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Dying fabric at home is a fun project to do with kids. However, using fabric dye, buckets, and other tie dye methods is pretty messy and time consuming, not really ideal for toddlers with short attention spans and an insatiable urge to dump all liquids on the floor! Using this technique will still leave you with beautiful patterns and vibrant colors but will be less messy and less hassle. We did our project with our Ocean Activity Plan, but it is really a perfect activity for any afternoon at home! Let’s dye fabric at home!

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What You Need to Dye Fabric At Home:

  • Fabric (for our project we used silk from Sarah’s Silks, but cotton also works)
  • Liquid watercolor and/or markers
  • Droppers or paintbrushes

How to Dye Fabric At Home:

First, soak the entire piece of fabric in water.

This helps give the fabric the tie-dye look without actually soaking the fabric in dye. It does not need to be dripping, just wet enough that the paint will spread through the water. Set the wet fabric over a flat surface. We did this over a table outside.

dye fabric at home using liquid watercolors

Then, use the droppers to drop liquid watercolor over the fabric.

Let your kiddos be creative with the colors and placement of the paint. If using markers, just color as normal.

*Remember: putting too much color in one spot can make mud, so you may need to do some light directing to help your child spread the color over the whole fabric.

Using hands, paint brushes, droppers, etc fill the fabric with color!

This is when your child’s creativity can really shine! Let them have fun with color and with methods of applying the color. Little Miss loved using her hands, but other things like stamps could be fun, too!

*Leaving some white space can really add visual interest, too!

toddler dying fabric at home with liquid watercolors

When the fabric is full of color, hang the fabric to dry.

If you are doing this on fabric that you would like to be able to wash, then before drying you will want to paint a layer of Fabric Medium over the wet paint before setting it to dry. We did this on play silks, so I didn’t worry about this step!

toddler wearing cape, dye fabric from home
Once the fabric is dry, enjoy your beautiful dyed fabric!

This project was great for creativity, independence, fine motor skills, and just having fun! We will definitely be doing this again in the future with different colors.

Tag us on Instagram @blueberriesmash so we can see your beautiful, less-mess dyed fabric!

If you had fun with this dying project, you would love our Jellyfish Mobile. Check it out here:

How to Make a Beautiful Jellyfish Craft for Toddlers: Jellyfish Mobile

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