Reverse Tie-Dye Your Old Clothes and Turn Them New Again!

4 Materials
1 Hour

Imagine waking up and getting ready to conquer the day only to find out your favorite dress is ruined with a stain. Yup, I’m sure that’s happened to everyone at some point. But before you go ahead and trash your favorite clothing item, you can transform it into something better. All you need is…. Bleach! That’s right! Learn how to reverse tie-dye your favorite dress or t-shirt! Reverse tie-dye never gets old and is a wonderful alternative to discarding your clothing items. Let’s get this tutorial rolling!

Reverse tie-dye

Tools and materials:

  • Old, dark, or colorful clothing items
  • Bleach
  • Elastics
  • Clips
How to reverse tie-dye

Make your pattern

You can actually make any shape your heart desires. For this tutorial, I have decided to use 4 laundry clips and a bunch of elastics. I did a random pattern by twisting the middle of the dress and holding it in place with an elastic. Next, clip the edges of the dress. When you get to the top, do the same on the sleeves and not the chest area; otherwise, it will look a little funny.

Reverse tie-dye patterns

Next, I twisted the whole dress into a flower-like structure and held it in place with an elastic.


You can reverse tie-dye on any color, as long as it’s not light colors, otherwise, you won’t be able to see the cool effects.

Reverse tie-dye bleach

Make your solution

Fill one cup with water and the other half with bleach. If you only use bleach, you will damage the fabric, so make sure to be gentle.

Reverse tie-dye with bleach and color

Pour the solution

Put your dress in a bathtub, making sure nothing else is nearby because we are about to get messy! Pour your solution, but make sure not to pour it all over the dress. The trick here is to create a pattern. Pour the solution on the sides of the dress. You don’t need much, either. Turn your dress around and repeat the process. Remember, because you twisted it in different places, it will blend in different ways and make a lovely pattern.

How to do reverse tie-dye

The process is quick - within about a minute, I could already see the transformation as pictured.

Check your tie-dye dress

Open the dress

Open the dress so you can see the magic that has just taken place. Also, this is a great opportunity to maybe add more bleach to a spot that didn’t blend correctly, or simply add more to places you want to be bleached; this is your canvas!  

Rinse your tie-dye

Rinse with cold water

Once you are satisfied with the result, quickly rinse your dress in cold water. Rinsing will ensure that all the bleach is washed out.


Wear white or old clothes while doing this because just one spray from the rinse could damage what you’re wearing!

Wash your tie-dye dress

Throw it in the washing machine

Once it's all rinsed, put your clothing item in a washing machine on a quick wash setting. This will ensure that everything blends correctly.

Stunning tie dye dress

Here is the awesome result! Doesn’t it look funky? I love this! I also love the patterns and how it kind of flows with the dress. You will notice that the sleeves look different here, that’s because I decided to cut the sleeves and give the dress a more rigid design. The former style didn’t go with this kind of vibe.

Bonus Patterns 

I like to go all out, and while I was waiting for my dress in the washing machine, I decided to go all out and tie-dye other items with different patterns! Take a look below and be inspired!

Tie-dye shirt pattern

Here, I have basically twirled my t-shirt in a ball-shape and wrapped three elastics around it. I had 6 segments to play with, and I basically poured the bleach solution on every other segment. So, one yes, one no. You will notice that this t-shirt has a lovely print in the middle; I tried to steer clear of the print and basically reverse tie-dyed the edges. I didn’t mind that the print would get bleached; I didn’t want it being bleached entirely.

Lovely tie-dye shirt

How lovely does this look? It’s rad and fab!

Classic shirt tie - dye

I then tie-dyed another item, this time, with different silky fabric. I rolled it into a long sausage and segmented it using clips. Again, just like the t-shirt, I bleached every other segment.

Funky tie-dye shirt

It looks amazing! This is something to wear on a night out or to a lovely social with friends!

Suggested materials:

  • Clothing
  • Bleach
  • Elastics
See all materials

Join the conversation

  • Rachel Jonas
    Rachel Jonas
    5 days ago

    This is the coolest dress!!

  • Bama Amy
    Bama Amy
    14 minutes ago

    Fashion Attack, I thought the dress was the fabric when I first looked at it... I was watching QVC or maybe HSN + they were selling capris that looked umbre at the bottom... Something for you to try using your bleach technique. Thrift store or Goodwill steal! Find a pair that’s too short or too long... If you want the frayed bottom of either, make sure to not cut too short... I haven’t tried yet but it looks like they’ve dip the bottom of jeans into bleach mixture, then they’ve chosen a color to just add to the very bottom, really cool look. It’s like coloring or cutting your hair, a line of demarcation isn’t what you DON’T want but instead a natural blending... I should of watched online + did a screen shot bc I loved the look + they had matching shirts that sold out instantly... I was thinking about doing your technique on a couple items I damaged while cleaning. I have a laundry rm sink + I would use that instead of my bath tub(save my back + knees) To do the umbre look, I’d use a smaller bucket w/the dye color or bleach mixture... Inspiration for you!!!!

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