Tie-Dye Using Nature : DIY Kid’s Project

We hope you are having a fabulous Summer so far! We have been getting a ton of questions and requests for activities to do with your children. Today, we want to share with you an activity that we know they will love! This is the perfect activity to do on a rainy day, using natural products from the garden.

For our shirts we chose to use beets, phenomenal blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cabbage and turmeric! You will also need mason jars, cheese cloth or flour sifter, glass bowl, white t-shirts, rubber bands, vinegar and salt (see below for the full list of ingredients and recipe)

Let’s get started! Most people do not realize that you need a fixative for the color to adhere and stick to the shirt. This is true when using natural products to dye your fabric to ensure the dye really seeps in and you get the beautiful color you are looking for. You will want to use vinegar with your cabbage, beets and other products similar — 1 cup vinegar to 3 cups water. Boil this and bring it to a simmer. For all of your berries, you will need 3/4 cup of salt to 3 cups of water and boil this, then let simmer as well.

There are so many fabulous resources on the internet where you can find fabulous banding techniques to give your shirt the most fabulous designs! Do this first and then you will be placing that white t-shirt, already banded with rubber bands, into the fixative solution we just created! Let them simmer in the pot for 1 hour. Take your shirt out of your pot and “cool it off” by rinsing it in the sink with cool water.

Now that your shirt is prepped and ready for dye, let’s get started creating the dye solution! How incredible is it that we are able to use natural products from our gardens to be able to dye? I absolutely love it, I think it is incredible! To start, choose which product you will be using. Whether it be berries or cabbage, you will chop up 1 cup and add 2 cups of water. Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for about an hour. The longer you let it simmer, the more vibrant the color! After simmering, you will pour your solution into a flour sifter or through a cheesecloth into a bowl.. this will make sure to leave you will only your liquid dye and have no leftover berries or remnants of the product you use in your dye.

Submerge one shirt at a time into the dye in your bowl. Mason jars can also be used in place of a large bowl if you have a group of children. This will give them their very own “dye station” how much fun! This is where your creativity comes into play! You can dye these however you prefer for your end look. You may also use multiple colors at this point. The longer you let the color sit in the dye, the more vibrant and rich the color will be!

Now, you are all done! Can you believe this came from natural garden products? Amazing! Now you are going to rinse your shirt out until the water runs clear. Take your rubber bands off and hang it outside to dry. Now you have beautiful tie-dye creations made straight from your garden, your yard or the spice aisle at the grocery store!

I hope you enjoyed this fun activity, please share your creations with us! We hope you are having an amazing summer. Please check back in for more fun DIY projects!

Happy Creating!

Check out more details for the recipes below 

Preparing your t-shirts :

For Berry Dye: ¾ cup salt and 3 cups water in pot; bring to a boil, add tied tee shirt, and then put on simmer for an hour

For Raw Material and Spice Dye: 1 cup white vinegar and 3 cups water in pot, bring to a boil, add tied tee shirt, and then put on simmer for an hour 

Let Shirts Cool ; Rinse with Cold Water

Preparing your dye :

For Berry and Raw Material Dye: 1 Cup Raw Material and 2 Cups Water in Pot, Bring to a Boil, and then Simmer for an Hour (or longer for desired color)

For Spice Dye: 2-3 Tbs and 3-4 Cups of Water in Pot, Bring to a Boil, and then Simmer for an Hour (or longer for desired color)