At each guest’s place, put out a set of each of the dyeable items
- In the center of the table, set out water buckets and small containers of rubber bands
- If you’re providing instructions guides, make sure those are handy!
- At each guest’s place, set out tie dye racks or two sheets of paper towels layered on top of one another, plus a set of protective gear (gloves and apron). If you’re tie dyeing with kiddos, you can set out deep-sided aluminum baking pans that the kiddos can dye in. The walls of the pans will help catch dye splashes. Line them with paper towel for further dye containment!
- In the center of the table, set out all dye bottles (feel free to remove caps in advance and store them somewhere safe!) and extra rolls of paper towels.
- Nearby, put out ziplock bags for their dyed items and the Sharpie marker for guests to write their names on the bags.
- We also recommend having a garbage can or trash bag nearby to dispose of dye-soaked paper towels and other tie dye trash.
TIE DYE INSTRUCTIONS
We’ve got you covered with dozens of tie dye tutorials and project ideas! Here are three different ways you can access TNTP’s expert tie dye tutorials:
- Here on theneonteaparty.com: Find all of our tie dye tutorials here in TNTP’s Online Craft Studio! You can also reference our Tie Dye Tutorial videos on our YouTube Channel for extra support! (Check out our Tie Dye Playlist there!)
- Project Guides included in the PARTY Box: Each Tie Dye PARTY Box contains five 27-page Tie Dye Project Guides including instructions for: Creating Custom Dye Colors, Classic Tie Dye Patterns (Scrunch, Bullseye, Swirl & Rainbow Arch), Shibori Tie Dye (Triangles, Squares & Spider), and Dyeing Socks & Hair Scrunchies. These will save you the headache of printing instructions for you and your guests!
- Have a TNTP TEAcher lead your tie dye crafting: Whether you opt into a Virtual TEAcher with your PARTY Box or hire TNTP to host your private Tie Dye Party, we’ll provide you with an expert tie dye instructor PLUS all instructions for your desired tie dye project and other we think you’ll find helpful!
CLEAN UP TIPS
Tie Dyeing can be messy business. Follow these tips to keep your party tidy and make clean-up a breeze!
- Start by clearing away any garbage such as dye-covered paper towels and used gloves.
- If using tie dye racks, carefully dump out dye into water buckets or down a nearby drain.
- Rinse out empty/near-empty dye bottles in a designated tie dye sink, preferably a utility or bathroom sink. (We recommend avoiding kitchen sinks if possible to prevent dye from getting on dishes & the like.) Leftover dye remains at full vibrancy for up to 72 hours, then some colors begin to fade (yellow, orange) or split (red, black) so try to use it up as soon as possible!
- Thoroughly wipe down your tablecloth so that you can use it again.
- Should dye have splashed onto any unwanted surfaces, use a bleach-based cleaner to remove it. Any dye on skin will disappear in 1-2 showers.
- Head here for our tips on how to rinse & wash tie dyed items!
TIE DYE PARTY IDEAS!
Planning a tie dye extravaganza?! Here are some of our favorite ways to add groovy flair to your Tie Dye Craft Party:
TIE DYE DECORATIONS
- Tie Dye-patterned paper goods (plates, napkins, cups, dining tablecloth, etc!)
- Tie Dye or rainbow marble balloons – strung individually or as a garland!
- Tie Dyed bed sheet photo backdrop
- Clothesline strung with tie dye creations
TIE DYE TREATS
- Rainbow-swirl cupcakes or cake (here’s Baked by Melissa’s recipe!) or order Baked by Melissa cupcakes!
- Snow Cones (It’s like edible ice dye!)
- T-Shirt-shaped sugar cookies with tie dyed royal icing
- StudioDIY’s tie dye s’mores
- Rainbow fruit kebabs
- Rainbow Goldfish crackers
TIE DYE GOODY BAG IDEAS
- Send them home with craft supplies they used during your craft party, or find more supplies here!
- Include extra bottles and dye in a variety of fun colors!
- Include extra dyeables!
- Include extra gloves & a mini bottle of laundry detergent for washing their dyed items
MORE INSPO ON OUR PINTEREST!
Find more Tie Dye Party inspo our Tie Dye Party Pinterest board!
You are now armed and ready to host an epic Tie Dye Party!! Should you need any additional help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Be sure to post your party photos on Instagram and tag us @theneonteaparty! We can’t wait to see what you and your crew create!
Peace, love & neon,
What would you recommend for a tie-dye birthday party where there will probably be more than 5 kids? Each kid just chooses one of the three items (bandana, socks, scrunchie) and maybe buying t-shirts to dye too? Would more dye powder be necessary if there are more crafters (and/or items to dye) in the party?
My daughter has said she would like a tie-dye party for her birthday this year, and since both times I’ve tried to throw a birthday party for her since she was born nearly 6 years ago, it’s had to be cancelled, I want to make that happen. However, I would not want to spend more than $500 just to get 4 party boxes (since we’ll also need money for food, cake, and an indoor venue–her birthday’s in January) if my daughter’s whole 18-kid Kindergarten class showed up to her 6th birthday party, especially since not all of them would probably want at least the scrunchie, if not the bandana.
Hi Darcy! I’d love to help you figure out how to make the most awesome tie dye party for your daughter’s birthday!
I can definitely recommend what you’ll actually need for up to 18 crafters, without having to order all of those party boxes. Everything in the party box is available a la cart in our shop.
My best recommendation is to get one party box since you will need everything included in it, you’ll get the best deal with it, and it comes with project guides and a host guide. Then add 4 more bottles so you can make two bottles of each color, or 15 bottles if you want three bottles of each color, plus enough dyeables for each crafter.
The refill packs come with 3 dye packets, which with the 9 colors should be plenty — especially if you’re dyeing small items. You can always get another packet of any colors you think might be favorites, if you don’t want to risk running out. (Ex. Pink, Purple, Yellow)
You can also add additional rubber bands, gloves and aprons if you like — or you can always get those in bulk elsewhere if you prefer. 🙂
I’ll email you with a list of links, but everything is available at shop.theneonteaparty.com.
Let me know what other questions you have or how I can continue to help you out!
All the best,