Rainbow Tie Dye Project

Sharpie rainbow tie dye project

As I was sitting at my desk the other day I saw an amazing rainbow outside and it reminded me of a great rainbow tie dye project that I used to do with my 4th grade class. This activity can be a fun art project to liven up a white handkerchief or t-shirt, and it can also teach a little bit about solubility — the movement of molecules. (Technically the colors in permanent markers are not soluble in water, but they are in rubbing alcohol and so they will move and spread into each other when the alcohol is applied.) Here is how to make your own Sharpie tie dye.

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  • Sharpie Markers in different colors
  • A pre-washed t-shirt, handkerchief, or other item to be dyed. (It might be cool to try this on a plain apron or white canvas sneakers)sharpie tie dye project
  • Rubbing alcohol (70% or higher)
  • A dropper
  • A plastic cup
  • A rubber band


  1. Use a rubber band to hold your fabric over the mouth of a plastic cup.
  2. Draw a design of colored dots in the center of the banded circle with different color Sharpie pens.
  3. Put rubbing alcohol into the dropper bottle.
  4. Add about 10-20 drops of rubbing alcohol from the droppers to the pattern and watch the Sharpie color blend into a cool rainbow!
  5. Allow the design to dry for at least 3-5 minutes.
  6. If you want more to add more circles, reposition the fabric and make a new color wheel in a different area.
  7. Set the colors in your rainbow tie dye project by putting it in the dryer for 15 minutes.

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Here is a video so you can see how to do the project step by step:

About Caroline Preble

I'm a gal who thinks that there is always a reason to celebrate! I am a wife and mom to two great girls, and a former elementary teacher who has turned my love for all things fun and creative into a website to share with friends everywhere.

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