Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DIY: Rainbow Tie Dye Shorts

About 9 weeks ago, I saw these amazing shorts on Ashley Madekwe's blog, Ring My Bell (btw, if you haven't checked out her blog, its a must). It was love at first sight. And like most loves, it left my heart completely shattered in disappointment. Ugh, the price. I was not about to spend that much money on a pair of shorts! Especially when they can be made so easily at home.

And for a fraction of the cost.

The last time I posted a DIY I had created, I received some requests for a how to on the process. I still plan on doing one for the ombre effect, but given that these shorts were weigh heavily (read: obsessively) on my mind, I thought I would start with these first.

What you will need:

❤ A pair of white shorts ❤
❤ Three shades of fabric dye in a spray bottle ❤

I picked mine up from Michael's using a bunch of 40% off coupons, but you can also find a wide variety on Amazon if there are no stores near you. Regarding the shorts, the style is totally up to you. I prefer low waisted to high because of my short torso, and picked up a pair at Plato's Closet for just $6.00.

Make sure you work on top of some sort of plastic cover in case there is any wayward spraying. The dye is permanent and will stain anything it touches. Trying not to be too wasteful, I used one of our plastic trash bags. The dye won't eat through the plastic, so when BF takes out the trash next week, we'll look like a bunch of awesome hippies with cool multi colored bags!

Also, you'll want to place a magazine or cardboard on the inside of your shorts to prevent any bleed through.

Next, get ready to work out that index finger!

Spray! Spray! Spray! Spray!

Depending on the type of spray bottle you get, you'll want to hold the dye four to six inches away from your shorts. This prevents any one area from getting soaked too heavily. I started with the yellow and worked my way down.

Phew! That gets messy! I ended up using 3/4 to a full bottle of each color for these shorts, but I wanted to make sure that I really got an even coat going.

You'll need to wait 4 hours for the dye to set and dry before you can flip the shorts over and do the other side. And then, if you weren't already impatient enough, you'll need to wait another 72 hours before you can even wash them! Don't forget to wash them inside out! My dyes didn't specify what water temperature I should wash them in, so I washed them in warm water. The reason why I did warm vs cold is because most fabric dyes tend to run off in warm water and wanted to makes sure I got rid of any excess, least I accidentally turn one of BF's dress shirts into something more colorful later on.

The colors will look pretty saturated until they dry (as seen in the photo above), but after the dye sets and the fabric has been washed, you get this great wash of candy colors left.

The end result:


I really love how they came out. It cost me $11 dollars total and about 30 minutes of my time (to spray). I'd say these were well worth it!

Let me know if you guys give this a try. Send photos! I want to see the finished results! I think I'm obsessed with dyes and dye removal now. The creative juices are definitely flowing, and I already have some great ideas I cannot wait to share!

P.S. Don't forget to vote for me in the Found by Fleet contest! All you need to do is "like" my photo. ❤ ❤ ❤ There's only a week left! Thank you guys!



  1. You did an excellent job! I love the pretty colors, and this is so much cheaper than some of the store versions I have seen. Cheers!

  2. I would never have guessed this was so easy to do. Even a DIY-challenged person like myself might be able to pull it off ;)

    1. Yay! I'm glad it seemed easy enough! I hope you give it a try.. DIY'ing is pretty addicting

  3. looks so easy and fun! great DIY I'll have to try this out!

  4. Yes! These are too cute. Definitely putting these on my DIY list for next summer!