Get crafty at home with our Creative Director @allisonroberts

Outside of beach hangs and wave glides, backyard crafts is one of my favorite ways to spend the day! For all of us sun lovers, what better way to stay golden than turning to your kitchen spices and getting crafty with a hue that makes us happy!!!

Along with all of the amazing health benefits of turmeric, it can transform a simple white piece into the most beautiful, cheery sunny shade of yellow!! The key to this at home DIY is not to overthink it…experiment, play and have fun with it! You may even choose to make your own potion (try adding onion skins or avocado…or stay pure with just turmeric!)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Natural fabrics such as cotton, linen or silk
  • Turmeric powder
  • Vinegar and/ or salt (I’ve used both, so work with what you have at home)
  • A pot (stainless steel or if it’s ceramic, just be good with knowing it may tint)
  • A wooden spoon or tong
  • Water
  • Gloves (or if you’re like me, you skip this part and just have yellow hands for a day) 


Step 1: Prep your clothes

You’ll want to pre-wash your piece prior to dying to remove and chemical residue from the manufacturing process. Turmeric is quite unlike other dyes in that it is a ‘direct’ dye on cotton. It’s super rare to find a natural dye that will work on un-mordanted cotton, which makes it so easy to work with an not much prep is needed!

For this project I simply boiled water in a pot, added a handful of salt, dropped in my pieces and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from water using tongs and hand wash with a natural soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Eucalyptus Soap) then rinse. Let air dry or pop in the dryer if you’re amping and can’t wait. 


Step 2: Turmeric Dye Batch

Boil a large pot of water (leaving room for when you add your pieces.) Being adding your turmeric powder once boiled. A little turmeric ill create more of a lemony shade, and the hue will get deeper and more henna-like as you add more spice. 

This round I wanted a rich, golden shade so I kept adding until the color of the water was a beautiful, deep rusty shade of turmeric. This is where you get to play and use your intuition. You can always add more as you go to deepen the color or come back around a second time to dip-dye your piece for a more high-low design!

*As your turmeric is simmering, choose your tie-dye design. You may choose to do nothing and just soak your piece, or have a go using rubber bands to create some fun patterns.

Here are 2 super simple methods using rubber bands!

For a circular pattern

For a stripe pattern

Next, pop your pieces in the pot…stir them so they are completely and evenly submerged and let simmer on low. 

Check on your pieces after the first 5-10 minutes…the longer they soak, the deeper the color will be. Make sure your pieces are always submerged. I let these beauties simmer for about an hour (but you can so as short as 15 mins depending on the look you’re going for.)

The key to this next part is patience!!!…so I recommend you work on your tan, give the garden some love, and maybe a little back-yard workout!!

When your fabric is cool enough to handle, ring it out and rinse with cold water. Hang to dry in a shady spot where it’s all good if color drips. Turmeric fades easily in the sun so this is super key to keeping the color strong!!!!!

Next, remove your rubber bands to reveal your beautiful design and voila…you’re done!


Extra Tips:

When washing at a later date, be sure to wash these pieces on their own or with like colors as these little beauties will most likely shed a bit of color. The color may fade a little over time which I find to be the beautiful evolution of your special piece!!

Enjoy your creation…

With love and aloha,