This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
I’m testing out all of the methods of screen printing and tie dye! I’ve posted about screen printing on tie dyed class shirts and on these watermelon shirts. Today, I wanted to show you the process of screen printing first, then doing the tie dye.
Why would you want to screen print before tie dying? Here’s one scenario… Maybe you have an old screen printed shirt that you want to bring back to life with new color. You can tie dye it with the screen printing ink already on the shirt.
Or…. If you are tie dying at summer camp but want the shirts to have a printed logo on them. Printing after they are tie dyed would mean washing and drying all of the shirts, printing them, then allowing them to dry so you can heat press. If you want the kids to be able to take their tie dye shirts home right after they finish dying… this is where it would be more convenient to tie dye after you screen print!
Supplies Needed for Ombre Tie Dye
- Tulip Fabric Dye (I used the Sunshine color)
- Tub large enough to fit t-shirt
- Hot Water
- Plastic Gloves
- Large Craft Stick
- Disposable Plastic Table Cloth (to protect your table from dye)
Supplies Needed for Screen Printing with Vinyl
- Screen Printing Frame – I used the 16×20 size for this project
- Speedball Fabric Ink (I used Speedball white fabric ink but any color will work)
- Oracal 651 Vinyl
- Cricut Maker or any vinyl cutting machine
- Cricut Mat
- My Favorite Transfer Tape
- Painter’s Tape
- Heat Gun (if you want to speed up the drying process)
- Screen Printing Press (recommended)
- Blank T-shirt
Watch the Process Video
How to Get an Ombre Effect with Tie Dye
If you want to get the popular ombre effect with your tie dye, it’s really easy! For this process you’re going to dip dye your shirt in a tub of dye.
First, fill your tub with the dye mixed according to the package instructions.
If you want part of your shirt to remain white, dip just one end of the shirt in the dye.
In my project, I dipped the entire shirt in the yellow dye first. Then, I pulled the shirt out of the dye incrementally allowing the bottom of the shirt to soak longer.
After dying the entire shirt for about 15 minutes, I hung the top of the shirt over the bucket, allowing the rest of the shirt to soak for another 15 minutes. I repeated the process, removing more of the shirt from the dye each time.
Once your shirt has finished in the dye bath, immediately rinse the shirt in cold water. Then, put it in the washing machine. After your shirt has been washed and dried, it’s ready to wear!
Does this process work with other color inks too?
Yes, I have tried Speedball opaque pearl ink along with solid ink colors. They all work great.
Can You Screen Print After Tie Dying on a Shirt?
Yes! If you plan to tie dye your shirt first, follow the instructions on the tie dye kit. Then, wash and dry your shirt. Now, you can screen print on the tie dyed shirt.
Once your screen printing ink is completely dry, don’t forget to heat set the ink. Set your press to 320 degrees and press for 40 seconds. This will make the ink permanent on your shirt.
Why Would I Want to Screen Print on a Shirt before Tie Dying It?
If you are planning a tie dying party for a group, it may be helpful to screen print your design on the shirts before the party.
A few years ago, I helped my daughter’s class tie dye shirts. I wanted to add a fun saying to their shirts. I helped them tie dye the shirts first, then I brought them home and screen printed the design on them. After letting the ink dry and pressing them, I delivered the shirts back to the school a couple days later.
If I had screen printed on the shirts first, they could have taken their shirts home with them the same day!
The good news is, you can screen print before OR after you tie dye. The results are the same either way!