How to Tie Dye a Heart Shape

This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our full Disclosure here for details.

Learn how to Tie Dye any Shape such as a Heart on a tee 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,

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:

This page may contain affiliate links which means if you click and buy, we may receive a small commission. See full Disclosure here for details.

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)

How to Tie Dye Step by Step

Prep Your Tee 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 Tee Shirt

Draw an outline of a heart on the t shirt

First, cover your table with some kind of plastic. Now, take the tee shirt or other fabric out of the soaking water and squeeze out any excess.

Next, 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

How to Tie Dye Your Shirt

First, you will need to mix your dye powders with water. Check the instructions on your particular dye kit for exact directions. Decide which color you want for the heart part of the shirt to be and apply it to the inside of the gathered shape (I used fuschia). The second color (blue), I applied randomly to the rest of the tee shirt.

Applying the Dyes to the T Shirt

Adding Fuschia and Blue Dyes to the Shirt

Setting the Tie Dyes

Carefully, pick up your tie dyed shirt and place it in a plastic bag. Close the bag so that it’s airtight and then let it set overnight. The long the dyes set, the better. Check your tie dye kit for exact instructions.

The next day, take the shirt out of the bag and thoroughly rinse the shirt to remove all excess dye. This could take a while as cotton shirts can hold a lot of dye. But, don’t cut corners on this step. Keep rinsing. You don’t want your dyes can run together! Lay your shirt on some type of plastic sheet to dry.

How Do You Wash a Tie Dye Shirt for the first time?

Regardless of how much you rinse your freshly tie dyed shirt, the first few times you wash it, it will bleed. I’ve used a lot of different dyes and they ALL bleed. So, make sure the first few times you wash your shirt separately in cold water. Remove it from the washer immediately and either dry flat or tumble 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 Shapes - Hearts

How to Tie Dye a Heart T Shirt for Your Valentine

How to Tie Dye a Heart Shape

Sharing is caring!


  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


Craft More Happy Moments with our FREE Creativity Care Package 3/26-4/9/20! Watch over 1,300 creative education classes ranging from sewing, cooking, family crafts, and more!

Did You Know That This Blog Makes Money? Here's How!