How to Ice Tie Dye a Sweatshirt-Double Ice Method

Stacy Davis
by Stacy Davis
4 Materials
24 Hours

I really love the tie dye trend that is going on right night now. It is so fun. It’s also something fun that my Millennial son and Gen Z daughter enjoy doing with me and they also enjoy showing off our creations.

I started with a plain white sweatshirt.

The first thing you need to do is wash it in hot (I did warm because I was worried about it shrinking.) water with a small amount of detergent. This will remove the sizing that comes on most new clothing to help repel stains and dirt.

Next you want to soak it in soda ash or washing soda. I used 1 cup of washing soda and about 3 gallons of water.

I use a plastic tub and let it soak for at least 30 minutes.

After it has soaked for as long as you want, I remove it letting some water drain back in the tub to use for future shirts.

I use the Spin Only cycle on my washer to remove remaining soda water solution. You can also just wring out the sweatshirt by hand. You want it to be damp and not soaking wet.

While that is spinning in the washer, I put an upside down milk crate in a plastic storage tub.

I have also made a ring from contact paper to go around my sweatshirt. This will keep the ice from sliding off.

I take my damp sweatshirt and begin to scrunch it up.

I place the ring around it. At this point, you can put the pigment down and the ice on top or you can put the ice down and pigment on top of the ice. This time I am laying the ice down first. I have two previous shirts that I did with pigment first. I will put them at the end of the tutorial.

For the next steps, you will need gloves, mask (not shown), ice, pigment powder, teaspoons for each color and I use a microfiber cloth to clean the spoons after using.

Now we add the ice. Different shapes will create different patterns. I am using round and oblong ice shapes.

You can cover the top with ice. Or use less for a more subtle design.

Now put on your gloves and mask.

You can use as many colors as you like. I am doing three. Peach, coral and sea glass.

As the ice melts, it organically moves the pigment.

I cover mine with a plastic bag. You could also use Saran Wrap.

And now we wait. It needs to sit for about 24 hours to set completely. I keep checking and once all the ice is melted, I transfer it to a plastic grocery bag and tie it shut so it stays damp while it is setting.

These are the colors that I used.

After the ice melted, I decided it was still darker than I wanted and some of that blue pigment didn’t dissolve like it should have so I added another layer of ice.

Like so…

The next day this is how it looked.

I washed it in cold water with a double rinse. I add fabric softener to the second rinse cycle.

Well, it came out looking similar to rainbow sherbet.

I really like the muted tones of the double ice dye.

I can’t wait to try more color combos… I have two more white sweatshirts begging to be dyed. What colors would you like to see?

Here are two more examples!

Here is an example of a 1 color, double ice tie dye. The color we used is called glacier blue.

Suggested materials:
  • Procion pigment powder   (Dharma trading)
  • Sweatshirt   (Hobby lobby)
  • Ice   (Had it)
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • Connie Smith Connie Smith on Jan 01, 2022

    I do like blues!! Maybe add some citrusgreen, teal, or some type of blue-green. A dark version and a minty version. I would say add some gold metal flake, but maybe not on a sweatshirt. 😁

  • Deanna Burr Deanna Burr on Jan 03, 2022

    😂🤣😂 I probably could, the snow is as hard as ice in these sub zero temps!

    I’d have to bring it inside though, it’s not a very crafty atmosphere out there at -20C.😉