DIY Dip Dye Denim Shorts

Thursday, July 24, 2014

DIY Dip Dye Denim Shorts

What You'll Need...
  • White Denim Shorts
  • Dylon Dye (I used Tulip Red, Sunflower Yellow, Bahama Blue)
  • Salt (nothing special, just plain table salt)
  • 3 Containers (large enough for dye baths)
  • Gloves
  • Stirring Utensil 
  • Measuring Spoon (for salt)
  • Garbage Bag
  • Old Towel/Rag

DIY Dip Dye Denim Shorts Video Tutorial

Here are a few simple tips to achieve a clean dip dye effect.

  1. Cut open the dye packet and pour it into your dye bath water carefully, powder dye tends to "fluff" out into the breeze and can end up speckling things downwind of it, including the fabric you're about to work with, which can leave you standing there looking a bit like this o__O or this *$%!... and we don't want that.
  2. You want all the granules of dye to be completely dissolved in the dye bath, before dipping in your fabric. Otherwise those tiny grains of dye can catch on your fabric and give it the chicken pox or some other unfortunate speckled look. Watch for any powder stuck on the side of your dye bath or resting at the bottom. The dye manufacturers recommend mixing it in a separate container of hot water and then pouring that into the dye bath, but some of us are too impatient for that step. ;)
  3. Keep a rag handy and wipe your hands/gloves dry in between dye colors. Otherwise dye could easily drip off your gloves onto other parts of your fabric you don't want dyed that particular color.
  4. When you're done, lay the shorts flat, slip a plastic garbage bag inside the shorts, this will keep the front and back separate, in case you don't want dye soaking from one side into the other.

Other FAQs:

What type of fabric can I use? 
Depends on the type of dye you have. Cotton, linen, viscose and cotton blends are recommended for Dylon Dyes. For example, my shorts are 98% cotton and 2% spandex. But the thread is polyester and did not take the dye, it stayed white (which I actually loved, so it worked out well). 

Where can I purchase fabric dye?
Fabric and craft stores, or online. I purchased mine from my local fabric mart. 

Is the dye permanent?
Yes, Dylon Dyes are permanent. However almost any dyed clothing will fade over time, bright colors  and dark colors can lighten over time, from washing, drying, wearing, sun exposure. Take care of your hand-dyed clothing just as you would any other clothing. 

Can I wash it with my other laundry?
Wash any hand-dyed clothing separate for the first few washes and then with like colors. New clothes especially bright colors and dark colors can bleed a little leftover dye. Same as if you were washing a brand new pair of dark denim jeans, just to be safe, you wouldn't want to risk throwing those babies in the wash with your favorite cream color sweater.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. If you do this project, send me a pic, I would love to see!
Happy DIY'ing.

xoxo, Christine

You Might Also Like


  1. I love these shorts Christine. I think they look fabulous, just love the colours. I like how the stitching stayed white on the front too. :)

  2. I don't think those would look good on me???? :P

  3. Love it! I like the colors! And you are so funny...;)

  4. That's an excellent idea. I have a lot of clothes from H&M that came out of the washing machine with "stains". I'm so mad at H&M. The first time I thought I just made some stains on the dresses, but I got extra careful with the sundresses this summer and checked them before putting them in the machine - no stains.

    I order some Dylon Dye as well, I hope it can cover those terrible brownish stains. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Thank you for the idea :)

  5. The colors look amazing! You're so inspiring!