Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to Dye Onsies [and Cloth Diapers]

So remember those cute and comfy cloth diapers [aka the best burp cloths ever] I made last week and I told you that I would show you how to dye the fabric.  Well today is the day! As you know I love color and these wonderful onsies are just so darling!  

Out with the white and show me the color!  You can essentially dye anything that is one hundred percent cotton.  The process is the same for onsies and the cloth diapers.  All you need is a pack of fabric dye.  I got one pack for about $2.50 and the process is very similar to making jello.  It is easy to make but it takes forever to be done!

So lets get started....
1.  Put warm water into a big bowl or bucket.  It needs to be big enough for your fabric to swim in.  The more water you put in this dye bath the lighter the onsie will be so take that into consideration.

2. In a cup of HOT water [not boiling] dump the dye and about 1/4 cup of salt.  Again, the more dye you use the bolder the color.  I used half but if you want a deep color, use the whole pack.  Mix until everything dissolves.

3.  Pour the dye into the big bowl.
Now, wash the onsies in water.  This helps them to dye evenly.  Put it in the dye bath and let it sit for hours stirring every half hour or so.  The longer you leave it in the bath the bolder the color will be.
It may look really dark but most of the color washes off.  This was the teal one before it went through the washer and dryer.  Be sure not to get rid of the dye bath just yet.

Once you think it is ready [at least two hours soaking], put it in the washing machine by itself.  DO NOT MIX COLORS.  Teal with teal.  Once that is done, wash the next color.  This is why it takes so long!  I  dyed one color a day.  After it is finished washing alone I washed it one more time with a load of laundry and threw it in the dryer.

After the drying process you might realize you want the color to be bolder.  This happened with the red one.  If that happens, just soak it in water and put it back in the dye bath and let it sit longer.  After five hours I had to give the red one a full day and a half.
It may seem like a lot of work but I think it is worth it.  I can't wait to give the new babies these fun colorful onsies!  I love it so much more than those plain boring white ones. 


  1. Patience is key! :)
    Love them! Can't wait

  2. Very nice!
    I've been wanting to make some ombre onesies... who knows if I will ever get to it though.. :(

  3. I've used Rit to dye shirts and onesies before, but I always have problems with the color bleeding in the wash even after 3 or 4 washes. Any suggesstions?

  4. Someone recently gave me a few dyed onesies. I loved them until they went through the wash and stained items in several loads of laundry. It's so frustrating! Were you (or the mamas of the babies to whom you gave the onesies) able to avoid this problem?

  5. I think the key is rinsing them really really well before washing with other clothes. We made tie dye onsies for our twins using RIT dye and we had to rinse and rinse until we saw no more color coming out before we knew they were set and wouldn't stain anything. I want to try this with the diapers! Cute idea!!

    1. Rinsing with hot water over and over again. I forgot to mention that part!

  6. maybe it help if you let tem stand in a bad of wather with accin? hope it is called like dat in dutch its called azijn hoe have it for cooking or for cleaning. it should help ceeping the collor in the new died fl

  7. Just googled and azijn in English is vinegar! Kind of makes sense, we use vinegar with Easter egg dye!!

  8. Just curious, you said you used half a box? I like how your colors turned out and was wondering how many onesies you dyed in how much water?

  9. I used twice the amount of dye and got a very nice bright yellow. I also used the cup of salt and the stove top method. Washed multiple times and the color stayed bright.


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