Friday, 15 June 2012

DIY Tie-Dye Duffel Bag

Another DIY Friday is upon us! I love having all this time over the summer to be creative and recently I have become addicted to tie-dye and using fabric dyes to add something extra to my clothes. This week I am showing you how you can tie-dye a canvas bag. I bought this large canvas duffel bag on Amazon here for just £5.30. But you can use a simple canvas tote bag if you'd prefer.

The finished result is bold, bright and right on trend. Perfect for festivals and camping or to use as a gym bag, laundry bag or a throw-everything-into-it-and-stay-the-whole-weekend-bag!
It's really easy to do and I show you all the steps below. I'm using Dylon Fabric Hand Dye which comes with handy instructions on the back of each packet. You can buy them on eBay for a few pounds each.

I dyed the whole canvas bag with a packet of Dylon Fabric Dye in French Lavender. Due to the creamy beige colour of the canvas, this came out as a light denim blue sort of shade. I just wanted a nicer background colour than the original cream beige. The canvas also become much softer and easier to manipulate when it had been through the washing machine with some fabric softener - this helps when it comes to tying the rubber bands.

Dylon Fabric Hand Dye in Flamingo Pink
Table Salt
Lots of Rubber Bands
Measuring Jug
Large Buckets
Old Clothes

Start by twisting, bunching and pinching your bag in random areas all over. Tie up with rubber bands tightly! Keep going until you have tied up sections all over the bag and are left with some weird shaped thingamabob.

Fill your jug with warm-hot tap water and pour in the powder dye. Stir well with a spoon until all the powder has dissolved. You should be left with a bright red colour.

Now fill up a bucket with 4-6 litres of warm-hot tap water. Add 5 tablespoons of salt. Salt helps to open up the fabric and let the dye in! Stir well. Pour in the jug of red dye to the bucket. Stir well and you'll have a bright flamingo pink colour! Pop the canvas bag into the dye bath.
Be careful to do all this in a prepared area. The dye will stain carpets and furnishing - so do this outside, in a garage or put down lots of protective sheets first.

Set your alarm for 45 minutes. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes or so and turn the bag over so dye reaches all areas. After 45 minutes the dye should have soaked the fabric and be a strong pink colour.

Time to remove your bag! Squeeze out as much dye as you can. Pop the bag into a bucket of cool water and rinse off the dye. Remove the rubber bands and you'll see the subtle pattern you have created!

Chuck the bag into the washing machine on a short cycle. Use a little amount of detergent and softener.
Hang outside to dry. As you can see I also created this pink tie dye top using a jug full of the dye bath.

Have fun tie dying your own bags - if this is not wild enough for you, you can of course add studs or spikes! I think the finished result is comparable to something I'd spot on ASOS or in Topshop and have to buy - but this tie-dye bag costs less than £8 to make and its a complete original!


*Click here to check out more DIY tutorials by Gwen McMullin



  1. I love your DIY Tie Dyes. Another cool customisation, keep em coming!


  2. love your DIY's they are soo helpfull!!!

  3. Such a great idea, it looks brilliant!

  4. Love that, will definitely have to give that a go :) thanks for the tutorial x

  5. What a wonderful transformation! I wouldn't guess this is the same bag!

  6. Omg! I love this DIY! It looks so good and is so on trend. :)

    Good Morning Angel.

  7. Great d.i.y, the outcome looks really professional like you bought it from topshop or something, great blog too, I'm your latest follower :-)

    Rianna xxxxx

  8. Have just realised your from Manchester too woooo! Even better!


  9. Love this! definitely going to do this on pretty much everything I own now haha xx

  10. Love this, such a pretty colour xxx

  11. I love your blog, you have amazing DIYs :)

  12. Did you do the vest in the same way?? :)

    1. I scrunched the vest up into the bottom of a small bucket (no bands) and poured a jug of the pink dye over it. Left it for the same amount of time - makes this cloudy soft tie dye effect :D

  13. Flamingo Pink is lovely ;)
    And now I want to tie-dye all of my clothes!

  14. It looks so much better now :Dxx

  15. I love this fabulous work!

    This is Director of Danae Ltd. who supply DYLON product in South KOREA.
    And I would like to show your beautiful art work to the people through our official blog. ( )

    Would you allow me to use your pictures for introducing your gorgeous knowhow to the people in South Korea?
    These will be translated in Korean language, as well.
    Also, the Link to your blog will be printed just beside your pictures.

    I hope to hear a good news from you soon.

    Kind Regards,
    Jung Kwan, KIM

  16. Finally I’ve found your blog, awesome way of explaining each and everything really.
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  17. Great DIY project. The backpack is so cool, I'll try to make one for me, but in different colour.
    Bethany, The Not Perfect Housewife


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