DIY Baby Clothes:
Get Frugally Creative With Dying Techniques

One of my ultimate favorite ways to DIY baby clothes is by dyeing them! Fabric dye is relatively cheap and easy to work with. You can dye pounds of clothing and other fabric items at once. And you can even get really creative and have some fun with it!

diy baby clothes ombreOh but talk about frugal! You can recycle, upcycle, and pretty much turn trash into treasure with used, stained, or thrift shop finds.

Got a bag full of hand me downs from cousin Sally who's kids just LOVED to make a unholy mess of their clothes. No prob! Dye them all some deep bright colors! Problem solved.

Pregnant with your second baby who just happens to be the opposite gender of your first? Turn that blue into purple! Or magenta! Problem solved.

Or maybe you just have a ton of plain white onesies and you want to have some fun. Feeling crafty and creative? Try your hand at creative DIY baby clothes dyeing like tie dye, or ombre dip dying.

DIY Baby Clothes How To's

There isn't just ONE way to dye your baby clothes. But I've been doing it for a long time and I know what seems to work best for me. Pretty much any clothing dyes that you purchase will have the directions on the box.

You can dye in a container or pot. Or you can dye right in your washing machine.

The washing machine is so super convenient to use, but works best if you are looking to dye a whole bunch of cloth all the same color.

Honestly, I've never felt the need to dye an entire washing load of clothes or blankets or whatever, all the same color and hue. It's just not me.

I prefer to dye my cloth in a big soup pot.

What works best for me:

I dye my baby clothes on the stove top.

First things first, there are a few things you ought to have on hand before you start.

  • 1. test strips of fabric
  • 2. rubber gloves
  • 3. a container of salt
  • 4. dye

    You may also want a separate container on hand to put the clothes as you remove from the dye pot.

    The reason I enjoy to dye in a pot is so that I can make several dye baths and make super small batches of clothes. I manage to fit in a couple colors per bath by choosing colors that could be mixed to create new colors. This way I can start of dyeing things blue, but then maybe add some yellow and finish with green.

    Start by filling a pot with some water. The amount is up to you. I generally wing it (that's what test strips are for, sill!) and just fill about 1/2 or 1/3 of the way. I add some salt (around 2 or 3 tablespoons worth) to the water and bring it to a simmer.

    Add in your dye! The package will tell you how much to add per gallon so you just sort of eyeball it. If you want to get all technical you can figure out the exact measurements, but basically more dye will make things brighter faster. Less dye will create a lighter color.

    Besides the amount of dye you put in the water, you can control the intensity of color by how long you put the clothing into the dye.

    Just dip it in real quick and rinse right away you're more apt to end up with a light color wash. For pastels you want to both add less dye to the bath, and dip quickly.

    Get out your test strips and get on with the testing! If you like the color, go for it! It's time to start dyeing some baby clothes!

    You may want to do one strip as a quick dip and rinse and see the results, and another left in to soak for a minute or two.

    Creative DIY Baby Clothes Dyeing

    My two absolute fave DIY dyeing techniques - Tie Dye, and Ombre dip dyeing.

    Tie Dye Technique

    Tie Dyeing is absolutely the easiest of dyeing techniques.

    1. Start by wetting the pieces of baby clothing that you wish to dye.

    2. Pick a spot on the garment to begin twisting. It can be one spot or several. Take a piece of the fabric between your fingers and, while the clothing is laying flat, begin twisting. Keep twisting until the entire garment is twisted into a ball.

    tie dye baby clothes

    3. Tie the cloth in place. I just use elastic bands. Wrap the bands or some string around the cloth to hold it in place.

    tie dye baby clothes

    4. Now you can either dip dye the garment by dipping different parts of the tied up cloth. Or what I like to do is mix my dye up in squirt bottles and squirt the dye on liberally in all different places on the cloth.

    5. Leave the cloth out in the sun. I usually leave mine out to bake and dry for a full 24 hours. You get really gorgeous bright results this way.

    6. Rinse the clothing with cold water until the water runs clear.

    7. Wash and dry the tie dyed clothes. Viola!

    Ombre Dip Dye

    This is a more modern take on creative dyeing. And it's easy to do!

    1. Mix yourself a dye bath following the way I described above.

    2. Take your wet baby clothes item and pick two gradual points on your item where you want the dye to gradually get lighter or darker. Place a pin or safety pin in each spot to act as a marker.

    dye baby clothes

    3. Quickly dip your piece of clothing all the way to the furthest gradual marker. then pull back to the second marker.

    4. continue dipping back and forth between the first and second marks. Keep dipping over and over for several minutes to create the gradual effect.

    diy dye baby clothes

    5. pull the clothing item out so that just the top (darkest of gradual dye) is still laying in the dye bath. You can leave the cloth to rest this way by using a clothes pin to hold it in place. Let it rest in the dye for several minutes up to half an hour or more.

    diy dye baby clothes

    6. Rinse the garment or cloth in cold water until the water runs clear.

    7. Wash and dry the garment and it's ready to wear!

    ombre dye baby clothes

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