Goodbye White Bikini, Hello Tie Dye Bikini!

Recently while I was lying in bed feeling sick and watching Modern Family I decided I wanted to try tie-dying with Sharpies. I was going to get up and find an old white t-shirt when I remembered that last year’s white bikini wasn’t looking as bright and white as it was when I bought it. I had it washed on our cruise over the holidays and when it came back it was slightly discolored. I made a couple of attempts to brighten it with little success. Even if this failed, I didn’t feel like I was ruining the bikini.

Because I was going this in bed I took the top of a plastic storage container to use as a ‘work space’ and it worked great!

Items used: white bikini, rubbing alcohol, small dish, plastic bags (2), plastic pipette, colorful sharpies, plastic storage bin lid

Items used: white bikini, rubbing alcohol, small dish, plastic bags (2), plastic pipette, colorful sharpies, plastic storage bin lid

Items used:

  • White bikini (I purchased mine last year on sale at Gap)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Small dish (for rubbing alcohol)
  • 2 plastic bags (pieces of cardboard or plastic would also work)
  • Plastic pipette (available at any craft store, if you don’t have one/can’t find one a syringe will work)
  • Colorful Sharpies
  • Plastic storage bin lid (you could also use old towels, cardboard or garbage bags)

In small sections I marked up the front of the bikini bottoms, adding several drops of rubbing alcohol every thirty seconds to one minute. When I was happy with the front of the bikini bottoms I repeated the process with the front of the bikini top.

I didn’t use a ‘design’, instead I just made it colorful – there were hearts, scribbles, polka dots and more!

When I was satisfied with the fronts of both pieces I moved them to the other room to sit for about 24 hours.

Quick note: the color was much darker on the bikini top than the bottoms almost instantly.

Bikini 2

The next night I repeated the process on the backs of the two pieces. Again, when I was finished I let them sit for 24 hours.

Heads up – my hands became quite colorful as I was doing this. I used the DIY Sugar Hand Scrub that I posted earlier. Sharpies may be classified as a permanent marker but with a little scrubbing your hands will be clean in no time!

After both pieces were completely dry I threw them in the wash on their own in cold water with laundry detergent and white vinegar, then I allowed it to air dry on the clothes horse.

The color faded slightly, but not much, and the top is still much darker than the bottoms. I would like to try tie dying with Sharpies again. I think I could get a much better end result next time now that I have a better idea of how the color spreads when the rubbing alcohol is added, etc… It may not be perfect but I’m happy with it. Now if only I had some beach/pool weather!

If any of you try this out be sure to send me the link either in the comments section or by e-mail! And of course, I am always open to suggestions for improving my own results so if you have any tips or tricks I would love to hear from you!


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  1. #1 by webpage on June 30, 2013 - 7:35 pm

    Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am inspired!
    Very useful info specially the last part 🙂 I take care of such information much.
    I was looking for this certain information for a very long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  2. #2 by silverkis on June 27, 2013 - 12:45 am

    Hope you’re much better now… and i love Modern Family! LOL!

    • #3 by livelaughloveblogforever on June 27, 2013 - 8:44 am

      I am feeling much better, thank you!

      Modern Family is one of my favorite shows. Even when I see an episode for a second or third time I laugh just as hard as I did the first time! Do you have a favorite episode or character? 🙂

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