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Make Tie-Dye T-shirts with Permanent Markers

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
chemistry, solubility, inks, dyes, water
Picture of a part of a t-shirt tie-dyed using permanent markers.

Introduction

Have you ever made a tie-dyed t-shirt? It can be a lot of fun to dye a shirt in bright colors with spiraling designs (especially when it is done on a warm day outside to prevent indoor messes)! In this science activity, you will get to dye a t-shirt with your own colorful artwork using permanent markers. Along the way, you will find out how solubility helps your drawings leave beautiful designs on the fabric.

Credits

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Rubber bands (at least 2)
  • Plastic cups (at least 2)
  • Colorful assortment of permanent markers
  • Water
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol, also called rubbing alcohol
  • Medicine dropper
  • White t-shirt that can be dyed
  • Optional: Newspapers. These are to protect your work surface.
  • Optional: Hair dryer
    Materials for doing the marker tie-dye activity.

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
chemistry, solubility, inks, dyes, water