Yes, you can be a spray-dye artist

Give a second life to your plain old t-shirt!

We still love tie-dye, but lately we’re crazy about spray-dye. It offers an airbrushed, graffitied or screen-printed effect — and doesn’t require dipping buckets. Once you try it, you’ll be spray-dyeing everything (watch out, sofa!). Here’s a simple project to get you started. 

What you'll need:

- Plain T-shirt
  - 3 spray bottles of fabric paints in different colors
 - Cardboard sheet
 - Protective gloves 
- 7-inch record  


Step 1
Place the cardboard sheet between the front and back of your tee to avoid color bleed.

Step 2
Smooth the top surface and spray your first color.  


Step 3
Place the record in the center of the design area.  

TIP We chose a 45-rpm record  —  as music lovers, we like the reference and the two-circle pattern it makes  — but almost anything can be a stencil. Buy reusable designs at craft stores or forage for natural elements like leaves and pine needles. Get creative. Put your (gloved!) hand down and spray over it. Make paper cutouts or “write” words with strips of tape. As for fabric paint, we use Marabu Fashion Spray, the apparel industry standard. 

Step 4
Spray your second color over the record.

Step 5
Spray your third and final color into the record hole.


Step 6
Carefully remove the record and add a few more sprays if you’re feeling it. 

TIP To achieve color richness but avoid drips, spray lightly and slowly build layers. A drippy effect can be cool-looking, too —  tilt the T-shirt (in cardboard) for extra drip. Have kids? Send them outside with the bottles (in clothes you don’t care about) and let them go nuts.  

Enjoy your new tee!