Product & Style

DIY: Tie Dye

Tie Dye... but make it modern. Learn how to upcycle your old gym kit into the latest throwback trend, with our simple 8-step process.

clock-circular-outline-lightPosted 2 Jun 2020
DIY: Tie Dye

Whilst we may have resisted the urge to shave our heads, bake banana bread on repeat and fall prisoner to every other #trendingtopic in iso, we have to admit, there was one craze that we just couldn't seem to escape...


No longer reserved for the hippies and surfers amongst us, the art of tie dyeing has recently taken a bit of renaissance. Fashion lovers are transforming the 60s trend into something - shall we say - a little more subtle, and a little less outlandish.

It's All About Finding Creative Ways To Upcycle Your Old Clothing. 

Think gym hoodies, shorts, t-shirts... even your old, slightly discoloured crew socks.

For those of you uninitiated to the slightly bizarre-sounding craft term; upcycling is a form of creative re-use. Essentially, it's the process of transforming garms you no longer think street-worthy into new unique products, rather than throwing them away and buying a new iteration a week later. 


So the question was, who would be up for the challenge? We mean, as much as we'd like to call ourselves a stylish duo here at Gymshark Central, realistically, it's probably best we stick to the words and let someone else do the DIY styling. You'll thank us later.


Using tie dyeing techniques, upcycle any choice of GS products which have been left from past studio shoots into something unique.

And we have to say, the results from our studio stylist Fran, are pretty epic. To find out what equipment you'll need to complete this DIY tie dye, and how you can do it yourself at home, scroll down...

The DIY Tie Dye Lookbook Brought To You By Gymshark Central

Tie Dyeing Equipment | What Do You Need, To Do DIY Tie Dye? 

  • Bin bags

  • Spray bottle (not a necessity, but it makes life easier)

  • Water

  • Protective gloves

  • An apron, or old clothes

  • Rubber bands, hair bobbles, old shoelaces... anything you can get your hands on

  • Squeeze bottles (if you can't find any, try an old water bottle)

  • Fabric dye (we used a powdered version)

  • Salt

  • Your old gym kit: socks, hoodies, t-shirts, shorts... 

Instructions On How To DIY Tie Dye | Steps 1-2

Top Tip: Dampen your items before you begin the actual tie dye process. This will help your dye(s) to saturate the fabric better.

Instructions On How To DIY Tie Dye | Steps 3-4

Top Tip: Your "scrunching" technique will determine how much dye actually ends up on your product. If you're after a lot of colour, scrunch loosely. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to see more negative space on your item, scrunch tightly.

Instructions On How To DIY Tie Dye | Steps 5-6

Top Tip: Add salt to your tie dye mixture and shake! Salt helps the dye to fix to the fibres of the fabric.

Instructions On How To DIY Tie Dye | Steps 7-8

Okay, so we may have forgotten to actually take pictures demonstrating these two final steps... 

So, we're asking you to use your imagination. Picture yourself popping your DIY tie dye into the washing machine after a wild corker of a sleep. Time passes. The next image would be you looking absolutely chuffed when it comes out looking epic. 

Thanks for understanding. xo

Let's Sum All Of Those Pictures Up In A Coherent Manner...

  1. Set Up Your Station: Gather the equipment needed to tie dye and lay it out somewhere spacious. Use the bin bags as protective ground sheets.

  2. Prep Your Item: Choose the item you wish to tie dye and dampen it slightly (we used a spray bottle for this, but feel free to get creative. We've heard that some watering can attachments provide the ideal tie dye shower...) Just please don't saturate the poor thing.

  3. Take your item and start crumpling the fabric with your fingers. Keep scrunching until the item is in a crumpled mound (don't think about it too much... just scrunch). We'd recommend starting from the bottom of the item and working your way up to the top, but hey, if you want to work side-to-side, that's cool too. You do you. 

  4. Secure the now-scrunched fabric with rubber bands, or hair bobbles, or shoelaces - whatever you can get your hands on. You really can't go wrong here, just add 'em until there's no loose fabric falling out.

  5. Prep Your Dye: Pop ya gloves on. Now comes the cool, DIY: tie dye bit. In your squeeze bottle, mix together warm water, 1cm of salt, and your dye. Play around with the amounts of each depending on how dark, or light you want your tie dye to turn out.

  6. Tie Dye Process: Using the squeeze bottle, randomly distribute the dye to your scrunched-up item. Again, there's no real right or wrong way to do this... just keep going until you're satisfied with the amount of dye on your product. Don't forget to cover the sides and repeat on the back.

  7. Leave Overnight: Once you find yourself subconsciously nodding at the item before you; happy with the amount of dye that seems to be seeping into your product, it's time to take a step back and stop. Wrap your item in a bin bag so that all that colourful mess in contained. Tie up, and let the dye sit overnight. *Have sweet dreams about tie dyeing*

  8. The following day, take all of the rubber bands off of your item. Rinse under lukewarm water until the water runs clear, and then place into the washing machine on a quick, cool rinse. Lay out to dry.

  9. Look chuffed at your masterpiece. Pop your tie dye on and strut around the garden.


  • Please note that the alteration of Gymshark products in any way, shape or form means that they will no longer be eligible for returns and/or refunds.  

  • Please further ensure that if children are taking part in this activity, that they are doing so under the supervision of a responsible adult. 

  • Please take care when handling dyes, and follow all guidelines as pointed out on the bottle/packet being used. Ensure that you wear protective gloves and have something to protect your work surfaces so as to avoid injury, and/or the damage of any other items.

Want To See More On How You Can Upcycle Your Old Gym Clothes? 

Drop us a comment below!

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