Crinkle or Crackle Tie Dye Instructions

Transform a plain boring shirt into a work of art with tie dye.

You can use tie dye to create a wide variety of patterns including spirals, gradients or even shapes, but some of these techniques require a certain amount of artistic skill and a great deal of practice to perfect. Crinkle or crackle tie dye, however, is simple enough that even young children can create their own custom clothing -- and you don't need any special tools or hard-to-find ingredients.

Wash and dry the shirt before you begin to tie dye. You can use regular laundry detergent, but do not use any type of fabric softener or dryer sheets. These items can leave an invisible film on the fabric that may prevent it from being dyed evenly.

Pack the shirt into a 16 oz. disposable plastic cup. Avoid pushing the shirt into the cup neatly, you need to create as many folds and wrinkles as possible to create an interesting design.

Pour 2 tbsp. of powder fabric dye into another disposable cup and add 3/4 cup of water. Repeat this process with a second dye color. You now have two cups containing dye.

Pour one cup of dye slowly into the cup containing the shirt close to one edge. Do not try to cover all the fabric, just hold the cup of dye in one spot and gently pour it in.

Pour the second cup of dye into the opposite side of the cup. This will cover most of the fabric that was not saturated with your first cup of dye. It is not important to soak all the fabric at this time.

Place a full 12 oz. bottle of soda gently into the cup. This will press the fabric down and keep it under water to give the dye time to work.

Wait three hours and then carefully pull the shirt out of the cup. You can pour the dye and water down your sink drain.

Rinse the shirt under cool water until the water runs clear.

Wash your crinkle tie dye shirt in warm water with a mild laundry detergent and dry the shirt before you wear it.

Things You Will Need

  • Shirt
  • Laundry detergent
  • 16 oz. disposable cups
  • 2 tbsp. of powder fabric dye in two colors
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 12 oz. soda bottle
  • Cool water


  • You can dye any type of clothing as long as it is made with natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool or linen.

About the Author

Kittie McCoy has been a freelance writer since 2008. She is also a part-time personal trainer and licensed entertainer in Las Vegas. She enjoys sharing her love of physical fitness and experience in the entertainment industry via her writing.