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DIY 4th of July tank!

I love all the cute comfy tanks that always roll out in stores for the Fourth of July. What I don’t like is the price, and the fact that the day after the fourth they will be 50 percent off.

I’ve written before that I am a bit of a bargain hunter, and this tutorial fits the bill. This dip dye tank was a brain child of mine and my friend Christie (who you should totally check out on IG). After a lot of brainstorming for what exactly we wanted our tanks to look like we came up with this batik knock off design with the ever popular dip dye color.


This is everything you’ll need (affiliate links ahead):

  • a tank of any kind (you could even cut it down from an old white t-shirt)
  • RIT dye
  • blue gel washable Elmer’s glue (this is important, the normal white kind does not work as well)
  • cardboard box
  • clips or rubber bands (I just used chip bag clips)

What you need for batik dip dye

Overall this ended up totaling around $12. Half of this was the tank I bought, you could easily find a cheaper one if needed.

The cool thing about RIT dye is is make so much dye that it is super easy to do multiples. We ended up doing two tanks, and two onesies for little miss. If I’d realized how much I’d be throwing down the drain I might have tried to do several more projects!

Step by step:

  1. Decide on your design. Peruse pinterest, google, target, anything that will get your mind going!
  2. Size your cardboard to fit inside your tank, then clip the back of your shirt so it fits on tightly.
  3. Get your glue and start drawing. We used the glue bottle and squeezed it right on. If you want something more intricate I would suggest using a paint brush. A little bit of glue goes a long way here, so don’t try to make it thick. A thin layer works just as well! Let this dry overnight, at least 12 hours, or until the glue is no longer sticky. If you want to speed this up you can try a hairdryer.
  4. Prepare the RIT dye as instructed on the packaging. I used the kind pictured above, it varies depending on what kind you get.
  5. Decide where you would like the color start on your tank. When you place it in the water it will soak up further than you expect so put it in slowly, and leave around 2 inches of your shirt that your want colored out completely.
  6. Now start pulling out sections in 2-3 inch sections every 5 minutes. With my last two sections I waited ten minutes each to make sure it got a dark color. As you are pulling out these sections try not to let the tank hang  over the side of the bowl, that will cause gravity to work against you and dye a larger portion of your tank. I would suggest trying to set something beside of your bowl that you can at least lay the shirt flat on, or hold it yourself.
  7. Once the dying process is finished rinse your tank out in cold water. I would suggest keeping it upright during this so you don’t spread the dye. I ended up hanging my tank around my faucet and rinsing it that way. Make sure to rinse thoroughly!
    NOTE: See the lovely way I have these put together to ring out the shirts as I rinse? Don’t do that. Unless you want your shirts a little blotchy. Turns out the glue works VERY well. When it gets wet again and presses up against the other parts of the shirt it transfers. So my advice here is to be careful and not fold the shirt or wring it out.
  8. Now you need to throw your tanks into the washer with warm water.
  9. When it’s done take it out and check that all the glue has been removed. We had some pretty thick glue on the tanks so I ended up having to wash them 2-3 times. However on Abby’s onesies I used a lot let glue, it resisted the dye all the same and came off in one wash. I would not move onto the next step until all the glue is gone, if you have to try a toothbrush!
  10. Dry your tanks on a no heat setting.
  11. Wallah! You have a super stylish tee. Pair it with cute accessories and you are good to go.

Overall I loved the way this turned out, these comfy tanks can be dressed up, or be super casual and be super trendy all at the same time. Let me know of any questions you have, I’d be happy to help! If you make a tank of your own make sure to share it with me on Instagram with the hashtag #TCHdiy!

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