DIY Natural Cranberry Dye

I love grocery shopping around the holidays (even virtually, for COVID safety) because there are so many fun seasonal things out. One of my favorite seasonal things is cranberries! They taste great and they are also so versatile for DIYs.

This time, I have been using them to make all-natural homemade dyes. This recipe is best for something you plan on handwashing, and washing infrequently. I did not do the optional last step of setting the dye enough for it to be sent through the washing machine regularly.

If you would like to make the same, here is how I dyed a sustainable produce bag, and how the color turned out! <3

Supplies:

White vinegar (enough to soak the cloth you want to dye)

1 bag of cranberries (here is the kind that I used, but you can certainly use any kind you like!–> Cranberries)

2 large pots

tongs

gloves if you like


Step 1:
Step 2

Fill one of the pots with enough vinegar to cover the cloth you would like to dye. Set the cloth inside, and make sure it is completely saturated using tongs. This step will help to set the color, because the vinegar will act as a binding agent. Allow to soak for about 15 minutes.

Step 2:

While you wait, fill the other pot with the cranberries and about 2-3 cups of water. (Ideally, this will be almost enough to clover your cloth, and if you need to add more, do so. ) Boil the cranberries and water for about 4-5 minutes. The cranberries should make a small popping sound, allowing the juice and dyes out into the water. Cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 3
Step 3:

Remove the cranberry mixture from heat. Using the tongs, remove your cloth from the vinegar. Place it in the cranberry mixture. Ensure that the mixture is covering the cloth. Leave overnight.

Step 4:

In the morning, something that I did which helped to make a richer color was to squish the cloth up against the side of the pot. (Do this wearing gloves.) The berries will cling to the cloth, and this helps to distribute the pigment better into the fibers.

Step 5

Wring the cloth.

Hang to set for about an hour.

Step 5:

Rinse the cloth. Remove all the husks of the berries, etc. Allow to dry fully.

Hurray! Your dyed cloth is now ready to use! 😀

Go show it off!


Here are some of the items I have personally hand-dyed! I think they worked out awesome! I love the rich maroon color that comes from setting in the cranberry mixture.

Love these guys– feel free to check them out for inspiration! 😉

xoxo, Em


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