Technique Thursday: Dip-Dyeing with Martha

I recently got my copy of Martha Stewart Living, August 2010, in the mail. Receiving this particular magazine is always an exciting day, and I practically tear the cover off to see what’s new in Martha’s world. This time I was so excited to find an article on dip-dyeing. It’s all about submerging parts of items in either dye, wax or paint – and the results are beautiful. I can’t think of an easier craft, and here are a few examples of some finished projects:

Pretty, huh?  With all the leftover craft paint that I have in my stash, I thought I should translate this idea for crafters that have paint on hand. My only issue is that I don’t have enough craft paint to do a full color dip as they did in the article. So I improvised. Here’s what I came up with, and now I need to give the staff of Living a huge hug. Their awesome article led me to this beautiful basket that holds a flower arrangement!

Check out this closeup:

So how did I do it? It’s simple. All you have to do is gather a few supplies: leftover acrylic paint (I used Apple Barrel), an item to dye and then a tub to dip it in. Oh, and water. But that is typically easily accessible!

Rinse the dust out of your tub. Your first step is to pour your leftover paint into your tub. Don’t be afraid to mix colors, in the same color family of course.

Add water – enough to bring the paint up to your desired “dye level.” Do keep in mind that the more water, the less strong your dyeing will be. You may want to experiment with different size/shaped containers depending on the size of your item.

Stir the water and paint thoroughly. I used whatever I could find, which was a ruler – but it was great becasue the flat end of the ruler brought the paint up off of the bottom of the tub. Stir, stir, stir.

Here goes nothing! Dip your object into the paint/water mixture. I was scared. Martha, don’t fail me now!

Pull the item up and let the paint/water mixture drain off. Cool!! Check out the dyeing starting to happen on my basket – and because it was made of balsa wood, the paint started to seep upward. I liked the effect it created.

I allowed the paint to drain off and waited for a few minutes, then dipped it again. I gave a second layer of dyeing that was stronger than the first. I realized that if I did that repeatedly, I could continue to dye the basket darker and darker. I could also dip with one color, then add a dark blue to give the basket a gradiated look.

In the end, I dyed my basket a few times and stuck with one color. I LOVE the results. I’m now hooked on dip-dyeing. I’ve got so much paint, and so many ideas of what to dye next. What will you dip-dye?

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4 Responses to “Technique Thursday: Dip-Dyeing with Martha”

  1. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I linked to this post today from the new Home & Garden channel at Craft Gossip. 🙂 My hope is to share many of the fabulous projects I see everyday with the vast CG audience. I hope you will not only stop by and subscribe to CG, but will tell your friends about the new category! Hope you see some traffic from it!

    Your feature will appear in the main Craft Gossip RSS feed, on the main home page and can be found directly here

    If you would like a “featured by” button, you can grab one here!

  2. so cool, I will try it with Pink

  3. This is neat and easy! I’ve got plenty of paints too, so now I will be wandering my house looking for items to upcycle! Fun!


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