DIY: Tie-Dye Pastel Rivers

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by Kristina Domitrovich
photos by Lindsay Pace

This DIY uses ice to create a watercolor tie-dye technique. It’s simple, beautiful and easy!


  • 1 oversized cropped white sweatshirt, prewashed
  • Ice (the larger the ice, the more varied the pattern on the final product)
  • 3 pastel powdered fabric dyes (pictured: dusty pink, canyon orange, burnt lemon)
  • 3 plastic spoons
  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 cooling rack


  1. Line the baking sheet with the cooling rack. Place the sweatshirt front-side up on top of the baking rack, and pinch the center (for ours, we started at the knot in the front); then begin to twist the sweatshirt on top of the baking rack, creating a spiral. Make sure the sleeves are on the outer sides of the spiral, so they’ll get evenly dyed with the rest of the sweatshirt.
  2. Pile ice cubes on top of the sweatshirt, covering the entire surface.
  3. Use the spoons to pour the various dyes where desired. For fuller coverage, cover all the ice in dye; for more white space, don’t cover the entirety of the ice.
  4. Leave it undisturbed until the ice has completely melted.
  5. Once the ice has melted, rinse with cold water until the water comes out clear.
  6. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and microwave (if the material allows) at half power for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to the dryer, and use the casual or low-heat setting, until the sweatshirt is dry. 
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