Tie Dyed Elastic Accessories (A Tutorial)

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

On our road trip this summer I found some hair accessories in a store that were tie dyed…but they were so expensive I was determined to make a bunch of them myself!

The perfect ponytail holder:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories / Hair Tie Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
Foldover (FOE) elastic is perfect for accessories because it is extremely strong, it has high elasticity and you can dye it! The biggest plus? It doesn’t get tangled in hair easily…and with Boo’s crazy hair we love “friendly” elastic. It’s also nice that foldover elastic costs about 30 to 50 cents a yard.


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories / Hair Tie Image 2 Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

First, I took the elastic:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Supplies via lilblueboo.com
Then I folded the elastic several times and placed rubber bands tightly around it in several places:

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com
I mixed up a small amount of pink and purple fabric dye in two squirt bottles….


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 2 via lilblueboo.com
…and applied the dye directly to the elastic:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 3 via lilblueboo.com
I place the tie dyed elastic in a ziplock overnight for the dye to set in. To dye a few pieces just one color I just added dye directly to the baggies (the left and center baggies):


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 4 via lilblueboo.com
The next morning I took the elastic out of the baggies and rinsed the excess dye out.


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 5 via lilblueboo.com
I added a small amount of dye fixative to a bucket of cool water……

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 6 via lilblueboo.com
…..and let the elastic sit for about 10 minutes just to ensure I wouldn’t have any dye bleed later on.

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 7 via lilblueboo.com
Finally, I set the elastic pieces out in the sun to dry:

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 8 via lilblueboo.com
To make the accessories, I just looped a piece of elastic, then tied a tight knot at the end and then clipped off the satin elastic at a decorative angle just below the knot:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 9 via lilblueboo.com
I used a tiny amount of fray block to keep the ends of the elastic from fraying over time:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 10 via lilblueboo.com
We use these satin elastic bands for so many things….Boo has her own preferences:


I use them for my hair but also to keep my journals and address book closed:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial - use for books too! via lilblueboo.com
A pretty way to keep some like items together:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial - use for pencils too! via lilblueboo.com
My favorite idea? Make a bag of several sizes and colors for a handmade gift…or better yet a bunch of bags for party favors or stocking stuffers!


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial - makes a great gift! via lilblueboo.com

Note: This tutorial is only recommended for accessories. Many types of elastic will not hold dye due to their fiber content. The foldover/satin elastic typically has enough natural fiber in it to react to dye.


  1. oversewn says

    Did you see these in Santa Barbara?? My friend makes these and sells them around town. I've bought them from her–but no more!! Thanks Ashley!

  2. Tiffany says

    that was so simple. and am i the only one that thinks of the dharma initiative from the tv series Lost when u mention Dharma product? anyhoo, thanks for the tutorial, i've seen 3 of those at banded together at Target for about $8 and i thought that was too much.

  3. Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com says

    oh I like the book cover idea!! I love finding things too expensive and making them myself!

  4. Jodi Jean says

    i've tried dying elastic before … did you use the procion or something else. i dabbling in dyeing but i'm still a newbie. and what does the fixative do?! i've never tried that product … LOVE dharma trading. i just ordered some transfer paper from them … they have the best stuff!!

  5. asyhre says

    I love it… I think they may even become Christmas presents for the nieces. Thanks for the great ideas.

  6. Rachel@oneprettything.com says

    I LOVE this as a gift idea! That last picture is gorgeous! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  7. carrieinasia says

    I need to make these! I keep forgetting, but now I've bookmarked it :) so it may happen in the next year or so. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  8. emmaj.91286 says

    I was wondering if where you got your satin elastic from and what the fiber content was. I've been looking for some, but I only found some that was nylon and polyester.

  9. lauren says

    i absolutley love these! could you please say which dharma dyes you used. i’m thinking the idye poly because it is synthetic? thank you so much. cute blog!

  10. Lori says

    Did you use Procion or Acid Dyes for these? I tried to make some with procion (from Dharma of course!) but it was a bit pastel. Maybe I just needed to soak it in the soda ash longer. Or maybe a different dye?

    Love your website!! So many creative ideas!


  11. Casey says

    This may be a dumb question… But when you do the tye-dye wouldn’t the part under the rubber band be white? How do you avoid that? Do you have to tie it or can you just squirt the dye?

    • Ashley says

      Casey, I saturate these with enough dye to bleed under the rubber band….it just ended up lighter than the rest of the areas.

  12. says

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! These are just awesome.

    I checked Dharma for dyes but the selection made my head spin:-) Which one of those did you use for this project?

  13. Sophia says

    Hi love the site,
    Where did you buy the fold over elastic. The fold over elastic I found was about a dollar per yard?

  14. Sophia says

    what tie die did use there was quite a few options on the link you posted, I want the same exact color and product you have. BTW I lOVE UR SITE

  15. Anna says

    I feel like a broken record but I couldn’t find a reply about it…. Which Dye from Dharma Trading Co. did you use? I even called them and they said none. ??? I live in Hawaii and Shipping is SO expensive from Dharma Trading Co for some reason, just about the same as the dye, so i don’t want to get the wrong thing. Please help. Thanks so much.

  16. says

    I will be trying this in the next few weeks. Can’t wait to see what kind of color combinations you can come up with. So genius and perfect for summer!

  17. Bettina says

    I am the least crafty person I know, but I’m going to give this a try! I bought all the stuff. How much dye (roughly) did you put in the squirt bottles? I have the dye from dharma and it gives instructions per washing machine. Did you just add enough until it looked the right color when mixed with water?

    Thanks!! :)

  18. maya says

    i love doing this at home and this tutorial really helped me! however, people should know the harmful effects dye fixative has on humans and the environment. it states clearly on the label that the state of california considers this chemical to cause cancer and birth defects. so please be mindful before using it. i have have really successful results WITHOUT having to use this product.
    be safe.
    peace & love

  19. emily says

    hey!! these are so cute..i was wondering where you got the dyes..? i can’t find any dyes

  20. Ali says

    Hi! I am very eager to try these out and I know you’ve posted that you used dharma dyes several times but every time i go on thier website they have tons of dyes each with very different instructions on dyeing, can you please tell me what specific dye to buy???

    thank you !!