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How to Make a Sunburst Tie Dye Shirt for the Fourth of July

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Get an easy tutorial for How to Make a Sunburst Tie Dye Shirt that is perfect for the 4th of July and summer picnics! This red, white, and blue tie dye shirt looks just like fireworks and is really easy to make.

how to make a fireworks tie dye shirt for the 4th of july with process and finished view

My kids and I have been tie dyeing since summer vacation started and we can’t get enough! I created a HUGE guide to all of the tie dye patterns that we use all of the time, and now I will show you the details on how to make this fireworks tie dye shirt!

If you’re planning a 4th of July bbq or a summer picnic, this shirt would be perfect to wear. It is great for kids but would also make a great outfit for adults, too.

It reminds me of a bomb pop which is one of my favorite summer treats. And of course you don’t have to make it in red, white, and blue! Make it in whatever colors you would like.

girl holding red white and blue fireworks sunburst tie dye shirt

What Do You Need to Make a Sunburst Tie Dye Shirt?

If this is your first time making tie dye shirts, you’ll need some basic supplies to make this tie dye pattern. If you want more information and additional patterns, make sure you check out my ultimate guide to tie dye patterns and folding techniques. You can even try this technique with a solid colored t shirt.

You will need white cotton t-shirts, fabric dye (either in the form of powder dye or a tie-dye kit), rubber bands or string, plastic wrap, plastic bags, and water. If you do not purchase a tie dye kit (like the popular Tulip tie dye packages available at craft stores or Amazon), you may also need squeeze bottlessoda ash and urea.

Tie Dye kits are easy to use and are perfect for beginners, but I prefer fiber reactive powder dyes from Dharma Trading Co. or Procion dyes from Amazon. They produce consistent and amazing color results.

Tie Dye Kits for Beginners

Tulip Tie Dye kits are perfect for beginners, kids, parties, and anyone that wants to learn how to tie dye. They are great dyes for the price, but in my experience don’t hold up as well as professional dyes.

RELATED POST: Make Tie Dye Shirts for Halloween

How to Make a Tie Dye Shirt with Fireworks

This pattern is called a sunburst tie dye, and it is really just another way to make a bullseye tie dye shirt. It is made up from a bunch of small bullseye designs all over instead of one large bullseye in the middle.

First, prep your shirt with water or soda ash as directed in the dye instructions. To create this pattern, choose small sections of the shirt and wrap rubber bands as you would a bullseye.

Tightly wrap one or two bands for each sunburst (the tighter you add the band, the more white areas you will get). Then just scrunch or crumple the rest of the shirt around the banded areas.

tie dye folding technique for sunburst shirt top view

From the side view you can see how much of the shirt I have banded. For reference this is a toddler size medium shirt.

tie dye folding technique for sunburst shirt

I prefer to tie dye on a wire rack over a sheet pan or cookie sheet. It keeps the bottom of the shirt out of the dye that runs out and also keeps my work surface clean.

prepping to tie dye red white and blue sunburst tie dye shirt

Apply the dye in sections. The top of each banded area will be the center of the firework or sunburst. I started with the red at the top of each sunburst.

putting red dye with squeeze bottle on fireworks sunburst tie dye shirt

Then I added light blue dye in the middle section of each banded area.

applying light blue dye to fireworks tie dye shirt with sunburst pattern

At the bottom of each sunburst I used dark blue fabric dye.

applying dark blue dye to red white and blue sunburst tie dye

Doesn’t it look like a red white and blue bomb popsicle?

Then I filled the rest of the crumpled shirt with the the blue dyes.

How to Dye a Fireworks Tie Dye Shirt

It will look a little bit like a mess, but it will be amazing when it is all done!

Place the shirt in a plastic resealable bag for a minimum of a few hours to develop. Rinse out the shirt in the sink or tub under running water until the water runs clear.

Then wash in the washing machine by itself. I usually run my tie dye shirts on a quick cycle, and throw them in the dryer.

For the first couple of washes I try to wash all of the shirts by themselves just to make sure no dye transfers (I try especially hard with dark colors of dye.)

Patriotic Red White and Blue Fireworks Tie Dye Shirt

You can see where the rubber bands were on the shirt – those are the areas that remained white and provided the fireworks effect in the colors!

Enjoy your tie dye shirt all summer long!


Pin Patriotic Tie Dye Shirt Tutorial

how to make a red white and blue sunburst tie dye shirt to look like fireworks with finished shirt on girl

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about charynn


Hi, y’all! I’m Charynn, the owner and designer of Pineapple Paper Co. I’m a mom of four kids (two girls and two boys) living in Pittsburgh. I love hand lettering, anything southern, cocktails, and of course, pineapples! I am excited to share my SVG files, printables, and craft projects with you! The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, and I welcome y’all to my little corner of the internet. Read more…

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