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Tie-dye Twists: DIY Bucket Hats

Add a splash of color to your kids’ summer wardrobe with a tie-dye bucket hat! Bucket hats have soared back into style for their practicality (sun protection, we’re looking at you) and youthful, edgy vibes. The kids will have a blast personalizing their hats and rocking them wherever they go.

If there’s one thing you need to know about tie-dye, it’s that you can never have too many tie-dye accessories! Pair their new bucket hat with a super cute tie-dye tote from Little Passports. Our newest Color ‘n’ Craft kit explores the world of color theory through hands-on activities like tie-dye tote bags, kaleidoscope building, and more. With the Color ‘n’ Craft kit, you’ll blend science with hands-on crafting fun! Now, let’s get to tie-dyeing!

What you’ll need:

  • Plain white bucket hat
  • Soda ash
  • Wire rack
  • Plastic bin
  • Gloves
  • Tie-dye solution
  • Rubber bands

How to tie-dye a bucket hat:

Step one: If your bucket hat is brand new, wash it before dyeing. Some fabrics are sprayed with chemicals that may interfere with the permanence of the dye. Prewashing your fabric will eliminate the chemicals.

Step two: Make soda ash solution by mixing one cup of soda ash for every gallon of water you use. Soak your bucket hat in the solution for at least 30 minutes. Wring out the hat after 30 minutes, making sure it is still damp.

Step three: Fold your bucket hat using the tie-dye method of your choice.

  • Spiral: Lay your bucket hat out as flat as possible. Pinch the middle of the hat, and twist the fabric around your fingers so that the extra hat material assumes a spiral shape. Once you are satisfied with your spiral, place rubber bands around the hat to keep the shape. 
  • Fan fold: Starting at one end of the bucket hat, make a series of accordion folds all the way across the hat. Try to make the pleats as even as possible. Once the entire hat is folded, wrap a rubber band around the middle to hold everything in place. Then, wrap rubber bands around the rest of the hat’s length.  
  • Galaxy: Scrunch up your bucket hat. Place rubber bands around the hat to hold it in place. For this method, it doesn’t matter if the hat is even because the randomness of the scrunch is what will give it that “galaxy” look. 

Step four: Set up your tie-dye station. Place the wire rack in the plastic bin so that the dye is caught and contained. Put on your protective gloves.

Step five: Place your folded bucket hat on the wire rack. Use your tie-dye solutions to color the front and back of the hat. Exercise your creativity here!

Step six: Place your bucket hat in an airtight plastic bag. The dye needs to set for at least 24 hours.

Step seven: After 24 hours, remove the bucket hat from the plastic bag. Remove the rubber bands, and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. Wash the hat either alone or with like colors (it may still bleed in the wash). 

Step eight: Rock those new tie-dye bucket hats! The kids will surely be the coolest kids on the block. We’d love to see how their creations turned out. Tag us on Instagram @littlepassports

If your child enjoys hands-on activities, they’ll love our Early Explorers (ages 3-5) or World Edition (ages 6-10) subscriptions. Each month, they’ll get to explore a themed box full of crafts, activities, and more. Shop here!