Fun Tie Dye Techniques DIY Sunburst + How To Use Tie Dye Kits

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Are you ready to learn a new tie-dye technique? Making a sunburst design for your tie-dye t-shirts is easier than you think! Summer and spring are the perfect time to tie-dye outdoors. 

We love dying tee shirts with different techniques. One of the techniques we tried was the Sunburst tie-dye technique. Sometimes people call it a starburst technique. I thought I would share how you can dye your t-shirts and how to make a starburst pattern.

Are you looking for other craft ideas for summer? Here’s where to see all our Summer Craft Ideas

Here are our latest tie-dying techniques and examples of our tie-dye t-shirts.

How to Make a Sunburst Tie-Dye T-shirt 

Suburst Step by Step © 2013 Theresa Huse 2013

This technique is pretty easy you can vary the colors of the sunbursts by using various colored dye on the pulled up area. Be sure to use different colored dye or leave white areas to create your effects. You might remember the craft challenge where Sammie and I shared how we did the Ombre dye technique and freehand free pour design techniques. These are also great for beginner tie-dye patterns. 

How to make a sunburst tie-dye design


Remember to read the kit you purchase and make sure it comes with the dye bottles, tie-dye powder, gloves, rubber bands. Most I have purchased do but, better safe than sorry. 

Tie-Dye Instructions

  1. Have all your materials and supplies ready
  2. Pre-Read your dye directions
  3. Pre-Wash sizing out of the t-shirt (*do not add fabric softener) 
  4. Take damp t-shirt to work area (cover table with a large plastic garbage bag or other table protectors)
  5. Pre-plan your design
  6. Lay the T-shirt flat
  7. Pull up sections at a time and wrap the rubber band around the fabric
  8. Repeat last two steps as many times as you want the sunbursts (or starbursts) around the t-shirt
  9. Dye sunbursts or starbursts one color
  10. Color other t-shirt areas another color and leave areas without color for contrast
  11. Follow dye directions for setting dye (wrap in plastic or put into a clean plastic bag for about 6-8 hours)
  12. Once the dyeing time has passed; you then rinse with warm water until the t-shirt dye runs clear as possible, wringing as you rinse helps get out the dye
  13. Wash per dye box instructions and then dry
  14. Wear your lovely dyed t-shirt!

Tie Dying Tips

Sunburst tie dye shirt Theresa Huse 2013 DearCreatives.com

  • We hung the shirts on the line with clothespins, just to take photos. You can’t leave them hanging with wood ones. The wood will absorb the dye and leave a faded area on your shirts.
  • I recommend having a place to lay the shirts down flat until somewhat absorbed then insert into your plastic bag or wrap in plastic. 
  • When setting up layout your plastic to work outdoors be mindful of animals or small children. You don’t want them touching the dye with their hands or getting the bottles. 
  • See our list below for how to use tie-dye kits. 

Tulip Dye Kit Easy to Mix and Use Tie Dye © 2013 Theresa Huse DearCreatives.com

In the previous tutorial, I shared this image but didn’t describe how easy it is to use the dye kits. This is the step by step process of how to tie-dye using the kits. Some kits have the dye comes in packets. Make sure you are in a non-windy area or indoors when filling the dye bottles with the dye powder. You don’t want your dye powder to blow away. Many kits come with the dye in the bottles now, and are really easy to use!

How to use Tie Dye Kits

  • Read all the directions from your dye kit first (Follow your dye kit instructions, this is just to show you how easy it is! Most kits will be similar)
  • Set up your workspace, cover your table area with a protective cover
  • Put on your gloves
  • Some bottles you snip the top corner (very slightly) with a pair of scissors pour dye into the bottle. Other kits you just add water to the dry tie-dye, lid, shake and the hole is in the tip already. 
  • Add water to the line on the bottle where they recommend
  • Secure the lid onto the bottle
  • Hold the bottle securely and shake until mixed, powder dissolves
  • Dye your t-shirts, socks, sneakers using methods in your dye kits (use 100% cotton-based fabrics)
  • Note: Supervision is required when using these products ( I do not recommend using with small children unless you have adult help,  supervision is recommended for 14 years and younger but, I would use personal judgment on the higher end still using supervision.)

This is a fun summer project! Ok, so now you want to know what kit I used, where to get inexpensive t-shirts, kid-friendly dye kits, interested in seeing the other dye technique tutorials?

Looking for more tie-dye instructions?

  • How-to Ombre tie-dye technique and Freehand tie-dying, plus supplies: Tie Dye T-Shirt Post 
  • Star Wars Tee Shirts DIY with templates. This is a project that teens could try, or you can make for the kids. Create your own Star Wars t-shirts. My grandkids went crazy for these tee shirts. Your kids will too. 


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