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Inspirations teens tie dye

During one of our most recent group therapy session our Inspirations teens were involved in an activity that drew upon their creativity and emotions. We decided to give our teens a bit more free range to create something they could use. This do it yourself (DIY) project was simple yet fun enough for our Inspirations teens to enjoy.

For this creative expression project we had our Inspirations teens create something they could call their own while they were far away from home. When teens enter Inspirations for Youth and Families (IYF) they are brought back to basics.

This form artwork involved our teens creating tie dye pillow cases. These pillow cases will also serve as a reminder when they return home of the hard work and effort they put into being free from addiction. Learn how to create your own tie dye pillow cases below.

Inspirations Teens Tie Dye Tutorial


  • 1 pillowcase
  • Different colors of Dye
  • Rubber bands
  • Hot Water
  • Plastic squeeze bottles
  • Potholder
  • Scissors

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  1. First, be sure to wash and dry the pillowcase, but do not use fabric softener. Lay the pillowcase on the work surface
  2. Gather the center of the pillowcase in your hand and wrap a rubber band around it, leaving about an inch of fabric exposed at the top, as tight as you can without breaking the rubber band
  3. Continue adding rubber bands around the pillowcase, leaving a two-inch space between each one
  4. When you get to a point that the ends of the pillowcase split, wrap rubber bands in the same fashion on the two different sections
  5. Soak or dip the pillowcase into warm water to saturate the fabric. Squeeze out the excess water. This will make it easier for your dye to soak in
  6. Mix dye according to package directions and pour into plastic squeeze bottles. Note: We used 1/4 of the package for each color, with 1/4 of the suggested amount of hot water. So in other words, we could do 4 pillowcases with 4 different colors of dye
  7. The plastic bottle will be hot, so use a potholder to grab the bottle with. Squirt the first color onto the first section of exposed fabric. Be sure to saturate the fabric, taking care not to drip onto the next section. If you do, don’t be concerned, you will not notice these little marks in your finished product
  8. Skip 3 sections then squirt the fourth section with that color again. Repeat until you have the first color on every fourth section
  9. Mix dye for second color and add to a clean squeeze bottle. Dye the second section of fabric, and repeat the pattern you did with the first. Repeat these steps for the remaining two colors. Allow the dyed fabric to sit for 30 minutes or longer
  10. Rinse the pillowcase first in warm water, then gradually reduce the temperature of the water, rinsing until the water runs clear. Squeeze out the excess water
  11. Carefully cut the rubber bands, making sure you don’t cut the fabric as well. Remove all of the rubber bands and open up the pillowcase. For the first time, wash the pillowcase in cold water with only a small amount of soap; a teaspoon of soap per pillowcase is plenty

Tip: We used plastic squeeze bottles from a salon supply store, but you can also find them at craft supply stores

See our other art projects here

*Our Inspirations therapists got the idea and directions after reading this blog[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Inspirations teens create tie dye pillow cases
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