Heart Tie Dye – Valentine’s Day Tie Dye Design

finished tie dye tank top with a rainbow heart tie dye pattern with the title "heart tie dye"

Make a heart tie dye design. In just a few easy steps you’ll be able to make this fun and festive heart tie dye pattern. It’s the perfect personalized Valentine’s Day shirt design or to wear any day!

Table of Contents

Making tie dye shirts is such a fun way to celebrate different holidays (like I did with my Halloween shirts). And with Valentine’s Day coming up, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to make a heart tie dye shirt! I even took it a step further and made it a rainbow pattern!

And even though I made the heart on a tie dye tank top, you can choose any item of clothing you’d like such as regular t-shirts, a sweatshirt, shorts, or even socks!

I also made a template to make it super easy to make this tie dye design.

And to get into the full Valentine’s Day spirit, you can also make these fun swirl fabric paint bracelets.

Note: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may earn a commission.

Be sure to pin it to save it for later!

finished tie dye tank top with a rainbow heart tie dye pattern and the title "DIY tutorial - tie dye heart - how to easily make a heart tie-dye design, abcrafty.com"

Materials to Make the Heart Tie Dye Tank Top

Free Downloadable Heart Tie Dye Template

Download this template to make it easy to make this heart tie dye shirt. Download it below or in the shop.

Scale it to the size you want and print it out to make it super easy to draw the design.

image of the printable template to make a heart tie dye design

Download the Free
Heart Tie Dye Template

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Instructions to Make a Heart Tie Dye Design

Before anything, be sure to wash your tank top or shirt so that it removes any chemicals or anything that will prevent the dye from soaking in.

Draw the Heart Tie Dye Design

As with all of my tie dye designs, if you just washed it, leave it wet, otherwise get it wet. Then start by folding the tank top or shirt in half. This way you will have perfectly symmetrical design when you unfold it.

folding a white cotton tank top in half

Draw half of a heart along the fold using a washable marker (the one in the image is this one used for sewing, but I recommend getting this set with multiple colors).

I always have trouble free-hand drawing a heart so I made it easy with the free downloadable template. Simply cut out the template and trace around it.

drawing a heart with a washable marker onto a white cotton tank top that's been folded in half

Fold the Design

After you’ve drawn your design, start at one end of the outline and accordion fold the shirt on the line. Be sure to keep the line of the fold straight – the rest of the shirt will bend and twist to make sure the line stays straight.

Another option is to sew along the design and pull the thread to scrunch it, like how I did with my pumpkin tie dye shirt.

pinching folds along the outline of a heart on a white tank top

Tie the Shirt to Secure the Heart Design

Wrap a zip tie or rubber band around the line to secure it. I personally love to use zip ties because I find them easier to use – this is the set I have.

adding a zip tie to the edge of the white tank top

For the rest of the shirt, you have two options. The first is to simply use the scrunch tie dye method and randomly crumple the shirt and tie it.

The second is to have the heart design continue to the rest of the shirt. To do this, fold the rest of the shirt according to how it naturally wants to be folded. It can help to start from the bottom and gather the pleats formed by the zip tie. Then repeat this from the top.

shaping the rest of the pleats on the shirt

Eventually it will all be gathered to the side of the zip tie and then you can add additional ties.

adding zip ties onto a folded white shirt

Space the additional ties an inch or two apart all along the tank top or shirt.

folded white tank top tied with multiple zip ties

Soak the Tank Top

Next you want to soak the tank top in a water and soda ash mixture for at least 20 minutes.

Follow the instructions on your kit, but it’s typically 1 cup of soda ash for 1 gallon of water. Make sure all of the soda ash is dissolved.

Then when you’re ready to dye the shirt, squeeze out the excess.

multiple folded and tied white cotton items soaking in a soda ash mixture, including a tank top, sweat pants, shirts, a bucket hat, and a crop top

Prepare the Dye

Prepare the dye according to the instructions on your tie dye kit. Typically you fill the bottles with warm water up to a line and then shake them until the dye powder is dissolved.

For my heart tie dye tank top, I wanted to make it in rainbow colors and mixed jewel tone colors of pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple. You can mix your own colors and put them in an extra bottle if your kit comes with them or a cup (my go-to is yogurt containers). Purple can be challenging to mix, but I have a whole post on how to make purple.

You can test the colors by putting a drop on a paper towel and seeing how it looks.

Dye the Heart Tie Dye Shirt

When you’re happy with the color, put on some gloves and cover the area with plastic wrap.

Then use the squeeze bottle, eye dropper, or spoon to add the first color to the first section. This is the main heart that will be in the middle. Since I was doing a rainbow heart design, I started with pink.

