woman in green shirt beside woman in blue shirt

Simple Steps to Make Your Own Tie Dye Masks

woman in green shirt beside woman in blue shirtTie dye had been a common fabric pattern style since the 1960s, a symbolism of freedom of speech and expression and a pleasant, hippie period. The art of tie dye makes an appearance every now and again, and it never lost its free-spirited characteristic appeal through the unique designs of tie dye.

While face masks (highly suggested by the CDC to help mitigate coronavirus’ spread) come in various designs, we tend to be drawn towards tie dye masks as a much more appealing preference than just a single color. It would also not draw too much attention unlike the bold, vivid, and too-much-detail style.

It can be a little bit messy to learn tie dyeing, but it is a great deal of fun and is something that the entire family will enjoy. The final outcome will be neither right nor wrong. When you already have the right supplies, the process is not complicated at all. Follow the following steps to start your tie dye masks project.

Making Tie Dye Masks



You can choose either an Indoor or outdoor dyeing area – be ready for some mess.


The best dye colors will be the commercial ones. Consider buying tie dye kits that have multiple colors in smaller portions. Most tie dye kits have applicator bottles included.


You will need a cloth to make a mask, or you can purchase a white mask. It must be made of natural fibers or 100% cotton. One example would be silk, which absorbs dyes quickly. You can try out fabrics that have blends or not 100% cotton, but you have to try it out first because they do not absorb dye as much as cotton. One dye packet is already enough to produce enough to make at least five tie dye masks, so it would be best to dye a few masks together – those who you would want to have the same color base or exact pattern.


You can make use of small buckets or plastic containers that will be big enough to dip the whole mask to dye. You can have one bucket designate for each dye color you plan to use.


Make sure you have enough water because tie dyeing can be a little bit messy. Have an area or sink to wash the used materials in cold water. It is not recommended to use a plastic sink because they may be tainted with dye. It is better if you have a stainless-steel sink.


A wooden spoon or a popsicle stick can be used for stirring the dye. The dye will certainly stain the stirrer; that is why it is recommended to use something that is disposable.


Rubber bands or zip ties can be used to bind the fabric. Rubber bands are preferred since the dye will not penetrate it, creating clean white lines in the final output.


Make use of disposable latex gloves. This is to protect your hands and not get stained from the dye.


Additional tools that will be used will be scissors and a metal tong.




Tie dyeing can be messy, so prepare the area you will be working in. If there is a need, you can cover the tables with newspaper, or better yet, plastic. Cover the floor, too, for added protection. Working in an open area outside will give you more space, particularly when you intend to make tie dyeing a family affair.


Prepare the dye according to the product instructions. Use buckets or containers to hold a dye of specific color. Look for buckets big enough to dip the mask into.


Prepare the mask. Pre-wash the new mask to eliminate the starch and its sizing. All new fabrics must be pre-washed because they may contain starch or any chemicals that may hinder the absorption of dye onto the fabric. If you are upcycling an old mask, then there is no need to pre-wash it.


Test your preferred color intensity. Test the dye on a portion of scrap fabric for this.


When the area is already prepared, and the tools are completer, you are now ready to start making a tie dye design. There are many techniques and color variations available. It would be best to start with easy tie dye patterns first.

Then, choose the type of tying that will be used. The use of rubber bands is recommended, but twines or zip locks can also work. It is called tie dye because you have to tie up a certain area, and the part tied will not be absorbing the dye. This method will create fun and unique patterns.

Pro tip: Rub candle wax onto the twine. This will make the twine extra resistant to dyeing.


Once you have tightly tied the mask, be ready to move it in the dye bucket. To check the color intensity absorbed, you can check it out using the metal tong.

If you are not yet pleased with the dye’s intensity, keep the mask in the dye bucket for a bit longer. Check the dye kit directions for the appropriate volume of water it should be mixed into.

You can have better control where the colored dye will be applied by putting the dye mixture in an applicator bottle. You just have to squeeze the dye on the part where you want it. You may place various colors to paint your mask. Just make sure that you know the color combinations do’s and don’ts to avoid getting a tie dye mask, which is sore to the eyes.


When you are happy with the shade, remove the mask from the dye bucket and rinse it in cold water. You can make use of a water hose, or you can also rinse it directly in a bucket of cold water.


If you are planning on dyeing different colors, repeat the same dying process. However, the use of different colors will require more careful planning since the colors will change when dyed altogether.


Lastly, wrap the tie dyed mask in a plastic bag while it is still wet to set the colors appropriately.

When you are already happy with color, thoroughly wash the tie dyed mask, dry, and iron it out.

How to Wash Tie Dye Masks and Avoid It from Fading

The main thing to note about tie dye masks is that it should never be washed with any other clothing pieces. It will ruin your other clothes because it will most likely transfer the dye to the other garments.

There are a few things you can do, though, to cut down on the amount of dye coming out of your tie dye mask.

• Do not wash the mask until it had been dried out for at least 24 hours.

• Use a bucket of warm water for the first wash and add white vinegar (at least half a bottle). This will help to stop the bleeding of the dye.