7 Creative Projects Using Rit Dye

  • 01 of 07

    Color Your Jeans Your Own Way

    dyed blue jeans
    Courtesy of Rit Studios

    Don't be blue anymore. Colored jeans are trendy and can add a pop of color to your wardrobe. Rit Dye designers offer tips on how to correctly color white cotton jeans without a lot of mess and hassle.

    As with any fabric dyeing project, be sure to select a garment or fabric that is made from 100 percent natural fibers like cotton or linen. Synthetic fibers do not hold dye well and if you use a blended fabric like a 50/50 cotton/polyester, the final color results will not be even.

    If the garment...MORE is new, always wash it first to remove any finishes or sizing that was applied at the factory. If you are using some pre-worn jeans, be sure they are completely stain free before dyeing.


    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Create Custom Accessories for Every Outfit

    lace bracelets
    Courtesy of Rit Studios

    Have you ever looked for the perfect accessory for an outfit but can't find the right color? With Rit Dye, you can create your own. Lisa Kettell of Lisa Kettell Designs has created some beautiful Victorian lace cuffs using Rit Dye.

    While these bracelet cuffs are quite Victorian in style, you can customize many types of trims and fabrics to create different looks. The same techniques can be used to create a choker or necklace.

    Supplies You’ll Need

    • Rit liquid dye (4 colors)
    • Plastic table cover
    • Disp...MOREosable bowl
    • Aluminum Foil
    • Rhinestone buttons
    • Magnetic fabric snaps
    • 100 percent cotton lace trim
    • Sewing needle
    • Quilting thread
    • Fabric tac
    • Latex gloves
    • Old towel

    Select Your Colors

    Use any color Rit Dye you want or create a custom color by mixing two different dyes. Colors used for this project are Rit Color Perfect Kits in Passion Pink, Amethyst Purple, Enamel Blue and Citrus.

    Step by Step Directions

    1. Prep your work surface. Lay plastic table cover over the surface where you will be working to prevent spills and stains.
    2. Hand wash cotton lace trim with a gentle detergent to remove any sizing or fabric finishing products that could interfere with dyeing. When dry, cut lace trim into a 12-inch strips.
    3. Pour 1/2 bottle of Rit Color Perfect liquid dye in a disposable bowl, set aside. Do not dilute.
    4. Put on your rubber or latex gloves. Dip the lace trim into the bowl of Rit liquid dye; stir until saturated with color.
    5. Remove dyed lace trim and place on foil and allow to air dry. Speed up drying process using a hair dryer on low heat.
    6. Fold under each end of the dyed lace about 2 inches, secure with Fabri-tac, let dry. Attach magnetic snaps to each end to form a bracelet.
    7. Thread a sewing needle with quilting thread and stitch on a rhinestone button to the middle of the bracelet.
    8. Tips/Tricks: For a stiffer bracelet spray your bracelet with fabric starch.


    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Modern Tie-Dye

    Tie dye
    Jodie Griggs/Getty Images

    When I think of tie-dyed t-shirts, I remember the 1960s versions with lots of neon colors and a starburst design. Today's tie-dye designs, like this one from Rit Dye, are more subtle and sophisticated. This accordion pleated tie-dyed shirt looks quite modern. This ain't your Mama's tie-dye!

    Be sure to hand wash your new tie-dyed shirt separately until you are certain that all of the loose dye has been removed.

    This same technique can be used to create curtains, table lines or a great...MORE looking shower curtain.

    Supplies You’ll Need:

    • 100% Cotton T-shirt
    • Rit Dye, liquid or powder (1 bottle or box)
    • Squirt bottle for dye
    • Plastic disposable spoons for mixing dye
    • Measuring cup
    • Paper towels
    • Plastic table cover
    • Plastic food wrap
    • Rubber bands
    • Rubber gloves
    • Microwave oven

    Select Your Color:

    Use any color Rit Dye you want or create a custom color by mixing two different dyes. You can add a touch of black dye to the dye bath to make it even darker. Color shown: Fuchsia

    Step by Step Directions

    1. Wash the cotton shirt using a good laundry detergent to remove any sizing or finishes that might interfere with the dye.
    2. Cover work surface with a plastic cover.
    3. Lay shirt out on a flat surface.
    4. Accordion fold shirt diagonally and apply rubber bands every three inches.
    5. Dip shirt in cool water and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.
    6. Wearing rubber gloves, prepare Fuchsia dye: Mix 1 package of powdered dye or one-half cup liquid dye with 2 cups hot tap water; stir well. Pour into squirt bottle.
    7. Roll out and overlap several layers of plastic wrap to make an area slightly larger than shirt.
    8. Place folded and rubber banded shirt on plastic wrap. Squirt Fuchsia dye along the folds of the shirt.
    9. Cover shirt with plastic wrap; seal edges. Fold to fit in microwave.
    10. Line bottom of microwave with paper towels. Place wrapped shirt in microwave and set on High for 2 minutes.
    11. Wearing rubber gloves, remove shirt from microwave. Rinse shirt in cool water; remove rubber bands. Rinse again until water runs clear. Then launder in warm water with a mild detergent; rinse and dry.
    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Design Kitchen Towels for Every Season

    rit towels
    Courtesy of Rit Studios

    White cotton kitchen towels are essential and functional...and boring. Using this fun technique from Rit Dye, you can design kitchen towels for every decor and season. The designs are created using Elmer's Glue Gel to prevent the dye from saturating the decorated area.

