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Simple home dyeing process for yarn or fabric with food scraps from your kitchen.

This is an eco-friendly project, a great way to upcycle your kitchen food scraps!

All materials are non-toxic making this a great project to do with kids!

Technique Materials

Use cotton or wool fibers since they take the dye better. Vinegar (dye fixative. Use any or all listed; coffee grounds, spices, berries, vegetable scraps or food coloring.

12 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 737492d5184dcd1e0ed5127b89b0144c5403ea68_large

    Jul 18, 2009, 03.52 PMby lala86

    Thanks for your dying how to! I dyed a piece of cotton fabric some kind of canvas with purple paste food coloring.. the thing is.. for a darker color, I added blue as well.. I used a lot of vinegar and followed your steps. Then I let it on the dying water all night long, and at the morning something happened! the fabric absorbed all the magenta color and non of the blue, so the water turned into a great bright blue color and the fabric ended up with shadows of hot pink! the shadows pattern that the process created is great.. but I’m not so fan of the hot pink color so.. I don’t know what to do with it.. I was thinking of a large bag.. but I’m not sure how durable this color would be… what do you think? I have a lot of food colorants, so in the future I’ll try a green or yellow I think.. I’ll also try with a smaller piece of fabric..

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Sep 3, 2012, 05.18 PMby Meagan Arnold

      Anytime you dye anything blue, especially a turquoise blue, the blue will be difficult to get to stick. You need to get it hotter to get blue to stick.

  • Shamdoogleava_100__large

    Jun 15, 2009, 03.14 PMby shamdoogle

    I’ve read a little about the use of marigolds and other flowers HERE

  • Cherrys_047_large

    Apr 16, 2009, 07.20 AMby nenasew

    I want to try this. Do flower petal such as marigolds work?

  • Missing

    Apr 8, 2009, 12.04 PMby nieninque

    this is perfect! i’ll definitely try it

  • Missing

    Apr 2, 2009, 08.15 PMby hopie98

    This is a awesome craft, I HAVE to try it out!!!!

  • Shamdoogleava_100__large

    Mar 25, 2009, 01.33 PMby shamdoogle

    Food coloring with a bit of vinegar added, according to the box. My colors have held up through a few different hand washings and hold their colors after drying. The colors always dry a lighter than they look wet. This was a really great tutorial for using food coloring, Earth Whisper Fiber Arts

  • 223e58ec190aead2945686fb1df52ea4442bad3a_large

    Mar 24, 2009, 02.09 PMby kora-bean

    Is food colouring permanent? I have done a bit of veggie dying myself, and have found onion skins and assorted berries work quite well. Just a note for anyone trying beets: they make a fabulous colour for a few days and then fade to a light pinky-brown. Not good for dying.

  • Shamdoogleava_100__large

    Mar 23, 2009, 03.51 PMby shamdoogle

    I’ve been anxious to try beets myself. I have a gut feeling it will work well and same for red cabbage. I assume any veggie/spice that stains your cutting board is probably a top dyeing contender. Cilantro just wasn’t strong enough. I also think cool colors may tend to get more muddled or washed out than brighter warm hues.

  • P1070371_large

    Mar 23, 2009, 02.38 PMby wonderwonder

    This is a great How To! I’d love to try! Did you or anyone tried with beets? I wonder if it will work.

  • 186ff964451e86c951906b8703655a6b95409128_large

    Mar 23, 2009, 03.10 AMby tigasista

    Fabulous! You’re such a clever chicken!

  • 4be0a5bfcc9e6adad9b69eedd58195509fbee34f_large

    Mar 21, 2009, 11.37 PMby ruk

    this is really great! the colors look really awesome.

  • 2860bf016a771b609a441ccfa9b507364108b61e_large

    Mar 21, 2009, 08.35 AMby callistacassady

    Awesome! I always wanted to know how that was done. Thank you.

    • This is a question
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