Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tie Dye Mickey Mouse Shirts

During the extremely wet Labor Day weekend, thanks to Tropical Storm Lee, we stayed inside and made Tie Dye Mickey shirts for our upcoming trip!  I found the instructions on and followed what MNRMommy had to share.  She did a great job explaining what to do and included wonderful pictures too!  You can find her instructions here.  

When we made our shirts, I too took pictures of the process so you would have another set of pictures and examples to use.

1. We bought 100% white t-shirts and washed/ dried them.  My instructions said not to use dryer sheets with the shirts.  Not sure why...

2. I printed a Mickey head silhouette and resized it on the copier at work.
3. Once we had the size of the head we wanted, we traced it on the t-shirts using a pencil.

 4. Next, we used dental floss to do a basting stitch on the traced head.

 5. Once the stitching was complete, we pulled the floss until the Mickey head "puckered."

 6. Using rubber bands, cinch the Mickey "puckered"area.  We used 2 rubber bands to create a border that would be around the head shape.

 7. Once the shirts were all cinched around the Mickey area, we wet the shirts.  Once the extra water was wrung out, we laid the shirts flat on the counter with the Mickey poking up.

 8. Holding the rubber bands around the Mickey area, we twirled the shirts in a spiral pattern keeping the shirt tight as we twirled.  The Italian side of me thought of it as twirling spaghetti noodles around a fork! :)

9. Once the shirts were twirled in a spiral, we used 3 rubber bands to hold the shirt in the spiral pattern. Think of a pizza or pie.  The rubber bands go across the spiral circle creating 6 pie shapes. 

10.  Once the 3 rubber bands are across the shirt, make sure the Mickey head is poking up out of the rubber bands.

11. Using a tie dye kit or any kind of fabric dye (Rit works well too) get ready to dye your shirts!  I found this one at Hancock Fabrics for $9.99.  The same kit at Hobby Lobby was $11.99.  Publix had a Rit Dye kit for $6.99, but I didn't want fuchsia, yellow and teal dye!  If you don't use a kit that includes bottles for the dye, try using a turkey baster to squirt the dye onto your shirt.

12. Following the instructions in your kit or with your dye, begin dying the shirt!  Start with the Mickey part.  I would suggest choosing a darker color for Mickey's head- the yellow Mickey head didn't turn out as well.  Once it is dyed, keep it away from the rest of the shirt.  I would suggest covering it with a ziplock bag or saran wrap to make sure it didn't touch another area (my red Mickey head now has a blue blob on it...) I also suggest trying to keep the dye only on the puckered area.  If possible, don't let it seep into the rubber banded area.

13.  Once the puckered area is colored, start adding the other colors to the pie shaped areas on your shirt.  Be creative and see what your creation will look like!

14.  When you have completed adding the dye to your shirt wrap the shirt in saran wrap and let it sit for 6 hours.  We let ours sit over night in the saran wrap.

15.  When it's time to unwrap the shirts, cut the rubber bands off the shirt and unroll the shirt.

16.  Then, rinse the shirt out in the sink.  Let the water run down the shirt over the dye until the water runs clear.  This may take some time!  Don't wring out the water until the water runs clear.  You don't want the colors to bleed onto the white areas.

17.  Finally, wash your shirt several times in the washing machine and dry!  (I plan on washing our shirts several times without other clothes, just in case!)  Cman's shirt (blue Mickey) turned out much better than mine did (Red Mickey with blue blob!).


  1. Those are really good! I am a crafter and am too intimidated to try these! I think yours turned out great!!

  2. Amazing!! I really don't think I would know how to do this at all. Looks really hard...what are your thoughts?

  3. Kelly- I thought the same thing! If we said it once we said it a dozen times, "Do you think this is right?!" I kept my computer open to the Disboards directions the whole time. It really wasn't hard at all. I tried to insert my thoughts and changes if I were to do it again. My mom is doing another one this week because we didn't like the way the yellow Mickey head turned out. The good thing is that it's a fairly cheap project. Our shirts were $4 at Wal Mart, I think and the dye was only $10 and we were able to get 4 shirts out of the kit. If you get the individual Rit dye bottles, I think you could get more shirts out of 1 bottle.

    I want to do these for halloween in black/ orange and Christmas in green/ red!

  4. Thanks Jackie! It was a lot of fun and if you are already a crafter, you shouldn't have any trouble!!

    In my dye kit there were suggestions for other ways to tie dye- besides the spiral style.

  5. What a great project! I think they came out great! :-)

  6. My second one is in the wash right now. I'll take a picture of it when it's dry.
    I also did an orange and blue shirt for Auburn's game this Saturday.
    This was so much easier the second time. I just hope it turns out ok!

  7. Wow- I'm not crafty, so I am EXTRA impressed (and jealous)! I'd love to see a photo of your clan wearing them :D

  8. Your shirts turned out great! I love the bright colors. I got a tie-dye kit to review - and I'm just tossing it around in my head whether or not I want to attempt the Mickey head again or just go without. Ours just didn't turn out as good as yours.

  9. go for it again even though I think your first one turned out fine!!! I thought it was obvious it was a Mickey head.

  10. Flippin fantastic! Way better than anything I can do

  11. Very cool-my DSil got some from Etsy for our last trip :_

  12. Just found this site and saw the link to this post. LOVE tye-dying and never thought to try my hand at Mickey. Can't wait to try this. May even have to try adding a bow in there for a Minnie shirt.


  13. Wondered if you would mind linking up with my page to share your wonderful shirts!

  14. quick question.. making shirts for the halloween party this year. After you stitch the mickey, do you think you could thinly outline it in glow in the dark paint? not sure how it would come out with the tie dye but thought it would look neat. any ideas?

  15. Tried this today & am anxiously waiting to see how they turned out!!!  Thanks for sharing such a fun idea!

  16. I think the no dryer sheet rule has to do with no fabric softener.  Im pretty sure that was the mistake I made last year at school when we made shirts with the kids.  We had 2 or 3 shirts that the dye just would not stick too. I checked and the Tide I used had fabric softener added in...wonder if they just got too exposed!

  17. When you stitch the dental floss do you got through both layers if the shirt or just the front layer?

    1. I am wondering that as well. I guess it depends on if you want the mickey head on the back too?

    2. no. only stitch through one layer at a time. You have to pull the stitched design up and away from the coloring using the rubber bands. You couldn't do that if both layers were stitched together. If you want the Mickey head on both sides, I guess you would need to stitch the front and back separately. However, it may be difficult to dye it if you are trying to keep both the front and back designs separate from the rest of the shirt. hope this helps and makes sense!!

  18. Replies
    1. My only thinking is to make sure the Mickey shape stays in a Mickey shape. Without the stitching to hold it together, it would turn into a 'blob' instead of a Mickey head.

  19. Pretty cool! I tried this too, but my Mickey ended up looking like a heart instead. I like the bold primary colors you chose. Usually yellow, cyan, and magenta (or yellow, fuschia, and teal) look more rainbow-like together because they are equally spaced around the color wheel. But the red, yellow, and blue look much more boyish and bright.