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Lesson: How to Tie Dye Rainbow Arch Pattern

Impress yourself (& your friends!) with this rainbow arch tie dye design!

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  • Fabric pencil or washable marker
  • Tub or large bucket of water
  • Powder Tulip One-Step dye
  • Squirt bottles
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic table cloth
  • 2-Ply Paper towels
  • Rubber gloves
  • Apron or smock
  • Gallon-sized Ziplock bags or plastic wrap (plus a Sharpie if you’re doing this with friends!)
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How to Tie Dye Rainbow Arch

step one

This rainbow pattern is particularly fun to create! Start by drawing the top and bottom of your rainbow arch onto dry fabric using a washable fabric pencil or washable marker.

How to Tie Dye Rainbow Arch

step two

Next, gently fan-fold the fabric along each of the two lines so that each drawn-on line begins to appear straight on the top surface of your folds. You may want to pinch the two gathers and pull them away from one another as you go to straighten the folds in between them.

How to Tie Dye Rainbow Arch

step three

Once all the fabric along the arc lines is gathered, band your fabric on each of those lines. Then add bands incrementally between the two outside bands to identify space for each color of your rainbow arch. (This same method can be use to create all sorts of patterns. You can even fold the shirt in half first before drawing an arc to create a classic full rainbow arch.)

How to Tie Dye Rainbow Arch

step four

Apply a different color to each banded section in the rainbow order of your choice. You can either wet your item before applying the dye so that the dye flows easily on your fabric, or leave your item dry and massage the dye into the fabric for a more vibrant result. The example in this post was done dry, creating distinct edges on the rainbow. You can either leave the top and bottom of your item white or dye with any color of your choice.

How to Tie Dye Rainbow Arch

step five

Head here for instructions on how to set dye, then rinse, wash & care for your new rainbow tie dye creation!

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Apply your new-found skill to create awesome things! Here’s a round-up of project inspiration.

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