Yarn Dyeing

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By Yarn and Needlework Contributor Stephanie from the blog Twilight Kallisti

How to Dye Yarn

Want to have a make a unique yarn in your favorite color? Or want to try hand painting to get a one of a kind skein of yarn? Join me in yarn dyeing. It’s fun and a great summer project!


  • Natural fiber yarn – ideally wool yarn or roving (Cotton yarn works well with Jacquard dyes but not with Kool-Aid)
  • Jacquard Procion MX Dye
  • Kool-Aid
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face Mask
  • Buckets, rice steamer, pots, wooden spoons (Once you use them for dyeing they are not safe for food preparation.)
  • Sponge Brush
  • Plastic wrap


This is a messy project so plan ahead. My sister and I covered our work table with garbage bags for easy clean up. Wear rubber gloves and a face mask to protect yourself.

Kool-Aid dyeing is a lot of fun! We picked up a handful of fun flavors. We heated up some water on the stove. We used thrift store pots-they’re cheap and didn’t ruin our food safe cookware. How much water? How many packets? This is the finicky part since it’s so subjective. It really depends on how much yarn you’re dyeing and what shade of color you want. We added enough to completely submerge our skeins. To get the desired color vividness we added more Kool-Aid packets until the color was achieved. Don’t add sugar. We bought a dozen packets of each color.


Soak the yarn until it’s saturated. We soaked our yarn for 30 minutes in hot water. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear. The Kool Aid smell fades over time.

We also tried handpainting yarn.


For this we mixed up small batches of Jacquard Dye. (Instructions are on the jar.) We stretched out plastic wrap and laid out the skeins on top. Using the sponge brushes we painted the yarn. Lift up the yarn to see if you need to turn it over to paint the other side. If you firmly push the sponge onto the yarn to make sure the color saturates completely you likely won’t have to turn the yarn over for a second coat.


After we were done painting we rolled up the yarn in the plastic wrap. Then we steamed them in the rice steamer for 30 min. Afterward we rinsed with cool water and hung up to dry.

Hang up your yarn to dry and bask in its beauty!

Our Kool-Aid yarn turned out beautifully!


Kool-Aid Yarn

Our handpainted yarn turned out lovely as well.

How to Dye Yarn

Painted Yarn


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About Stephanie

Hello everyone. I’m Stephanie and I’m so happy to be the Yarn and Needlework contributor for Think Crafts. A friend taught me to crochet back in 2000 and I’ve been hooked on textile crafts every since. Knitting soon followed, then spinning, needle felting and sewing joined the team. I love making my own clothes and home accessories. Creating fun monsters out of sparkly yarn is my current obsession. I blog about my crafty creations at Twilly 23.

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