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Cannabis 101


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Ignore what your old hippie uncle tells you. Jerry Garcia most certainly did not invent tie-dye. Nor did it originate during the 1960s as is commonly thought. Like smoking cannabis, folks have been tie-dyeing their clothes in some form or other for thousands of years. Take a trip in a time machine back to ancient China and chances are good you’d bump into somebody wearing a tied dyed” garment—its colours sourced from boiled flowers, berries or herbs. 

Here in North America, tie-dye emerged as a popular art form during the Great Depression when folks figured out they could refresh their wardrobe cheaply simply by applying new colours to old clothing. But it wasn’t until the counterculture era of the 60s and 70s did tie-dye truly find its groove. Those bright, bold and beautiful swirling colours and psychedelic patterns we’ve come to associate with tie-dye? You can thank Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, all those hippies at Woodstock, flower children and Dead Heads for popularizing that look. 

Today, tie-dye is as stylin’ as ever, and if you’ve been itching to get with the times, you’ve clicked on the right link. Sure, you could fork over your hard-earned dollars for a readymade tie-dye t‑shirt sold online or at the mall, but why when it’s infinitely cooler to make your own? Not to mention, most of those tie-dyed shirts for sale are factory-made and look identical, which is total tie-dye blasphemy! The whole idea behind tie-dye is to express yourself in a way that’s totally unique to you (a concept we wholeheartedly approve of here at Mood Ring). 

Alrighty, it’s time to get this tie-dye party started. Grab your best bud and let’s make a t‑shirt together…with our Stoner’s Guide to Tie-Dye!


Step #1 Gather your supplies

  • T‑shirt
  • Fabric dye (Look for dyes and kits at your neighborhood art supply store –
  • support local businesses if you can!) 
  • Pitcher (for preparing dyes)
  • Squeeze bottles
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic zipper storage bags (large)
  • Rubber gloves (to protect your hands)
  • Apron (to protect the clothes you’re wearing)
  • Cookie sheet (to protect your work surface – they’re not just for baking edibles, y’know!)
  • Plastic tub or storage bin (for rinsing and soaking)

Step #2 Prewash your t‑shirt

Prewash your garment with laundry detergent (even if it’s new) to remove any chemicals, coatings or oils that might resist your dyes. 

Step #3 Prepare your dyes

Instructions vary so make sure you read the label. If you’re using powder dyes, thoroughly mix each one with hot water in your pitcher—then pour individually into plastic squeeze bottles. 

Step #4 Choose your pattern

There are countless ways to fold and bind your shirt with rubber bands and each technique will result in a different pattern. To keep things simple, we’ll show you how to create two classic patterns that are great for beginners—The Crumple and The Spiral. 

The Crumple

Scrunch your t‑shirt into a crumpled mound—then bind it together randomly with several rubber bands as shown. The tighter you bind the mound, the more defined your crumple pattern will be.

The Spiral

Lay your t‑shirt flat on the table. With your fingers, pinch the shirt where you’d like the center of your spiral pattern to be, then twist in a circular motion until it forms a spiral shape. Using 2 rubber bands, bind the shirt as shown, creating 4 pizza slices.” 

Step #5 Apply the dye

Apply the dye to your rubber-banded t‑shirt one by one via the squeeze bottles, making sure to soak both sides. You can choose to dye your shirt just one colour, of course—or a combination of colours, using the rubber band lines as a rough guide. 

Step #6 Set the dye

After dyeing your t‑shirt, seal it in a plastic zipper storage bag and let it sit for 6–8 hours. 

Step #7 Rinse

Remove rubber bands. Rinse your t‑shirt with cold water until the water runs clear (or swish it around in a rubber tub) to get rid of excess dye. 

Step #8 Wring and hang dry 

Twist to wring out your t‑shirt. Then drape it over a drying rack or place on a hanger to air dry.

Congrats! You’ve got yourself a tie-dye t‑shirt—the only one like it in the universe!

Tips & Tricks

The first time you wash your tie-dye t‑shirt in the laundry, be sure to wash it separately. This will prevent the dye from staining your other clothes.

For a more vibrant design that lasts, go for a t‑shirt that’s made from 100% cotton—or as close to that percentage as possible. Natural fibers like cotton tend to absorb most dyes better than synthetics (such as polyester or nylon). 

Read your fabric dye instructions carefully. There are lots of different options out there—from complete kits to dyes in powder or liquid form. Some of them require fixative, some don’t.

Instead of using commercially sold synthetic dyes (which contain chemicals), consider making your own natural, plant-based dyes at home using veggies, fruits, and spices. You’d be amazed at the range of colours you can achieve from stuff like spinach, beets, carrots, avocados, red cabbage, onions, blueberries, turmeric, and curry powder! 

Not too crazy about how your first design turned out? Remember, practice makes perfect (or imperfect, if that’s the look you’re going for). The more you do it, the more confident you’ll get combining colours and creating patterns. Want to try something a little more challenging than The Spiral or The Crumple? The internet is teeming with hundreds of different folding patterns, techniques, and ideas to help you take your style to the next level.

Start with a t‑shirt, but by all means, don’t stop there. The tie-dye universe is enormous and expanding every second. Socks, sheets, curtains, towels, pillowcases, baby bibs, tote bags, pajamas, sweatpants, underwear…there really is no limit to what you can tie-dye, so go crazy. Like your old hippie uncle possibly once said, A tie-dye life is a life well spent.”

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