DIY This! Watercolor Pillowcases that Match your Decor

DIY This! Watercolor Pillowcases that Match your Decor
Photos by Holly Wade

There’s something about the look of watercolors that has always intrigued me, and I’ve been wanting to add that blended colorful look in my home for a long time. Well, I finally found my chance! With a simple tie dye kit, I updated my bedroom pillowcases to look like a watercolor canvas! Not only did it take less than 30 minutes, it came out light and blended just like I wanted for my decor. Continue Reading

Pastel Paradise: How to Make Natural Dyes for Fabric

I'm all about pastels right now, and I suspect we'll be seeing even more pastels while spring is in bloom. To create the pastel paradise I want for Easter, I felt I needed pastel colored fabric napkins. Since I wanted to learn more about natural dyes, I searched for ways to dye fabric with traditional household items in order to achieve my pastel color palette. I decided to experiment with a few different ingredients, and ultimately, red onion skins, turmeric and blueberries helped me create three pastel napkins to use this season.  Continue Reading

These Red Shibori Placemats are Bold, Stylish and Easy to Make

DIY Red Shibori Placemats

Can you believe it’s already almost Christmas? Because Christmas is my favorite holiday, I always love to make new projects this time of year. These DIY red shibori placemats have been on my mind for a while, and I couldn’t wait to try the shibori dyeing technique with red instead of the traditional indigo to add a lot of color to a holiday table that can be used for Thanksgiving, Christmas and many gatherings after that. Continue Reading

Make It: Fruit-dyed Wooden Spoons

To kick off the summer, you should probably throw some kind of ice cream social. Instead of serving the frozen goods in regular plastic utensils, why not dye some wooden ones? Here is a completely food-safe way to take care of the little details!      


Skip the food coloring and other tints, and dye your wooden utensils with foods found around the house! Use cans of different types of fruit filling and give your utensils a customized look! Continue Reading

How to: Dye Beads with Blackberries

created at: 02/03/2011

In my review yesterday of Sasha Duerr’s new work, The Handbook of Natural Dyes, I mentioned that the publisher gave me permission to share one of the projects in the book. I found one perfect for those who are new to natural dyeing: dyeing beads with blackberries.     

Sasha tells us that beads made of wood, bone ‘or other natural fibers like wool felt or silk’ take to natural dye wonderfully. In this tutorial, Sasha explains the process using wooden beads.  Continue Reading

The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes

created at: 02/02/2011

According to Sasha Duerr, the author of The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes, if we can cook, we can dye. One of the chapters contained within is even entitled, “Kitchen Couture”. And couture it is. Dozens of recipes tell us how to use such things as lavender, turmeric and red cabbage to dye plant and protein-based fibers the most luscious colors imaginable, all of which harmonize in ways ‘only botanical colors can.’

created at: 02/02/2011

Sasha begins at the beginning, outlining supplies we’ll need, explaining in easy to understand terms the benefit of mordants as they relate to specific plant-based (like cotton) or protein-based (like wool) fibers. Continue Reading

How to Make Silk in 6 Steps


Designboom has a fascinating pictorial of the traditional silk making process of the craftspeople in a small  village in north-east Tailand. Starting with silk worms, which aren’t actually worms, and ending with luscious fabric, the photos illustrate the proceedure in 6 steps.

Step 1: Raising silkworms & harvesting cocoons.

Step 2: Thread extraction:

Step 3: Dyeing.


Step 4: Spinning.

Step 5: Weaving.

Step 6: Ikat (binding).

Designboom will soon sell hand-made silk scarves made from this village. Continue Reading

5 Things You Can Dye With Unsweetened Kool-Aid

1. Fibers such as silk and wool. Here’s a couple of tutorials for dyeing fibers yet spun as well as yarns.

2. Fabrics of the silk and wool variety. Here’s a fun kid-friendly project for tie-dyeing.

3. Water. Yeah, I know, ‘duh’, but not for drinking; for DIY water colors!

And speaking of paint….

4. Add unsweetened Kool-Aid to latex paint for a colorful surprise.

5. Hair. Kool-Aid will add a hint of color to dark hair and a lot of color to light hair, so says this tutorial. Continue Reading