    These step-by-step instructions for these Valentine themed towels can be easily adapted for any holiday. I would also love a set of towels with cooking terms or food names written with glue and then dyed to match my kitchen....MORE And what grandparent wouldn't love a set signed with their grandchild's name?

    This same technique could be used for creating costumes, custom t-shirts or table linens.

    Rebecca Fretty of The Rit Studio has created custom designed kitchen towels featuring heart designs. Use your imagination and create towels for every season and decor.

    Supplies You’ll Need

    • 100 percent cotton flour sack kitchen towels
    • Rit liquid dye (1 bottle)
    • Rit Dye Fixative transferred to a spray bottle
    • Elmer's School Gel Glue
    • Aluminum Foil or Parchment Paper
    • Bucket
    • Old towel
    • Paper towels
    • Rubber gloves
    • Plastic table covering

    Select Your Color

    Use any color Rit Dye you want or create a custom color by mixing two different dyes. You can add a touch of black dye to the dye bath to make it even darker. Color used in this project: Fuschia.

    Step by Step Directions

    1. Wash new cotton towels using a good laundry detergent to remove any finishes or sizing that might interfere with the dyeing process. If the towels have been used, be sure they are completely stain free.
    2. After covering your work surface with a plastic table covering to protect it from stains and spills, lay the kitchen towel out flat with either aluminum foil or parchment paper under the section you plan to decorate with Elmer's glue.
    3. Use Elmer's blue school gel glue to make hearts or the design of your choice along the bottom of the towel and allow to completely dry. In most cases, it is best to allow to dry overnight.
    4. Prepare dye bath by filling a small plastic tub about 1/3 full of the hottest water you can get from your sink tap and pour 1/4 cup of Fuchsia liquid Rit Dye into the water. Stir to evenly distribute the dye in the water bath.
    5. Dip the glue decorated towels into the dye to the level you would like to have color. As you can see in the photos, one towel has dye completely covering the hearts and the other has a bit of the hearts un-dyed just for fun. To chose your desired color, leave in the dye bath longer for deeper color and less for a more pastel pink.
    6. Squeeze out the excess dye back into the dye bath. Place the freshly dyed towels on plastic or  in a stainless sink and spray with Rit Dye Fixative. (The dye can stain porcelain sinks).  Allow the towels to sit with the dye fixative for 20 minutes.
    7. Carefully rinse the dye from the bottom of the towels in the sink until the water runs clear and then hand wash with mild detergent until the water runs clear. Allow the towels to air dry.
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  • 05 of 07

    Create Custom Baby Gifts

    rit baby outfit
    Courtesy of Rit Studios

    Every mother thinks that her little one is special (and he or she really is!), so why not create a one-of-a-kind gift for a baby shower. 

    If you're not handy with a crochet hook or knitting needles, just purchase a ready-made baby cap made with natural fibers and you can still create a cherished gift.

    Dyed Crochet Hat and Onesie

    Louise Ronshaugen of The Rit Studio shares how to create a personalized baby outfit perfect for giving or for your own little one.

    Supplies You’ll Need

    • 100 percent...MORE cotton white onesie
    • Rit liquid dye (3 colors)
    • Lion Brand 100% cotton yarn
    • Crochet hook
    • Embroidery floss
    • Buttons
    • Latex gloves
    • Two plastic bins or buckets
    • Large metal spoon
    • Microwave
    • Paper plate
    • Plastic table cover
    • Rubber bands

    Select Your Colors

    You can use any colors of Rit Dye you want or create custom colors by mixing two different dyes. For the project shown, the colors used were Lemon Yellow, Sunshine Orange and Teal.

