DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

As you guys may know, we have been obsessed with designing our own fabrics with fabric dye these last couple of years with naturally. We absolutely love using indigo dye to create pillows, wall hangings, dishtowels and more. But we’ve been itching to try other forms of natural dyes.

We made these beautiful deep pink dishtowels using dried hibiscus leaves as the natural dye. Did you know you could use yellow onions skins to dye cotton fabric? Yes you can!

So a couple of weeks ago, we were at our parents’ house in Michigan for a little summer vacation on the lake. Whenever we’re together (since we run this blog as a team, but from different states), we jump at the chance to create together, so we were thrilled to give a new form of naturally dyeing a try!

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

We teamed up with method, who is inspiring all of us to #fearnomess and get our hands dirty while creating! We’re known to get a little bit messy while working on our DIY projects, especially dyeing, so having method soap on hand is key. And it’s pretty great that method is a people-friendly company, products that are biodegradable, made form recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable. And their scents and colors of soap are so great to boot!

Since we were creating this DIY natural fabric dye project at our mom’s house we were inspired by none other than her yellow kitchen! We chose turmeric powder as our natural dye to to create fabric that was summery and cheerful, but still natural and warm.

We are so excited to share our natural dyed picnic blanket with you.

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

Read more for our DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial…

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Supplies

2.5 yards, cut in half down the middle of 100% cotton fabric (we used natural un-bleached muslin)

turmeric powder

large pot


wooden spoon

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Steps

Cut fabric to your desired size.

  1. Prepare fabric to be dyed. It is best to pre-treat the fabric. This step is to help the fabric hold the dye. We added 1 T. vinegar to a pot of water.
  2. Add 1 T of turmeric to 3 cups of water. For a large amount of fabric we did 3 T of turmeric to 9 cups of water. Bring to boil.DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial
  3. Add fabric to water and reduce heat. Let sit in water for up to 30 mins. Stir the fabric lightly with wooden spoon.
  4. Rinse with hot water until water runs clear.
  5. You can heat set with iron. Wash and dry a few times before use to ensure all dye is set.

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

We made the picnic blanket a dip dye design by placing the entire fabric in the pot for one minute. Then pulled out the top third of fabric and gradually pulled more fabric every few minutes.

We are planning to use this for a picnic blanket this summer but will be bringing it inside this fall for a tablecloth for sure!

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

DIY Natural Fabric Dye Tutorial

Photos by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon.

Thank you for method for sponsoring this post. And thank you for supporting the brands that support Alice & Lois.

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  1. NameTan of Squirrelly Minds says:

    This is so so pretty! I’ve always wanted to try dyeing with turmeric.

  2. NameEden passante says:

    Love how this turned out, I’m definitely going to try this out for dinner napkins and table cloths!

  3. What do you mean by pre-treating with vinegar? Boil the fabric first in the vinegar/water pot before dyeing later in the dye pot?

  4. This is lovely! Do you have any tips on how to make it a lighter yellow color?

    1. I would think you could use less turmeric powder and leave in the dye for a super short time.

  5. Does this bleed when you wash it afterwards? We want to make them for presents but don’t want people to ruin entire loads of wash from our gift. Thanks!

    1. You should wash and dry the dyed fabric once it is dry after you dye it. That sets the dye. We have not had any issues. Sara

  6. You have inspired me to finally do a dye project. I plan on changing a white KING chenille bedspread to yellow. Do you have any other advice for such a large project?

  7. What is 1T of vinegar and turmeric? 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon or something else entirely?
    Thank you

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