Heart Tie Dye Tutorial

How to Tie Dye a Heart Shape

Learn how to Tie Dye a Heart on a t shirt, pillow or other fabric. A Perfect DIY Gift Idea for Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a quick craft dyeing project you can still finish for your love by Valentine’s Day. What says I love you more than a hand dyed heart shirt? So, let me show you how to tie dye a heart.

How to Tie Dye a Heart, Fiberartsy.com

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This was my first attempt at tie dyeing a specific shape, in this case a heart shape. It’s a little more fussy than other tie dye folding techniques but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I will have to practice my pleating, though to make the shape neater. Someday 🙂

This fabric folding method is not only for a heart tie dye but will work on just about any shape. I’ve seen lots of tie dyed shirts with shapes including mushrooms, guitars, skulls and stars. This technique will work perfectly for any of those.

Tie Dye Supplies Needed:

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Tie Dye Kit
Cotton Tank or T-Shirt (white or light colored – mine is gray)
Washable Markers (I didn’t have one and used a pencil… didn’t work very well)

Plastic to cover table
Plastic Zip Bags

(Note: Your Tie Dye Kit should contain Rubber Bands, Gloves and Soda Ash, if needed)

Prep Your T Shirt for Dyeing

Prepare your shirt according to the instructions on the tie dye kit. Usually, this involves pre-washing your shirt and then soaking it in water with soda ash. This should be included in your tie dye kit, if required.

Folding the T Shirt

Draw an outline of a heart on the t shirt

Cover your table with plastic. Take the t shirt or other fabric out of the soaking water and squeeze out any excess. Fold the shirt in half vertically. The fold will divide the heart in half to ensure two ‘equal’ sides. Using a washable marker, draw half of a heart on the shirt, with the center line along the folded edge of the fabric.

Fold or pleat the t shirt along the pencil line of the heart shape

Starting at one edge of the drawn heart, pinch both layers and gather/pleat the shirt all along the drawn heart line. This may take a bit of practice. Feel free to start over (I did many times!)

Once the entire outline is pleated, secure with 2 or 3 rubber bands.

Secure the t shirt with rubber bands for tie dyeing

Tie Dyeing Your T Shirt

Mix the dyes with water according to the dye kit directions. Decide which color you want for the heart and apply it (fuschia). I used a second color (blue) and applied it randomly to the rest of the shirt.

Applying the Dyes to the T Shirt

Adding Fuschia and Blue Dyes to the Shirt

Setting the Dyes

Wrap your T Shirt in a plastic bag and let it set over night (check the kit directions). The next day, thoroughly rinse the shirt to remove all excess dye. Wash (separately) and lay flat to dry.

Heart Tie Dye tutorial- Tank top tie dyed in a Heart Shape. Perfect for a DIY Valentine's Gift Idea

That’s all there’s to it! As I said, this heart tie dye tutorial shows you a technique works for just about any shape like a skull or guitar. Have some fun with it!
Enjoy 🙂

The History of Tie Dye

Tie Dyeing is related to the ancient art of shibori dyeing. According to Wikipedia, “The earliest surviving examples of pre-Columbian tie-dye in Peru date from 500 to 810 AD. Their designs include small circles and lines, with bright colors including red, yellow, blue, and green.” Read more on Tie Dye History.

Related Fabric Dyeing Tutorials

How to Paint Tiger Stripes 
23 Tie Dye Ideas and Projects 
Eco Printing Cotton and Silk
Tie Dyed Cotton Long Johns
Decorating and Dyeing with a Bleach Pen

Learn how to Tie Dye a Heart

How to Tie Dye a Heart T Shirt for Your Valentine


  1. This is absolutely beautiful! It’s been years I did tie dye. It’s an awesome feeling when the material turns out perfect as planned.
    Thank you Annette.
    God Bless