how to : tie dye with what you’ve got in the kitchen

there is a pantry full of seemingly innocent foodstuff just waiting in your kitchen to color and stain your clothing.

protect yourself.  protect your favorite white threads.  do it yourself.

here’s what you’ve got to do.


in separate pots and heaps of water, boil the heck out of :
-purple cabbage (chop a head into quarters)
-turmeric (2 heaping tablespoons)
-black tea (5 bags)
-beets (4 beets, quartered)

let the soups cool down.


elastic bands are particularly useful. the goal is to create sections that will later be the nice shapes the different colors make.


soak different sections in different colored broths.  let the dye soak in and dry completely, then untie to see your designs.  iron over all the dyed areas to ‘heat-set’ – this will keep the colors from fading.

start with something simple:

then try out a few tricks:

if you’re not sure how to get the hippie dream-swirl, the first minute of this video gives a good idea: link. it’s also helpful to try out your designs on small scraps of fabric.

have fun.  play around.  experiment.

just be warned.



  1. brilliant!!! I so want to do this :)

  2. Hi Shirin,love the dyeing from the kitchen project! Just wondering how the colors hold up after washing? And do check out my blog, I’ve got a category called “Israel” that you’re sure to like as well as lots of great crafts. all the best!

    • Hi Sara,

      Good question. These ‘dyes’ do fade a little quicker than the commercial stuff, and I find the colors are more muted to begin with. Running a hot iron over the dyed areas helps to heat set the colors, though.

      Thanks for directing me to your blog, it is great! I am eager to try your challah and pita recipes.



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