So this isn’t related to letterpress, but it’s still a fun craft project. It’s really easy, too! I thought my baby just couldn’t live without some proper tie-dyed onesies. I wish I had made 6, because once you have the dye mixed up, you might as well make several.   I was a fibers and design major in college, and fabric dying was my very favorite part.   Here’s the recipe and step-by-step instructions:

What you need:

  • Onesies or t-shirts, prewashed in hot water
  • lots of rubber bands
  • Ziploc bags
  • rubber gloves
  • squeeze bottles (can be old ketchup or mustard, washed out of course)
  • dye solution–you can use Rit I’m sure, although I don’t know the recipe. Here is my recipe for dying: make a solution of 6 cups water, 1/2 cup soda ash, 1 tablespoon urea pellets.   divide into your squeeze bottles, and add a teaspoon or so of Procion dye powder. Shake well.   You can get all of these chemicals from Dharma Trading Company.

Get a blank onesie. This could definitely be a used one, because the more it’s been washed, the better it receives and holds the dye. It could even have a few stains. Not that anything like that happens at my house.

Lay it out on a flat surface, and start twirling the middle. This is for the traditional spiral pattern. You can also accordian fold it, or just gather a bunch of pieces and tie them off with rubber bands. Just remember, the bunchier the better. Is that a word?

Rubber band the daylights out of it.

Squirt dye solution on it. Make sure you let it soak in, then apply more. Unless you want lots of white spots, which is fine as well.

Place in a Ziploc bag for at least 24 hours, and preferably in a warm place. Like your car on a hot summer day. Not that I would ever do that. Heavens, no.

Rinse in sink with cold water until it runs clear, then run in the washing machine on the hot cycle and through the dryer. Works like a dream! Be careful if you use red dye, it’s pretty runny. You might want to hot-cycle it 2 times.


Last step: take a picture of your baby and send it to me at this e-mail address: beth[at]

Good Luck!