The 4th of July is almost here and you know what that means – we need to get ourselves ready to show off our American pride and show our love for those that serve our country. You know that we have a fun way to do that and today we are partnering with Imperial Sugar to share how you can make your own 4th of July Tie-Dyed T-shirts!

This is a such a fun and unique way to tie-dye anything. Aside from t-shirts, you can also use this method to tie-dye shorts, dresses, and so much more!


  • Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • White T-shirts (cotton seems to work best)
  • Piece of Cardboard (that will fit inside the t-shirts)
  • Newspaper
  • SEI Tumble Dye (comes pre-mixed in spray bottles)
  • Gloves
  • Old Clothes (anything you don’t want to get dye on)
  • Paper Towels
  • Bowl of Water
  • Rubber Bands
  • Wooden Template (we used a peace sign)

This recipe is adapted from Imperial Sugar.


1.Start by prepping the surface you are working on by laying down newspaper. I suggest doing this craft outside and covering the table you are working on with several layers of newspaper.

2.Next, make sure you and your child are wearing old clothes you don’t mind getting dye on. Anything the dye touches, will be stained.

3.Now it’s time to get your t-shirts ready. Lay the t-shirt flat out on the newspaper surface and place the piece of cardboard inside of the shirt. This helps the dye from soaking the other side.

4.Take a paper towel and soak it into the water. Wring it out so the paper towel is damp. Then start applying pressure onto the area you plan to place a design on the t-shirt. You just want the t-shirt to be damp and not soaked.

5.Next, take your template (we used a wooden peace sign) and place it onto your t-shirt.

6.Using a spoon (or your hands) carefully place sugar on the outer edge of the wooden template. You basically want to be left with an outline of the template.

7.Carefully lift the template without disturbing any of the sugar.

8.Put your gloves on and take one of your dye spray bottles and shake well. We used a combination of light blue, dark blue, and red but you can use whatever color you like.

9.Carefully spray on top of the sugar and inside of the area where the template was. This will give a very cool effect once it’s done!

10.If you want to add a bit more color, you can tie random sections of the shirt using rubber bands (be careful not to disturb the middle where the sugar is). Once tied, you can spray using other colors. These will give sort of a firework effect once dried.

11.Allow to dry for 6-8 hours. Once dry, carefully dust away the sugar and remove any rubber bands you may have placed on the t-shirt.

12.This type of dye needs to be heat set (if you buy a different kind, follow the directions on that). Basically you dry on a high heat in the dryer or use an iron to heat set the dye. Once heat set, you can wash and dry as normal.

13.Allow your kids to wear their new 4th of July Tie-Dye T-shirts! See, wasn’t that fun?

We actually made these on a live Facebook video yesterday which you can watch below!


For many months we have teamed up with Imperial Sugar to share fun ways you can create, crate, and bake using sugar. Just like the craft we did today, sugar is the key ingredient/supply to make it fun and exciting.

I really loved using sugar in this project because it was really different than many of the tie-dye projects you see on the web. The sugar gives a really neat subtle effect on the shirt. The best part is, you can use this technique to draw out your own designs and even place it randomly on your project. In the end, you will have a project you made by yourself and it’s going to look awesome!

Now that summer is here, you will want to have some fun ideas of things you can do with your kiddos. I suggest starting right here on Kids Activities Blog and of course, make sure you check out Imperial Sugar Kids in The Kitchen where you can find fun recipe and craft ideas for kids using sugar! You can also check out the Cubie & Cubette's Cooking Club which is a series of fun videos you and your kids can watch to learn how to create all sorts of fun things!