Tie-dying is a popular pastime and party activity that has been popular for about 100 years. That may come as a shock since we all probably connect tie-dye to the 60s. Basically, the term tie-dye wasn’t created until the 1960s, but the act of tying fabric and dying it has been around since the early 20th century. 

You can tie-dye basically any piece of fabric, from t-shirts to bedsheets and blankets. As long as you can tie it up with string or rubber bands, and it will hold the dye, you can tie-dye it. Most people, however, don’t think of tie-dying their socks, and that’s just what we’re going to talk about. 

Why Tie-Dye Socks?

Let’s face it, no matter how much we may like tie-dye, it can often be a very intrusive design. If you like tie-dye, but don’t want to stand out and draw attention to yourself, tie-dying your socks is the perfect thing to do (it’s super easy to do, too). Plus, white socks are super easy to come by — you can find them at many sporting goods stores and clothing stores for not much money.

How to Tie Dye Your Socks

Tie-dying socks is extremely easy — easier than tie-dying t-shirts. In fact, socks might just be the easiest things to tie-dye. They will take 24 hours to fully be saturated in the dye, but the fun part (the tying and dying) can be done in about 15 minutes, give or take a few. So, this makes a great kids party activity or weekend backyard pastime. 

You Will Need…

Step 1 – Tie up your socks. Using the rubber bands, bind your socks so that they have sections, sort of like a cartoon caterpillar. The more sections you have, the more colors you can dye your socks with. 

Step 2 – Wet your socks. Let the socks soak up some water. This will make the dying process easier. Wring out the extra water. 

Step 3 – Dye your socks. Squirt dye onto your socks, keeping each color neatly in its own section, portioned off by the rubber bands. Don’t worry if the colors mix a bit. 

Step 4 – Let the excess dye drip off. Put your socks on a wire rack over the grass or the sink and let the dye drip off for about 10-20 minutes. 

Step 5 – Wrap the socks in plastic wrap. Cover the socks in plastic wrap. Make sure the socks aren’t touching each other when they’re wrapped. Then, let them sit somewhere warm, in the sun or by the heater, for 24 hours. This will make sure that the dye stays in the socks. 

Step 6 – Unwrap, and wash. Now comes the fun part! Unwrap your socks and untie them, too. Take a minute to admire your creation, then pop the socks into the sink and hand wash them before putting them into the washing machine. Follow the dye’s instructions, though. If it says only wash in cold water, don’t try washing your socks in cold water, etc. 

The hardest part about making tie-dye socks is having to wait 24 hours for the dye to settle into the fabric. But, as you can see, tie-dying is very easy and super simple. You can use the rubber bands to make all sorts of designs in your socks. One thing you can experiment with is twisting the fabric before binding it with a rubber band. Twisting will give you a more complex design.

Since socks are cheap and easy to come by, have fun with coming up with new ideas for tie-dye designs. No matter how you tie, twist, bend, and fold your socks, you can’t really go wrong. 

For more tie-dying ideas, check out our How to Make Tie Dye T-Shirts article.

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