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Turning Stains into Dye

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

 

I have to admit my husband looked less than convinced when I excitedly tried to explain, this, my latest crafty light-bulb moment.  "Why on earth would you want to put stains on something" he said, "surely people mostly try and remove them?".  Fortunately my kids were far more impressed by my creativity, and we spent a fun afternoon testing out my theory; you can use stains as dye!

This is what we did...

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

We used natural cotton bags, and prepared them by simmering them in a fixative (1 part vinegar to 4 parts water) for about an hour. We decided to try tomato ketchup and Mustard for our dyeing experiment.

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

We sketched our designs on the bags lightly in pencil, so we had a guide to follow, and then painted on our stains.

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

We left our designs to dry, and then covered them with a tea towel and ran over them with a hot iron. Breath held, they were then popped into the washing machine and run on a rinse cycle to remove the mustard and ketchup.

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

Having spied the dodgy bottle of wine left on the side, we decided to try some tie-dyeing!  Elastic bands were wrapped around the bags, before they were popped into the wine for a couple of hours.  We then simply rinsed them under the tap.

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

We are really happy with how our bags turned out!  The ketchup pattern isn't as vibrant as the mustard and red wine, but still looks really pretty in the flesh.  Next time we're going to try cocoa powder and blitzed up grass cuttings!

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

The kids had such fun trying out our household stain dyes, and it's a great craft to have a play with without spending lots of money. For some more free and recycled craft ideas why not check out our Marbling bottles with nail polish and Embossing with Glycerine and Eye shadow tutorials.

 

Our fun craft tutorial explores how you can use stains as dye at home. Check out what we tried and what worked best

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40 Comments

  • Reply Ickle Pickle

    This looks such fun – what a great idea. Fab post and directions. Kaz x
    Ickle Pickle recently posted…My Summer Holiday RecipeMy Profile

    February 15, 2016 at 9:35 pm
  • Reply Idaintyit

    What a fab idea! And something fun and different to do with the kids. Love this

    February 15, 2016 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Jolene monaghan

    what a fantastic idea.. im not crafty but i use to love tie dieing my tshirts in the early 90,s … i would love to try this with my little one x
    Jolene monaghan recently posted…My Netflix Review crewMy Profile

    February 15, 2016 at 3:20 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Any of the tutorials on our site anyone could do I promise! Let me know if you give it a go :)

      February 16, 2016 at 8:04 pm
  • Reply Mudpie Fridays

    I did a science experiment at school where we used vegetables to dye cloth. It was great fun I think from memory (24 years ago!!) red cabbage worked quite well as well? I think this is great idea and very educational x
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Butterfiles in the Glasshouse – WisleyMy Profile

    February 15, 2016 at 7:38 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I’ve read that red cabbage is great as a dye. Lots of the things I try with the kids are inspired by hazy memories of what I did as a kid – think the one I was keenest to do with them was the owl pellets :)

      February 16, 2016 at 8:08 pm
  • Reply Laura

    What a good way to pass a day with the kids. I wonder how many times you’ll be able to wash it before more of it fades?
    Laura recently posted…Activities: Home-made Valentine’s CardsMy Profile

    February 14, 2016 at 5:35 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Oh that’s a good question. Because they are bags I only ever washed them the once. I’ll try it on a T-shirt some time and experiment :)

      February 16, 2016 at 8:15 pm
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