Ice Dying DIY


ice dying DIYI love DIY projects that are pretty simple and achievable. I’ve also never made tie dye before, and I’ve always wanted to. After doing a bit of google research, I decided ice dying would be an easy-enough afternoon project. From what I can tell, I think ice dying vs. tie dying is less messy and requires less set up. Basically, instead of using rubber bands and liquid dye in bottles, you just layer ice and sprinkle powder dye over the fabric. While the ice melts, the dye melts into the fabric and creates some pretty interesting patterns. I only bought 4 colors of powder dye: magenta, teal, turquoise and purple (I got Tulip brand at Hobby Lobby). I want to get all the colors so I can do rainbow ice dyes next!

Here are the steps I took to create some ice dyed burp cloths and onesies.

Make Soda Ash (you can buy it at Hobby Lobby, but it is WAY cheaper to make):
Take a box of regular baking soda and spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for one hour.
Store in a glass container. Also, wear gloves when handling, as it could irritate your skin. Avoid breathing it in as well.

soda ashbucket

Prep Fabrics to Dye:
Wash all of the whites you want to dye in hot or warm water. No need to dry if you are moving to the next step right away.
Next, you need to soak the fabrics in a soda ash mixture. Find a bucket with a lid. I used a pool chemical bucket that was headed for the trash.
Mix 2/3 cup soda ash per 10 cups of water in the bucket. (This mixture can be used over and over, which is why the lid is nice). Soak items for 20-30 minutes. Wring out with gloves. Store soda ash mixture with lid on to use next time you want to ice dye or tie dye something.

Arrange items to dye one of two ways:
-Crinkle up or roll/fold and place on a baking cooling rack over a casserole dish or plastic bin.

-Layer items in a glass jar or plastic bucket. I used a glass cookie jar.

Then, cover the fabric with ice cubes. You could also experiment with shapes of ice cubes as that can affect dye results as well.

Next, sprinkle dye over the ice. A little goes a long way.

Let everything sit for 24 hours to allow ice to melt and dye to set. Then, rinse well with cold water. Hand wash with a gentle detergent in cold water, then rinse really well. Hang to dry.

Finish with a machine wash on gentle and cold to get any remaining dye out.

I tried both methods and prefer using the jar, just to contain the dye.

For the first batch I made, I crinkled up fabrics over a cooling rack and put them in my laundry room sink. I forgot they were in there and did laundry. OOPS! The washing machine water drained right onto my dye project. As long as you aren’t as forgetful as me though, you should be fine! 🙂

Here are some photos of my projects:

1. Rolled fabric on a cooling tray. This is the one I accidentally drained water on, so you can see the end colors look faded.

roll tray 2. Crumpled up fabric on a cooling tray. I love how this turned out- it looks like outer space or nebulas to me!

crinkle tray3. Layered onesies in a cookie jar. I started with a onesie on bottom, a layer of ice, then a sprinkle of dyes. I continued this until my jar was full. I really like how the long sleeve onesie turned out! It was on the bottom so as the ice melted, the dye pooled at the bottom creating really vibrant colors.

jar meltonesiesI had a lot of fun trying ice dying. I can’t wait to get more colors to dye the other white burp cloths (diapers) and onesies I have. It is addicting though…

Be careful, or you’ll be grabbing all the blank items in your house to dye!

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Chrissy is a born-and-raised Cincinnatian, where she lives with her husband, their three daughters, a sweet, old dog and a cat who thinks he is a dog. Chrissy is a homeschooling mom who also works as a private violin teacher and as a Freedom Fighter with Better Way Designs. She loves cooking (and eating!), binge-watching television series on Netflix during the few precious hours after her kids go to sleep, and exploring restaurants and family-friendly activities in the Cincinnati area with her family. Learn more about fair-trade products made by women freed from trafficking at Chrissy's site:


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