Home Christmas Simple red, white and blue tie-dye t-shirts perfect for the 4th of July
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Simple red, white and blue tie-dye t-shirts perfect for the 4th of July

by Ünal Güler

Our easy red, white, and blue tie-dye shirts make the perfect craft project for the 4th of July, other patriotic events, or everyday wear! We show how to make a tie-dye 4th of July shirt for kids, which is great for kids of all ages as well as adults. We love making tie-dye crafts.

Red, white and blue tie-dye shirt on a child in the garden with text: 4th of July tie-dye t-shirts
Let’s make red, white and blue tie-dye shirts!

DIY tie-dye t-shirts in red, white and blue

We use a sugar tie-dye technique that can be customized for a million uses. We are in the process of making tie-dye 4th of July t-shirts for the whole family.

Related: Make a DIY American Flag Shirt

The Sugar Tie Dye technique is a fun way to dye anything. In addition to t-shirts, you can use this method to tie-dye shorts, dresses, and more!

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Materials needed to dye a shirt with sugar

Instructions on how to make 4th of July tie dye t-shirts

Step-by-step pictures on how to make a 4th of July patriotic tie-dye t-shirt.  Start by lining up the t-shirt, attaching the template, using the sugar as a technique, then spray-painting the tie-dye t-shirt and using rubber bands
Here are the steps to create your own 4th of July tie-dye shirt!

Step 1

Begin by preparing the surface you are working on by laying down newspaper. I suggest doing this craft outside and covering the table you are working on with several layers of newspaper. Next, make sure you and your child are wearing old clothes that don’t mind the color. Anything that comes in contact with the paint will be discolored.

step 2

Now it’s time to get your t-shirts ready. Lay the t-shirt flat on the newspaper surface and place the piece of cardboard inside the t-shirt. This will prevent the dye from soaking the other side.

step 3

Take a paper towel and dip it in the water. Wring it out so the paper towel is damp. Then start applying pressure to the area where you want to place a design on the t-shirt. You just want the t-shirt to be damp, not soaked.

step 4

Next, take your template (we used a wooden peace sign) and tape it to your t-shirt.

Using a spoon (or your hands), gently scoop the sugar onto the outer edge of the wooden template. Basically, you want an overview of the template.

Carefully lift the template without mixing the sugar.

step 5

Put on your gloves, grab one of your paint spray bottles and give it a good shake. We used a combination of light blue, dark blue, and red, but you can use any color you like.

Gently spray the sugar on top and in the area where the stencil was. Once it’s done, there will be a very cool effect!

4th of July Tie-Dye T-Shirts - Sugar tie-dye technique where the sugar is there and the dye doesn't stick
Wherever the sugar is, the dye will not “stick” and will leave the shirt color in that area.

If you want to add some extra color you can tie any sections of the shirt together with elastic bands (being careful not to disturb the center where the sugar is). After tying, you can spray paint it with other colors. Once they have dried, they create a kind of fireworks effect.

step 6

Leave to dry for 6-8 hours. Once dry, gently dust off the sugar and remove any elastic you may have attached to the t-shirt.

(Optional) Step 7

If you use the SEI tie-dye and then tumble dry it, that type of dye needs to be heat set (if you buy another type of dye, follow the appropriate instructions).

Basically you tumble dry on high heat or use an iron to heat set the color. Once the heat has cured, you can wash and dry it as usual.

July 4th tie-dye t-shirts done and kid wears the new t-shirt homemade in the backyard
Let’s wear our tie-dye 4th of July t-shirts!

Make red, white, and blue tie-dye t-shirts

Let your kids wear their new 4th of July tie-dye t-shirts!

See, wasn’t that funny?

active time
30 minutes

total time
30 minutes


Estimated costs


  • Extra fine granulated sugar

  • White t-shirts (cotton seems to work best)

  • SEI Tumble Dye or Tulip Spray Dye Kit

  • rubber bands

  • Wooden stencil (we used a peace sign)


  • piece of cardboard

  • Newspaper or plastic cover for the workplace

  • Gloves

  • Spoon

  • Old clothes (anything you don’t want to dye)

  • paper towels

  • bowl of water


  1. Place the t-shirt on a newspaper or plastic cover of your work space and place cardboard inside the t-shirt.
  2. Soak paper towel in water and wring out. Use the damp paper towel to apply pressure to the surface of the t-shirt.
  3. Take your design template and place it where you want it on your t-shirt.
  4. Using your hands or a spoon, sprinkle sugar around the stencil.
  5. Without disturbing the sugar, lift the template.
  6. Wearing gloves, take your first tie dye in a spray bottle and shake well. Sprinkle the sugar over it.
  7. Tie off different parts of the shirt with elastic bands and dye them to create a fireworks effect. But don’t disturb the center where the sugar is.
  8. Let dry for 6-8 hours, then remove rubber bands and sugar.
  9. Follow staining instructions if heat setting is required.

Watch our video tutorial on tie-dying red, white and blue t-shirts

Notes on Sugar Tie Dye

I really loved using sugar in this project because it was really different from a lot of the tie-dye projects you see on the internet. The sugar gives the shirt a really nice subtle effect.

Related: More Fun and Easy Sugar Tie-Dye Projects

The best part is that you can use this technique to draw your own designs and even place them randomly in your project.

Making tie-dye shirts with children

This is surprisingly easy and can be done with kids of all ages.

  • younger children They require a lot of help and may want to do this on the back porch or in the bathtub.
  • older children will look strategically at tie-dye patterns and learn how different folds and twists affect the final tie-dye shirt.

More Tie Dye from the Kids Activities Blog

How did your red, white and blue tie-dye t-shirt turn out?

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