    Step by Step Directions

    1. Using your favorite pattern, crochet a simple baby hat using 100% white cotton yarn. If you need a pattern, consider one of these.
    2. Wash the onesie and the completed hat with a good detergent to remove any sizing or fabric finishes that could interfere with the dyeing process.
    3. Before beginning to dye, cover the work surface with a plastic tablecloth to prevent spills and stains.
    4. Wearing disposable gloves, prepare two dye baths in a plastic bin: Lemon Yellow and Sunshine Orange. For one onsie, add 1/4 cup of dye to approximately 3 cups of very hot water (140 degrees F.)
    5. Wet the clean onesie completely with cool water. Squeeze out excess water. This prepares the fabric to soak up the dye. Scrunch up the onesie making various folds into a ball, then secure it with a couple of rubber bands to hold into place.
    6. Put the onesie ball into the Sunshine Orange dye bath. Leave in 7-10 minutes depending on how dark you want the color. Remember that it will lighten up when you rinse and dry it.
    7. Remove rubber bands and rinse until the water runs clear.
    8. Now dip the onesie in the Lemon Yellow dye bath.  Leave for approximately 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess dye and put onesie on a paper plate. Microwave for 30 seconds.  The heat will help set the dye and prevent the colors from bleeding into each other. Allow the dyed onesie to air dry while you dye the hat.
    9. Prepare the Teal dye bath (1/4 cup dye to 3 cups hot water). Thoroughly wet the hat with cool water and squeeze out the excess water. Submerge the hat in the dye bath and leave approximately 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess dye and put on a paper plate.  Microwave for 30 seconds.
    10. Rinse both the baby hat and onesie under cool running water until water runs clear.
    11. Launder in washing machine or hand wash with mild detergent. Hang to dry or use low heat setting dryer.
    12. Crochet edging around the neck of the onesie with embroidery floss matching the hat.  Sew cute buttons on hat and you're done.
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  • 06 of 07

    DIY Dyed Furniture and Home Accessories

    Dye Furniture with Rit Dye

    Using Rit Dye on unfinished wood is much like using a stain. The beauty of the wood grain shows through the color. If you use this technique on pieces that will be used often, apply a polyurethane finish to protect the color and surface.

    Angela Daniels of The Guilty Crafter wanted a customized display shelf for her son's treasures. She used liquid Rit dye to create a unique piece and so can you!

    Supplies You Will Need

    • Wood Shelf or Display Box
    • Rit liquid dye (1 bottle)
    • Rit Dye Color Perfect Kit...MORE sponge tip applicator
    • Plastic tablecover
    • Rubber gloves

    Select Your Color

    Use any color Rit Dye you want or create a custom color by mixing two different dyes. You can add a touch of black dye to the dye bath to make the color darker and richer. Color used for this project is Cherry Red.

    Step By Step Directions

    1. Select an unpainted wood shelf, display box or other home accessory.
    2. Sand the piece lightly on all surfaces to remove any finish that will interfere with dye absorption. Be sure to carefully remove all the dust before dyeing. A microfiber cleaning cloth works great for this.
    3. Cover your work table with a plastic table cover to protect finishes from accidental spills and stains.
    4. Slip on disposable gloves to protect your hands.
    5. Apply undiluted liquid Rit Dye to the accessory. Liquid Rit Dye works just like wood stain basically so it's a very fast process. The Rit Color Perfect Kit comes with a handy sponge applicator. You can also use a sponge paint brush. Tip: You may find it helpful to pour a bit of the undiluted dye into a disposable cup or bowl for easier painting.
    6. Allow the dyed accessory to dry completely - overnight is best - before hanging or using.


    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Create Watercolor Dyed Skirt

    tie dye skirt
    Courtesy of Rit Studios

    Marissa Lynch of New Dress a Day collaborated with Rit Dye to create a hand-painted watercolor skirt. You could use the same technique to create hand-painted fabrics for napkins, placemats or tablecloths.

    Supplies You’ll Need:

    • 100 percent cotton fabric or garment
    • Rit liquid dye (several colors)
    • Plastic cups
    • Latex gloves
    • Sponge paintbrushes
    • Plastic table cover

    Select Your Colors

    Use any colors of Rit Dye you want or create custom colors by mixing two different dyes. The colors used for the project shown:...MORE Petal Pink, Sunshine Orange, Golden Yellow, Kelly Green and Violet

    Step by Step Directions

    • Wash your 100 percent cotton material using a good laundry detergent to remove any sizing or fabric finishes that might interfere with dye absorption.
    • If you are using a pre-owned garment, be sure it is stain free before dyeing.
    • Cover your workspace with a plastic tablecloth to protect finishes and prevent stains
    • Completely wet the cotton fabric or garment with cool water and gently squeeze out excess water.
    • To create dyes, add one tablespoon of Rit liquid dye to one cup of water.
    • To create the look of a watercolor painting, create circles, lines and freehand abstract designs. Because the fabric is wet, the dye will blend and spread naturally within the cotton fibers.
    • Use one color at a time and change to a clean brush or wash the brush between colors to keep clean designs.
    • If you cannot spread the garment completely flat, place a plastic barrier between layers of fabric. This will allow you to work on one side at a time. Allow the dye and fabric to air dry before moving to the next layer.
    • Once the dyeing is complete, allow to air dry and then handwash using a gentle detergent.

    Visit The Rit Studio for more information and projects using Rit Dye.