What Are you Searching For?

Mickey Mouse Reverse Tie Dye

This is a Reverse Tie Dye tutorial with tips to create a Mickey Mouse design.

Tie dying has been around for ages and has gone in/out of fashion several times.  There is a variety of ways to dye fabric different colors from natural items like plants, veggies or fruits to even commercial chemically made kits that are sold at your local crafting store.  Have you ever thought of creating a Mickey Mouse pattern using Reverse tie dye method?

Reverse tie dying gives a different yet similar result as to traditional tie dye.  Typically in reverse tie dye you are wanting to remove the color from the fabric.  In order to remove the color from fabric like cotton I have discovered a 50/50 solution of bleach and water works great.  It works best on darker fabrics like black, navy blue, red but it might also work on lighter colors as well.  It is all trial and error to figure out how long to leave the solution on the fabric to get the desired results.  

I've scoured the internet trying to figure out how I can create a Mickey Mouse design on my fabric.  I tried several ideas from using rubber bands placed in certain spots to even a method using dental floss.  While these ideas are fabulous they did NOT work at all for me.  After some trial and error I came up with a creative idea that works.

Supplies Needed

Dark Cotton fabric that you want to tie dye (t-shirt, face covering, etc...)
Spray Bottle
Eye dropper or pipette
Rubber bans
Mickey Mouse shape (directions below)

First off this activity should be done with Adult supervision, wear old clothes and I highly suggest you do this project outdoors. Bleach mixed with water is very strong and a toxic chemical that could cause harm. (Use at your own risk)

With your gloves on your hands for protection very carefully mix a 50/50 solution of half beach and half water in your spray bottle. You do not need to fill it to the top, eyeball it to fill to your desired amount.

Lay out your freshly washed clean (it works on both damp and dry fabric) item you want to tie dye on a flat surface. Place the Mickey Mouse shape (see directions to create the shape) on the fabric and hold it down firmly. With the spray bottle in the other hand gently spray the bleach water on the fabric around the Mickey Mouse shape (a little goes a long way).  It you want a more defined shape you can carefully use an eye dropper around the edges of the shape. Remove the shape and you should see the shape outline of Mickey Mouse on your fabric.

Take the rest of the fabric and you can either bunch it up and tie it with rubber bands or use whatever method you desire to create a tie dye look.  There are so many ways to create patterns with the rubber bands just google it.  

I would recommend to somehow put a rubber band around your Mickey Mouse shape and remember not to spray it further or you will loose the design.

Once you got your rubber bands where you want the start to spray the bleach water in random parts of the fabric.  Be gentle as to not over saturate the fabric too much, leave some gaps.  You will start to notice everywhere you spray it turns brownish or lighter.  The longer amount of time to let the bleach set on the fabric the lighter the spots will be.  The least amount of time means the spots will be a darker brown/rust color.  It might be slightly different color on different color fabrics but that is what it looks like on black.  Watch it carefully because if the bleach is left on too long it will put holes in the fabric.

Once it starts to reach the color you like pull off the rubber bands and rinse the fabric in cold water.  Then wash in the washing machine on cold gentle cycle with your laundry soap.  This will help remove the bleach smell.  After you wash it you can line dry it in the shade or indoors (the sun will change the result of the color) or you can throw it in the dryer if your item was already preshrunk.  As you wear and launder your clothing item the colors might fade over time, I haven't had this experience yet though.

One thing to mention is no mater how many times I tried to recreate the same thing, no two Reverse tie dye designs will be identical.  That is the beauty of it, they are each their own creation.

How to make the Mickey Mouse shape

I tried this several ways from hot glue, cardboard and firm plastic, while they all worked very similar, the firm plastic was my favorite.

The plastic needs to be firm yet thin and slightly bendable (to make it easy to cut) but not too thin. Suggestions for firm plastic: an old school folder, side of a gallon milk or 2 liter bottle or even plastic from packaging; recycle and get creative! 

I used a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter, but you can also get a shape for free off the internet or hand draw your own. Once you got your plastic material ready, lay it flat and trace the shape on the firm piece of plastic and cut it out. That's it you are ready to go!