Watermelon Wallow Tie-Dye

Watermelon Wallow Tie-Dye

a Dharma featured tutorial

"Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow..." Ok, now that that song is stuck in your head you may have guessed we are dyeing up some fresh watermelon goods here. Fun, tasty and colorful watermelons are a staple of many a summer gathering and we wanted to put a new twist on this classic tie-dye theme.

Let's get started!

Lay out a plastic drop cloth or newsprint on your work area. Pre-wash your garments with some Dharma Professional Textile Detergent for the best results.

First, evenly gather the bottom 2 inches of the item in your hand, keeping the hem even.

Pro-Tip: if you are gathering along a curve use a washable marker to make a guide line to gather along

Tie one zip tie or band about 2 inches above hem. Optionally tie a second about 1/2 inch higher (we are trying to keep a little white in the rind).

Soak your tied fabric in soda ash solution (1cup soda ash/1gal water). Wring out excess soda ash solution and arrange the item on the plastic.

Dissolve 2 teaspoons of Watermelon dye in 1 cup of urea water (1 tbsp urea / 1 cup water). Do the same with the Bright Green and New Emerald Green in their own cups.

Using a 1" foam brush, carefully sponge the Bright Green dye onto the bottom hem of the item. Paint just up to the first rubber band.

Using a 2" foam brush, sponge the Watermelon dye onto the top (the major portion) of the item.

Carefully flip the project over and lay it out again.

Carefully sponge the New Emerald Green dye onto the bottom hem of the item, just up to the first rubber band as you did previously.

Sponge the Watermelon dye onto back of the item, making sure the whole area is saturated with the color.

Wrap your item up in the plastic, or place it in a plastic bag, and allow it to cure 12-24 hrs. The longer you can let it cure the brighter the colors will be.

Rinse the dress in cool water until the water runs clear. Then untie the rubber bands, wash in hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of Synthrapol, rinse and dry.

Lay the dyed items back out and slip a small piece of plastic or paper between the layers of fabric. Using a small brush and Jacquard Textile Color, paint on small black watermelon seeds. Let dry, then iron to make permanent.

Now you are ready to rock some watermelon duds at your next summer extravaganza! For more tasty watermelon ideas check out our Watermelon Wonderland Pinterest Board

(We bet that song is still stuck in your head!)


Written and Photographed by Elizabeth Holdmann for Dharma Trading Co.


Watermelon, for snacking of course (but keep this away from your project area)

Fiber Reactive Dyes: #166 Watermelon, #29 Bright Green, #30a New Emerald Green

Foam Brushes

Soda Ash


Reusable Zip Ties or Rubber Bands

Jacquard Textile Paint #122 Black

paint brush



zip lock bags or plastic bag

Dyeable items:
  • Adult Bucket Hat
  • Dumpling Bag
  • Ladies Deep Scoop Longer Length Tee
  • Bamboo Footie Socks
  • Infant Frilly Romper
  • Cotton Gauze Scarf

Customer Comments

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Phone: (800) 542-5227

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About Tiered Discount Levels

You can combine cotton and rayon clothing & accessories to get the greatest discounts. Your discount is figured on the total number of cotton and rayon items we ship, not how many of each type, style or size. Mix and match them to get the best discount.

Example; adding 4 each of 3 different T-shirts in size Large should give you the 12+ price on all 12 shirts.

Some products may be excluded from discounts, and / or may discount only with themselves. If you have any questions at all please contact us toll free at 800-542-5227 (no buttons, just humans).

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