- White silk scarves
- Dyes of your choice: Kool-Aid, egg dyes, food coloring, etc.
- Plastic wrap
My daughter attended a very formal tea party at a friend’s house the other day. There was an eclectic assortment of tea cups with the most aromatic make-believe tea brewing away. The hostess served Oreo cookies and Dora fruit snacks. My daughter was thrilled at such a royal banquet before her. I, on the other hand was quite intrigued by the table cloth covering the tea table. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was made of silk and smelled distinctly like…fruit punch?
I asked my daughter’s friend where she found her beautiful table cloth and she replied, “It’s actually a cape and sometimes it’s even my doll’s favorite blankie.” Hmmm…interesting answer but not quite what I had in mind. I decided to go the adult route and asked my friend where she found this beautiful table-cloth-cape-blanket thing. She replied that they actually had made them from some white silk scarves she bought online. She showed me the other ones that they had also dyed at the same time. The colors were gorgeous and they all smelled quite nice. The smell came from the Kool-Aid they had used to dye them.
I went home and did a little bit of Googling to find some scarves to buy so my daughter and I could make some for her. What a fun project to do together. I found some 35 in. x 35 in. white silk scarves at MisterArt.com. They are designed especially for dyeing or painting. I am going to order some silk paints next to try my hand at that craft but that’s a blog for another day.
The scarves arrived in just a few days (Fig.1) and my daughter immediately loved playing with them. She also loved the idea of getting to dye them just like Easter eggs!
Dyeing the silk scarves
- Soak the scarves in warm water with a few splashes of white vinegar for 30 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar and three packets of Kool-Aid (Fig.2,3) to a bowl and mix well.*
- Add a scarf to the bowl and stir around. (Fig.4,5)
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Remove plastic wrap, stir, let sit for 2 minutes. Repeat the microwave and sitting process about 3 times. At the end, almost all of the dye will be absorbed leaving behind a milky white mixture. (Fig.6)
- Allow the silks to hang dry.
- Wash the silks in plain water in your machine. I washed the red one alone, the pink with the purple, the yellow with the orange. I did not have any problem with bleeding except for the red so I am glad I washed that one solo!
- Dry the silks on low and iron if you want. Since my toddler will be playing with these, I didn’t feel it necessary to iron them! (Fig.7)
My daughter loves playing with them even more now that they are such bright and fun colors. These are so easy to make and the imaginative play opportunities are endless. These would also be a fantastic way to wrap a present for a child’s birthday. The wrapping becomes a fun part of the gift and you don’t waste money and resources on wrapping paper that would just be thrown away.
* For the yellow, I added a bit of yellow gel food coloring to the bowl as well because the lemonade was not making it as bright as I wanted it. For the dyeing, you can pick any Kool-Aid, Easter egg dyeing tablets, or food coloring that you want. Just look around your kitchen to see what you have. Chica thought it might yield an interesting color and smell to use some different spices, like turmeric.
If you don’t wish to make your own scarves or would like to order really large ones, try these Super Soaring Dancing Scarves from Oriental Trading Company, Inc.