Be sure to flip it over and add dye to the other side. You can also push the dye into the shirt to make sure it’s fully saturated.

pouring dark pink dye from a spoon onto the first section of the tank top next to the zip tie

Continue to add dye to each section between the zip ties. If you’re doing a rainbow pattern, continue with yellow, green, blue, and then purple.

Tip: Spread out the folds to get dye between them. Otherwise you may end up with too many white sections.

spreading the partially dyed tank top apart at one of the sections between the zip ties to allow for more dye to get in

Continue to add dye to the rest of the shirt.

Tip: Use a paper towel to wipe up the dye from the plastic wrap between colors. Otherwise the dye may go to sections you don’t want.

tank top completely covered in dye with dark rainbow colors

Wrap it all up in plastic wrap and let it set for at least 6 hours, but I recommend a full 24 hours.

wrapping the dyed tank top in plastic wrap

Rinse and Enjoy!

After the time is up, rinse it in the sync with cool and then warmer water. Remove the ties and continue rinsing until the water runs clear.

Then throw it in the washing machine with other tie dye clothes. Run it through the dryer and your heart tie dye tank top or shirt is ready to wear!

See all of my tie dye patterns for more inspiration.

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finished tie dye tank top with a rainbow heart tie dye pattern

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finished tie dye tank top with a rainbow heart tie dye pattern with the title "heart tie dye"

Heart Tie Dye Design

Make a heart tie dye design. In just a few easy steps you'll be able to make this fun and festive heart tie dye pattern. It's the perfect personalized Valentine's Day shirt design or to wear any day!
Yield 1 Heart Tie Dye Shirt
Project Time 20 mins
Setting Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 20 mins

Materials
  

  • 1 White Cotton Tank Top or Shirt
  • Washable Marker
  • Rubber Bands or Zip Ties
  • 1 Tie Dye Kit or Tie-Dye Dye and Soda Ash
  • Water
  • 1 pair Rubber Gloves
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Paper Towels

Equipment

  • Bucket or Plastic Bin

Instructions
 

Draw the Heart Tie Dye Design

  • Get the shirt wet. Then fold it in half and draw half of a heart with a washable marker. Use the printable heart template to make it easy to draw the heart.
    1 White Cotton Tank Top or Shirt, Washable Marker, Water
    drawing a heart with a washable marker onto a white cotton tank top that's been folded in half
  • Start at one end of the outline and accordion fold the shirt on the line. Be sure to keep the line of the fold straight.
    pinching folds along the outline of a heart on a white tank top
  • Wrap a zip tie across the line to secure all the folds in place.
    Rubber Bands or Zip Ties
    adding a zip tie to the edge of the white tank top
  • Gather the rest of the shirt in line with the folds created by the zip tie.
    shaping the rest of the pleats on the shirt
  • Secure it with zip ties 1-2 inches apart.
    folded white tank top tied with multiple zip ties

Soak the Shirt in Soda Ash

  • Soak it in a solution of soda ash and water. You want to mix 1 cup of soda ash with 1 gallon of water until it’s all dissolved.
    Water, 1 Tie Dye Kit or Tie-Dye Dye and Soda Ash
    multiple folded and tied white cotton items soaking in a soda ash mixture, including a tank top, sweat pants, shirts, a bucket hat, and a crop top

Dye The Shirt

  • Mix the dyes according to the instructions on the tie dye kit. Cover your area with plastic wrap and dye to the first section - this will be the middle heart.
    1 Tie Dye Kit or Tie-Dye Dye and Soda Ash, Plastic Wrap, 1 pair Rubber Gloves
    pouring dark pink dye from a spoon onto the first section of the tank top next to the zip tie
  • Continue to add dye to each section, wiping up excess dye with a paper towel so the colors don't mix accidentally. Make sure it's fully saturated.
    Paper Towels
    tank top completely covered in dye with dark rainbow colors
  • Wrap it in the plastic and let it set for at least 6 hours, but I recommend giving it a full 24 hours.
    wrapping the dyed tank top in plastic wrap

Wash the Shirt

  • Rinse it in the sink until the water runs clear. Then wash it in the washing machine with other tie dye clothes. Run it through the dryer and your tie dye heart shirt is ready to wear!
    finished tie dye tank top with a rainbow heart tie dye pattern

Notes

To make it easy to make the heart design, I made a free printable heart template you can download for free.
Keyword Heart, Rainbow Tie Dye, Shirt, Tank Top, Tie Dye, Tie Dye Design, Tie Dye Kit, Valentine's Day

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