How to Make a DIY Festival Outfit With Tie-Dye, Fringe & Beads

by Janel
6 Materials
1 Hour

Summer means music festivals, and if you go to one you will know how much fun festival wear is. If you want to get into the festival spirit, then follow along with this tutorial. I’m going to show you some great DIY festival outfit ideas, including how to make a fringe crop top and a DIY braided headband. Crank up your music and let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • White t-shirt
  • Tie-dye kit
  • Elastic bands
  • Scissors
  • Craft beads
  • Sewing needle and thread
Prepping the t-shirt for tie-dying

1. Prep your t-shirt for tie-dying

There are a number of different patterns you can do with tie-dye, but my favorite, and the one I will use in this tutorial, is a spiral design.

To make the spiral, pinch the fabric at the front of your t-shirt and begin twisting it in a spiral motion.

Twisting the spiral

Continue twisting your spiral until your whole t-shirt is rolled up.

Tying the t-shirt with elastic bands

Then put two or three elastic bands around your t-shirt to hold the spiral in place.

Tie-dying with different colors

2. Start tie-dying

Before you start working with dye, put some gloves on. As you can see in my video, I forgot this step and was sorry I did! Also, make sure the surface you are working on is protected from the dye: plastic garbage back is a good choice.

Mix your dye according to the directions in your tie-dye kit, then apply it to your t-shirt, making sure it soaks right into the spiral and gives complete coverage on your t-shirt. 

DIY festival outfit ideas

When one side of your t-shirt is done, flip it over and do the other side. Then, let the tie-dyed t-shirt sit for 8 to 16 hours to dry. 

Spiral tie-dye t-shirt

3. Reveal your design

Once completely dry, remove the elastic bands and flatten out your t-shirt to reveal your tie-dye design.

How to stop tie-dye fading

Tip: once I washed my t-shirt, the color faded quite a bit. Try using dye-fixer, which you can buy at a craft store, before you wash your t-shirt to maintain the vibrancy of your colors.

Cropping the t-shirt

4. Make your t-shirt into a crop top

Cut off the bottom of your t-shirt at the length you want for your crop top, including fringe. 

DIY fringe top

5. Add fringe to your crop top

Make vertical cuts for fringe from the bottom hem of the crop top up about 4 inches (or however long you want your fringe to be.) Make your fringe strips thin enough to allow you to slide beads onto each strip. You can cut both layers of your crop top at the same time, since you want the fringe to go all the way around your crop top.

How to make a fringe t-shirt

When you are done cutting, go around the crop-top pulling each strip tight. That makes them thinner and more fringe-like.

How to make a fringe crop top with beads

6. Add beads to your crop-top fringe

Put a piece of cardboard inside your crop-top so it’s easy to work on the fringe on each side.

Starting at the side of the front of your t-shirt, take the first fringe and the fourth fringe and hold the ends together. Slide a bead over the end of the two fringes and then slide the bead up until it’s about 1½ inches from the top of the fringe.

Knotting the fringe with beads

Then tie the fringe in a knot below the bead.

DIY fringe top with beads

For your next beaded fringe, take the strand from inside the first beaded stranded, close to the direction you are working in, and pull it over the beaded strand.

Now, pair it with the strand that is two to the left (skipping just one strand this time.) Connect those two strands with a bead and knot the strand below the bead. If you want to get creative, consider adding two beads instead of one to some of the strands.

For the rest of the fringe, continue pairing the strand you just skip with the strand two over, and repeat the beading process. Continue with creating the beaded fringe in this same way, until you’ve done your whole crop-top.

Adjusting the neckline and sleeves

7. Adjust the neckline and sleeves if necessary

Watch the video from 4:22 to 5:10 to see how I adjusted the neckline and sleeves of my crop-top.

Making a DIY braided headband

8. Make a matching headband

Cut three strips from the piece of fabric you previously cut off your t-shirt, and pull each strip tight. Braid the strands together.

How to make a braided headband

Check the size of your headband and then hand sew the two ends together at the back.


Hiding the seam at the back

Watch the video from 6:56 to 7:25 to see how I hid the headband seam at the back.

DIY festival outfit

DIY festival outfit tutorial

I’m totally ready for a music festival now, and I can’t wait to go! I hope you try these simple DIY festival outfit ideas and let me know how they worked for you and what summer festivals you plan to wear them to.

Suggested materials:
  • White t-shirt
  • Tie-dye kit
  • Elastic bands
See all materials

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