The Perfect One-Day Lesson

Oil Pastel Tie-Dye is a simple, one-day lesson that you can whip out at a moment’s notice. It’s perfect for a variety of situations, from the class that gets ahead to a day when you have to be out of the art room. As a bonus, the effect is so mesmerizing that it’s guaranteed to have both elementary and high school students sitting quietly in their seats for the whole class period. You might say it’s the perfect one-day lesson. Interested? Watch the video to find out how it’s done!

Does this project have you itching to create the real thing? Don’t miss the Tie-Dye Techniques PRO Learning Pack! Abby takes you through everything you need to know to create beautiful handmade items!

Do you have any no-fail lessons to share? 

How do you use up old supplies in your art room? 

5 years ago

Amanda Heyn

Learning Team

Amanda is the Senior Editor at AOE. She has a background in teaching elementary art and enjoys working to bring the best ideas from the world of art ed to the magazine each day. 


  • JM

    This looks awesome! My kids love anything like this. The marker plus rubbing alcohol plus water plus spray bottle plus coffee filter “tie dye” is a roaring success in my class room since my kids are crazy for anything tie dye related. Thanks for sharing! :-D

    • Oooo- I forgot about the coffee filter tie dye. Thanks for reminding me!

  • Stacie Lewin

    This looks like a lot of fun. Will have to try it with my daughter.

  • Jackie Ryan Masek

    Ooohhhhh! That looks too fun. I want to try that myself.

    • Yes, Jackie! I love to sit down and do this one right along with the kids :)

  • Cool! Going to use it this next week, the last week of school for students that are done with their projects.

  • Mrs.C

    When I saw this lesson this morning before my classes started I silently cheered! I had several classes that I needed a quickie project for today and this fit the bill perfectly! I did it with three fourth grades and plan on using it with third also next week! The kids loved it! I let the kids choose their colors but gave a brief color theory. Some of the most stunning pieces were those with black or very contrasting colors! Thank you SO much for sharing this today!!! :) :)

  • Michelle Melendez

    I also saw this lesson at the PERFECT time!!! Thanks for sharing Amanda, my kids loved it!! I had some students that made more than one, they were so into it.

    • Awesome! Yes- this lesson always gets, “Can I make another one!?”

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  • Jade Simms

    Awesome! But one question: the oil pastels (crayola) blended well, but made muddy streaks during my sample test.
    Do I need lighter strokes so as not to blend too much? Or a better eraser? Any tips on avoiding this problem would be great!!!

    • Hey Jade! Yes- blending too much could cause muddy streaks. It doesn’t take much to get the effect! Also, if you’re using complimentary colors, that could be an issue. One other thing is that if your oil pastels are super dirty, you might be contaminating your colors. Hope that helps and that you can resolve the issue!

  • Art Sub Lessons

    This is always a favorite. To do it bigger, Dippety Dye paper is great.

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  • Matthew Oerly

    Thanks for this great idea! Clear, simple, instructions that were easy to find. I will try this tomorrow as I don’t want to start a large project tomorrow (Friday) without both of my classes ready.

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