Don't Lose Your Marbles Skirt

I have been practicing different dyeing techniques for weeks to find a method that would compliment a maxi skirt I recently created. I wanted a design that would be feminine and fun for summer. For the sake of full disclosure, I'll tell you that my first attempt, using a different method to dye my perfect summer skirt, was a failure. (Sadly, so was my second.) But, I am not one to give up and the third time was the charm. I was thrilled with the results!

The process is actually quite easy and could be used to dye just about any type of garment from a skirt to a shirt or tank top. I chose to dye my fabric and then assemble my skirt, but it's just fine to use an inexpensive, plain, white skirt, dress, shirt, tank top or cami from the store.


  • clean, white article of clothing or fabric
  • marbles
  • rubber bands
  • RIT liquid fabric dye
  • empty, plastic sports top water bottle
  • cooling rack
  • plastic tub or bucket 
  • large zipper bag
  • rubber gloves (optional)


Assemble your materials.

Use rubber bands to tightly secure the marbles in the fabric. I chose to make an angled stripe across my skirt.

The real trick is to make sure the marbles are as close together as possible. For nicer circles, the rubber bands need to be secured as tightly as possible.

Soak your fabric in hot water while you mix your dye according to the package directions. The RIT dye website has a Color Formula Guide so you can create just about any color imaginable. (If you don't want your fingers to get stained, wear rubber gloves.)

Once your dye is mixed, carefully pour it into a water bottle and attach the lid.

Spread out your fabric, right side up. I set mine on a cooling rack over a plastic container. It helps contain some of the mess so your sink doesn't get stained.

Use the water bottle to apply dye completely and evenly across your fabric.

Place your fabric into a large zipper bag. I also added about 1/4 cup of my dye mixture. Close the bag. Leave the fabric in the bag for about a half hour, turning the bag occasionally to mix up the dye and fabric.

Remove the fabric from the bag and rinse it with water until the water runs clear.

Carefully remove all of the rubber bands and marbles and rinse your fabric again. Wash and dry your fabric separately for the first few time to make sure no  dye  bleeds onto your other clothes.

Once your fabric is dry, you should have lovely, bubbly circles.

Like I said before, I am extremely pleased with how my skirt finally turned out, even if it took me a few attempts. Here's the skirt I created compared to a similar dyed skirt that I bought at the store. Not too bad, if I do say so myself!


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The Chilly Dog: Don't Lose Your Marbles Skirt
Don't Lose Your Marbles Skirt
Tutorial - How to dye circles or bubbles on fabric using rubber bands, marbles and RIT liquid fabric dye to make a fun summer shirt, skirt, dress or tank top.
The Chilly Dog
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