Tie Dyeing a Peace Sign (A Tutorial)

Since peace signs are back I wanted to come up with an easy way to tie dye one. I like how the result was a starburst effect.

I’ve been brainstorming for a week or so with this napkin in my car on how I wanted to do it….folding and refolding the peace sign while sitting at stoplights:

So here’s what I came up with…..peace sign tie dyeing….origami-style:

Step 1: Take your shirt or fabric and fold it in half and mark the center of the shirt with a disappearing ink pen:

Open the shirt up and draw a large circle around the center line to estimate how large you want the peace sign to be (it doesn’t have to be perfect):

Starting at the center of the circle draw the two legs to your peace sign (again, these don’t have to be perfect….they will just be guide lines):

Step 2: Once you are happy with the size and placement of your peace sign…..

….refold your t-shirt in half.

Take the bottom front center of the tee and fold it up to meet the “leg” of the peace sign:

Next take the center of the neck and fold it down to the “leg” as well so that the two edges meet:

Step 3: Pinch where the edges meet and pull the shirt upward…….

………so that the shirt folds in half:

Use clothes pins or large safety pins to hold the edges where your two legs and center line of the peace sign meet:

Step 4: Starting gathering at one edge of the line indicating the outer circle of the peace sign……

…..and gather all the way across to the other side……

……and secure it with a rubber band (as you add more rubber bands make a mental note of THIS band so that you know which one to dye):

Step 5: Add on other rubber bands along the shirt (if using clothes pins it is easier to remove them, add on your rubber band, restraighten all the edges and then reattached the pins)……

…..just make sure to restraighten your three edges as you go:

Here is what your shirt will look like at this point:

Step 6: Soak the entire shirt in soda ash/water mixture until damp and squeeze out the excess liquid (see my tutorial on using Procion dye for specifics on the soda ash and mixing your dye):

Step 7: To prevent too much bleeding with your design set up a small rack (like the kind used for cabinet shelving or locker storage) over a tub or bucket:

Step 8: Apply a generous amount of dye along the three edges secured by the clothes pins (which are the “legs” and center of your peace sign)…..

…..and to the rubber band marking the outer circle of your peace sign:

In this example, I’ve dyed the outer circle and legs of the peace sign Kelly Green:

Step 9: Using contrasting dye colors fill in the other areas of the shirt:

Step 10: Place the shirt in a plastic bag and leave overnight for the colors to set!

Step 11: The next day remove the fabric from the bag and while still tied rinse off the excess dye using cold running water and then run through your washing machine. Dharma recommends the final wash with HOT water and Synthrapol or something similar so that the garment will never bleed on anything.


  1. Sonya says

    Sitting in the car waiting at stoplights is a great time to brainstorm! I do it as well :)

    Love the tutorial!! The peace sign looks like it is radiating peace :-)
    I have never tried tie dye before but you make it look so easy and fun I will have to give it a try!

  2. SAMZE says

    Oh my gosh…leave it to you Ashley to think this through and come up with this…AND share it with us! :) As always, you rock! :)

    I think I will have to give this one a try! :)

  3. sandy says

    Thank you so much for this! I have been wanting to do this for my granddaughter. I was so excited when I saw this tute. Thank you for sharing!

  4. celine says

    Ashley, thanks for your time, for all your effort and for your generosity in sharing ……. I truly appreciate it!!

  5. Shelly K says

    How in the….. my brain just doesn't think like that. Good thing for those like you who's brain does go there.
    Genius. Wow.

  6. Monna says

    Just found your blog today and spent almost 2 hours of reading all your posts and getting inspired. Love it all…

  7. Becolorful says

    Seriously? I'm always amazed when somebody can figure this kind of stuff out. Very impressive.

  8. Suzanne Jeanette says

    Thanks for this tutorial! My first dyeing project didn't go so well, but this sounds like a perfect second try. I can't wait to attempt it! Thanks for figuring it out for the rest of us.

  9. Beth says

    Thanks so much for posting this! We are about to have a huge tie-dye party, and this will be SO fun!!!! You are so talented!

  10. CraftCrave says

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave.com in the Handcraft category today [21 Mar 09:19am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  11. Forever You says

    This ia a million dollar tutorial! Thanks so much I am going to do this tonight! I absolutely love it Ashley!

  12. Tricia says

    This is fantastic! I am going to include a link to this post in my Inspire My Saturday Post today. Thanks so much for sharing.


  13. Rachel@oneprettything.com says

    That is so amazing! I love how you brainstormed on a napkin in your car. Fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking in this afternoon's Daily DIY.