Create cheerful and colorful Tie Dye Pumpkins with some t-shirts (or whatever other fabric you have handy), craft pumpkins and pre-mixed dyes!
I admit I was pretty excited when I realized that Tie Dye was going to have a resurgence. As much as I love crafting I can’t believe I’ve never tried tie dyeing before… it is so fun! It’s so exciting when you remove the rubber bands to for the grand reveal of your tie dye masterpiece. I got this fun American Crafts tie DIY kit (you can find it at Michael’s). I’ve done many pumpkin crafts through the years, but once I tried tie dyeing I immediately knew that I needed to have some tie dye pumpkins. I love them even more than I thought I would.
My husband donated some of his old cotton t-shirts to the cause; I cut them all in half and went to town. For some of the designs I followed tutorials for standard tie dye patterns and some I just did haphazardly and I love how they all turned out. There are no rules for tie dyeing!
How to Tie Dye
Printable instruction card below.
Before you get started, you want to wash your fabric and dry it without any fabric softener. 100% cotton, 100% polyester or a cotton/poly blend works best.
Cover your work area with the drop cloth and use the plastic gloves that are both included in the tie dye kit. Keep baby wipes and paper towels handy so you can clean up as you go… the drop cloth gets a lot of dye on it and you don’t want the colors to bleed together when you flip over your designs.
Shake dye bottles well before applying. Apply the dyes in the colors and patterns of your choice (you can find tutorials for the tie dye patterns I made in the instruction card at the bottom of this post).
Let dyed project dry overnight. The next day, remove the rubber bands, air dry and once dry, place in dryer for 20 minutes to set the dye. Wash on regular cycle with no other items and dry as usual.
These 3 tie dye techniques were my favorite out of the patterns I made, so I chose them for my DIY Tie Dye Pumpkins. Want to make your own? It’s so easy!
DIY Tie Dye Pumpkins
- tie DIY Kit
- Drop cloth, gloves and rubber bands Included in tie DIY kit
- 3 Craft pumpkins I used 6.5" and 9" Michael's pumpkins and a styrofoam pumpkin from the dollar store
- 2 T-shirts or fabric to cover pumpkins
- Americana Multi-Surface Paint Cocoa Bean and Black Tie
- DecoArt Extreme Sheen Metallic Paint 24K Gold
- Paint brushes
- Packing tape or hot glue gun
- Wash fabric and dry it without any fabric softener. Cut into squares large enough to completely cover pumpkins.
- Cover your work area with the drop cloth and use the plastic gloves that are both included in the tie dye kit.
- Shake dye bottles well before applying. Apply the dyes in the colors and patterns of your choice (see pattern tutorials below).
- Let dyed project dry overnight. The next day, remove the rubber bands, air dry and once dry, place in dryer for 20 minutes to set the dye. Wash on regular cycle with no other items and dry as usual.
Sunburst Tie Dye Pattern
- Make small twists throughout the fabric and pull them through rubber bands. Pull about 3/4" of fabric up through the bands.
- Apply Ocean dye to the tips of the fabric pulled through the rubber bands. Squirt Lemon dye around the the base of each bunch just below the rubber bands. Pour Poppy around the remainder of the fabric, leaving random areas white.
Spiral Tie Dye Pattern
- Pinch the center of the fabric and twist until all of the fabric is twisted around (kind of like a cinnamon roll).
- Place 3 rubber bands equidistance around the twisted fabric.
- Squirt dye on each pie piece. Apply the dyes heavily to the center of each slice and it will naturally bleed to fill the section. Flip over and repeat. Of course you can use whatever color dyes you'd like; since I'm ROYGBIV obsessed I used Geranium, Poppy, Lemon, Key Lime, Ocean and Eggplant (in that order).
Bulls Eye Tie Dye Technique
- Pull the center of the fabric and place rubber bands around the length of the fabric about an 1 1/2" apart. (Think of pulling a napkin through a napkin ring).
- Squirt a different color on each section. Again, focus the pour in the middle of each section so that the color bleeds out and stays in its own section. Flip over and repeat. Starting from the top, I used Lemon, Poppy, Blossom, Eggplant, Ocean, Key Lime and Lemon again.
How to Make Tie Dye Pumpkins
- Cut fabric into squares large enough to cover the pumpkins.
- Drape the fabric over the pumpkin with the center of the fabric on the stem. Tightly wrap a rubber band around the the base of the pumpkin stem.
- Pleat and tuck the fabric around the entire pumpkin and secure the fabric to the bottom of the pumpkin. Since I may want to return my craft pumpkins to their original state, I secured the pleats to the bottom of the pumpkin with packing tape, but you could also use hot glue.
- Apply dark brown paint around the rubber band and to the top of the tie dye pumpkin to create a stem.
- Add a little bit of black to the dark brown and paint the recessed areas of the pumpkin stem to create a more realistic, dimensional appearance to the stem. For more dimension, once the stem has dried apply a thin strip of gold metallic paint to the raised areas of the pumpkin stem to add a highlight.
Which tie dye pumpkin is your favorite? Have you tried tie dyeing before?