Creating the perfect DIY is a lot like gardening – it takes the right tools, patience, and something like a green thumb. Not everyone is so blessed with the latter, but Crossroads Trading HQ is blessed with a buying department assistant named Jason who doubles as a DIY genius. Fashion Recycled is sort of our motto, but Mr. DIY himself takes it to a whole new level, constantly impressing us with his homemade magic.
Fortunately, even if you don’t have the DIY thumb to tie-dye – you can get directions from someone who does with this easy tutorial. Jason and I made a few purchases, made a little mess, and created a pair of pro-status tie-dye pants that you can copy–or even cop– for yourself. Just comment by tomorrow at 12pm because one randomly selected commenter will be getting these size 26 pants in the mail.
EDIT: The winner is Jeevon! Thanks so much to everyone who participated!
What you’ll need:
- Dye (Jason likes liquid RIT Dye)
- A plastic tub
- A handful of rubber bands
- Rubber gloves
- Laundry detergent
- A pair of pants mostly made of cotton. Jason got these Gap pants, which are a size 26, for $18.50 from Crossroads.
Step 1: Start by twisting the legs of the pants so tightly that they start to coil
Fold the pant leg onto itself and then tightly rubber band it several times over. The tightness and placement of the rubber bands will affect the tie-dye design.
Step 3: Repeat on the other leg. Now this is what the pants should look like.
Step 4: Twist the seat of the pants. Jason says this requires a bit of creativity. Unzipping the pants could help you find a way to twist. If you don’t mind this part being blank, you could leave untwisted.
Our pants look like an anchor!
Step 5: Now to get the dye bath ready. Don that apron!
Step 6: Pour about 5 liters of hot water into the tub. We boiled ours and added some cold water to get the right temperature, but hot water from the faucet works just as well.
Step 7: Pour the entire bottle of dye in the water.
Step 8: Add about one tablespoon of salt.
Step 9: Stir thoroughly.
Step 10: Bombs away! Put the pants into the dye bath. Submerge them and hold them down, and then proceed to stir them in the bath for 20 to 30 minutes.
“I feel like I’m holding an oil spill bird.” -Jason
Step 11: Take the pants out of the bath and place onto the paper. We chose to do our DIY outside for the sake of less mess, but Jason uses the opportunity to let the pants sit in the sun for a little. “It helps the dye set,” he says.
Step 12: After a few minutes, take the pants to the sink and cut the rubber bands. You’ll start to see the tie-dye’s design! Jason removed one of his gloves to be able to cut with ease, but if you want to keep your hands clean, keep them on.
Step 13: Rinse the pants until the water runs clean. Wringing the pants every once in a while will help speed up the process.
Step 14: Wash the pants in a washing machine with laundry detergent and no other garments. When the load is done, be sure to run your washing machine once with only soap in it, just to wash out any possible excess dye. Jason recommends hang drying the pants.
The fruit of our labor!