I've been wanting to try dying something with beet juice (and we've got a fair amount of beets this year) so we dug out a white t-shirt for Sweet P, a onesie for Sprout and two head bands (one for me and one for Blair). In the midst of planning, the Farmer mentioned using hollyhocks. I was skeptical, but gathered dry dark purple hollyhocks from the flower patch in the front of the house.
It took a bit longer than we thought because you need to prepare your items before you dye them. When using natural dyes it helps set the dye.
Here are the steps:
Place items in a large pot of 4 parts water, 1 part vinegar. Simmer for 1 hour. You can begin dying right away or allow items to dry a bit. We let ours dry quite a bit before putting the rubber bands on.
For Beets: Peel and chop beets. Place in a sauce pan with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beets are soft. Turn off heat. Strain beets and set juice aside for dying. Eat or compost boiled beets.
For Hollyhocks: Place 1 cup of dried flowers in a small pot with 1-2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat. Strain flowers and reserve juice.
Dip sections in the dye or place the entire item in the dye.
Allow to dry before removing rubber bands.
Remove rubber bands and admire your work!
The hollyhocks were AWESOME! They created a dark purple hue that I loved. We were really surprised by the golden beets and the color they created. The pink of the regular beets wasn't quite as dark as we were hoping for, but it still came out pretty neat.
I can't wait to do this again!
Sweet P wasn't awake when we did this project, but I definitely think it's something she'd love so we'll be doing it again so she can experience the dying process.
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