How to Ice Dye Sweatpants (My BEST Tutorial)

Learn how to make your own one-of-a-kind sweatpants with this easy dye tutorial
How to Ice Dye Sweatpants (My BEST Tutorial)

If there are two things I love in life it would be sweatpants and ice dyeing fabric. I’m always on the lookout for ways to DIY my favorite pieces. So today, I wanted to share a quick and easy tutorial and teach you how to ice dye sweatpants. Don’t forget: if you make a pair of sweats using this tutorial, be sure to post a photo and tag me on Instagram! I always love seeing how these DIYs turn out for you, especially ice dye.

Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

What is ice dye?

If you’re new to my blog or just haven’t seen my original ice dye tutorial yet, basically ice dye is a very easy, hands-off fabric dyeing process. After soaking the textile or piece of clothing in soda ash (which helps make the color permanent), I cover the fabric in ice. Then I sprinkle on the procion dye powder… and then I leave it alone!

As the ice melts, it draws the dye powder into the fabric. Then, once it’s sat for about 24 hours (less if you want more of a pastel effect), you can rinse and you’re left with a beautifully unique dyed piece!

Because I love loungewear so much, I recently decided to dye a pair of sweatpants to make them more unique. The results are totally one-of-a-kind and I’m obsessed with all the colors! Here’s how to ice dye your own pair of sweatpants.

GET MY E-BOOK: How to Ice Dye Fabric: Step-by-Step Tutorial. This easy-to-follow tutorial breaks down everything you’ll need to ice dye, step-by-step instructions, tips for success, and project ideas to try!
Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

How to Ice Dye Sweatpants: Step-by-Step DIY Tutorial

Materials

Tools

Directions (more detailed instructions below):

  1. Mix 1 cup of soda ash to 1 gallon of water in the wash tub and mix until completely dissolved
  2. Soak your textile for 15 minutes
  3. Wring out the fabric
  4. Place drying rack on top of the tub and arrange fabric on it
  5. Put ice on top of the fabric
  6. Using a spoon, sprinkle MX dye powder on the ice
  7. Allow to sit for 24 hours
  8. Rinse in cold water until water runs clear
  9. Wash in the washing machine like normal
get all the ice dye supplies you need

BTW you can get everything you need to ice dye like a pro on my Amazon Storefront including dye powders, soda ash, tubs, and more!

Step-by-step directions with pictures:

Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

Add 1 cup of soda ash to 1 gallon of water in the plastic tub and mix until completely dissolved. Adjust the amount needed based on the size of your tub and how many items you’re planning to dye.

Now is a great time to assess if you’d like to ice dye other items by the way! For example, you can dye socks and a throw blanket.

Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

Next, submerge the sweatpants in the tub and allow to soak for 15-20 minutes. Don’t skip this step because soda ash helps to fix the dye and activates the color with the natural fibers of your sweats.

Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

Once the sweatpants have soaked for the allotted time, rinse under clean water and wring out any excess water. Then, place the rack in a second plastic tub and arrange the pants on the rack. Twist, wrap, and arrange the pants to create more visual interest once the dye sinks in.

By the way, you can save the soda ash mixture in a sealed container for additional dyeing projects, so don’t dump it! I have two plastic tubs that I use for this project so that I can keep my soda ash mixture on hand.

Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

Cover with ice (I used 1.5 bags of ice from our local gas station).

Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

Using a metal spoon and while wearing gloves, sprinkle on dye powder over the ice. Less is more and the water from the melting ice will help spread the color throughout the fabric.

Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

Let the ice melt for 24 hours and then rinse. If you want to achieve a more pastel look, decrease the time.

Next, rinse each item under clean, cold water until the water runs clear. After that, wash the ice dyed sweatpants just like normal laundry.

Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results
Learn how to ice dye sweatpants with this easy step by step tutorial. The best ice dye technique for fabric plus tips for getting great results

Isn’t that easy?? I absolutely love to ice dye fabric because it creates a truly one-of-a-kind effect that’s even cooler than tie dye (in my opinion!). Don’t forget: if you make ice dye sweatpants using this tutorial, be sure to post a photo and tag me on Instagram!

Photography & styling by Jojotastic

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

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