Art Project #92- Ice cube Tie Dye

When I saw a tutorial on tie dying shirts using ice cubes I just knew we had to try it out!  We had lots of dye left from when we made our traditional tie dyed t- shirts and I figured this would be a fun way to use it all up.  I knew this was one project that none of the boys would complain about and a fun way to add to our 100 Days of Art Challenge.

We've been waiting for a sunny day for weeks just so we could try out this fun craft!  So, of course on the first sunny day we had we realized that the leftover dye was nowhere to be found.  We ran out and bought some more dye so we wouldn't be caught unprepared again.

Friday dawned sunny and bright so the younger boys and I headed outside as soon as we finished breakfast.  I read so many posts on ice dying and no two people had the same instructions.  Some people used dry shirts and some used wet.  Some people folded up their shirts in traditional tie dying ways while others laid out their shirts flat.  Some people put the shirts in a bowl, some used a rack suspended over a tray and others laid their shirts right out on the lawn.

It seemed like it was a pretty fool- proof craft so we decided to just do it our way and hope for the best.

We gathered our supplies and headed outside:

  • wet, clean, white t-shirts
  • packets of powdered Rit dye
  • bowls of ice
  • latex gloves to protect our hands 
  • tray 

I gave the boys their pick of how they wanted to do this project.

We used wet shirts laid out flat.  Alec chose to lay his shirt out on the lawn while Evan wanted to have his lying in a tray.  Since we use very old cookie sheets for all of our crafting these sheets were pretty rusty.  Not wanting any rust to rub off on the shirts we placed a plastic bag between the cookie sheet and Evan's shirt.

We cut open the powdered dye boxes and the boys sprinkled the dye directly onto their shirts.  Some websites showed the powder being sprinkled on AFTER the ice and others sprinkled it on before.... Evan sprinkled all the powder he wanted (using about a 1/2 box each of two different colors) and then covered his shirt with ice.

Alec wanted to put a bit of powder under the ice and then sprinkle one final cover over the top of the ice.  Unfortunately, we ran out of ice and I had to run to the store to buy some.  We then covered his entire shirt with ice.

We left the shirts outside for a good 5-6 hours in the sun.

Alec's shirt was dried by the time we checked on it but since Evan's shirt was in a pan and sitting in watery dye his was not dry.  That was OK though, all we needed was for the ice to have melted and the dye to have been absorbed by the shirt.

We brought them inside and ran water over them until the water was running clear. I used a big bowl we bought at the dollar store just for crafting to carry them inside (individually).  We then washed them individually in the washing machine and ran them through the dryer.

The boys loved their new shirts and we really enjoyed looking at all the unique patters and color marking that the ice made in the shirts.

Other Projects in this series:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 6: Watercolor outlines
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 16: Painting pet rocks 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 18: Water bottle windsock
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 26: Spray Painted Canvas
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 29: Oil Pastel Bubbles 
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 42: Splatter Paint Canvas
Project 46: Tissue Paper Leaf Art
Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
Project 51: Making Homemade cards
Project 53: 3-D printing 
Project 54: Gingerbread Train
Project 57: Candy trees 
Project 66: Washi Tape Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Project 67: Learning Origami 
Project 68: Art Books and Artist Study
Project 69: Playing Go Fish Art
Project 70: Edible Chocolate Art
Project 71: Geometric Hearts 
Project 72: Marble Swirled Hearts
Project 73: Solid Tempera Paint Drawings
Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker
Project 75: Making Cupcakes
Project 76: Window Marker Art
Project 77: Shamrock Zentangles on Scratch Paper
Project 78: Painted Pandas 
Project 79: Minecraft Digital Art
Project 80: Charcoal Drawings
Project 81: Chalk Pastel Lighthouse Drawings
Project 82: Dying Easter Eggs With Bleeding Tissue Paper
Project 83: Painting Pottery
Project 84: Drawing En Plein Air
Project 85: African Savannah Paintings
Project 86: Woven CD Garden Decoration
Project 87: Working with Clay
Project 88: Art Lessons with Art Academy
Project 89: Melted Bead Wind Chimes
Project 90: Perler Bead Projects
Project 91: Ivory Soap Carvings

Linking Up With: Craft Schooling Sunday, 

JENerally Informed



  1. Very cool! I can see my kids really liking this project. Will have to remember to do this project this summer when I hear "I'm bored"! Visiting from Really Crafty Party.

    1. It was so fun and I found it much less messy than traditional tie dying. Just make sure you have LOTS of ice. I seriously underestimated how much ice we would need.

  2. What a clever idea, kids would love doing this #TheRealCraftyLinkParty

    1. It was a lot of fun. I want to get a t-shirt and try it myself!

  3. You guys find the BEST projects! I have never heard of this way and I love it!

    1. Thanks! I just saw someone post about it in the last week or two and thought it sounded so fun we just had to try it.

  4. Oh, I'd never heard of this technique before, but now I need to try it with my kids too. Thank you for joining The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned!

  5. So fun! My oldest wants to try tie dye, and this looks so unique! Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. It is really fun and I found it so much less messy than traditional tie dying.

  6. My kids used to tie die a t shirt most years in the summer holidays, but in the traditional tie them up method as I'd not seen the ice way then. They are older now but still wear the ones they did when they were about 15/16 as they still fit! They have faded a bit over the years but they still love them. I love how you let the boys experiment as they choose to, mine were like that, one was very technical about how he tied it up, trying to control the pattern, and one was much more free spirited!

    1. We try to decorate a shirt each summer; we have tie dyed before but we often try new ways each years. I must admit I want to get a shirt and try it this way myself.

  7. Interesting project... so glad it was enjoyed. :)

  8. They look really great. Thanks for sharing


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