Updated: Apr 6, 2021
Today I am sharing a fun little DIY I have done to make my own cheese cloth wraps to wrap baby in for newborn photography! It’s very inexpensive, I used all organic products so no harsh chemicals, and I was able to get some really neat colors of wraps that I haven’t seen out there for sale!
These are some of the wraps I have dyed. Starting at the top clockwise - Avocado & ferrous sulfate, Avocado, Turmeric dyed for several hours, Turmeric dyed for 15 minutes, and coffee.
For this DIY I used unbleached, organic cheese cloth, soy milk as a mordant to help the color fix to the material, and different foods that are known to stain clothes! I tried Blackberries which resulted in a beautiful light blue color, turmeric which gave a bright goldy/orange, coffee which gave a light beige/brown, avocado which actually dyes a peach color, and avocado mixed with ferrous sulfate – which is an iron supplement & dyes the fabric a darker color & gave a deep grayish/purple. If you’re really wanting to get into hand dying – I recommend buying some ferrous sulfate – you can get it at the drugstore & it just adds a little something something. I love the deeper earthy colors so I was pleasantly surprised with how the avocado & iron turned out. A fun one I am going to try next is spinach with iron sulfate to try to get a deep green – will keep you posted on how that turns out!
Organic cheese cloth (can buy on Amazon or Walmart)
Whichever fruits/vegetables you want to dye with (Try berries, turmeric, coffee, red wine, black tea, avocado, spinach, or whatever else you can think of that would dye a white t-shirt!)
500 mL Soy milk (or cow's milk)
2.5 L tap water
Run cheese cloth under water and then wring it out so that it’s damp
Mix 500 mL soy milk (I have heard cows milk also works) with 2.5 L of tap water
If you're planning to dye several cheese cloths make sure you have enough milk/water so the fabric can float around freely
Place cheesecloth into the pot of soy milk & water
Let it sit for at least 24 hours, I have read the more time – the better! One day worked well for me. If leaving in for over 24 hours place it in the fridge.
Remove cheese cloth after 24 hours, wring it out and then pop it in your washing machine on a spin cycle. This removes all of the excess soy milk so that your fabric doesn’t dye streaky.
Hang the cheese cloth to dry & cure for one week
On day 6 of the cheese cloth curing, prepare your dye. For this DIY we will use avocado. I had saved up my avocado pits in a plastic bag in the freezer – I had 4 or five of them. And I had saved the avocado skins to dry out. Place them in a pot and add a few cups of water. I brought this to a very light simmer, then I turned the heat off and put the lid on. I let this sit for 24 hours.
*If you’re using iron – add it to the pot at this time too & stir to dissolve. A little goes a looong way so I would just test out a very small amount first
After 24 hours, strain the fruit/vegetable out of your dye pot, then dampen your cheese cloth
Place the cheesecloth in the dye pot and let sit for at least 24 hours.
After done dying rinse out the cheese cloth and hand wash with detergent & hang to dry.
And that’s it! It was fun, and neat to see what color the cheese cloth will end up!
Give this DIY a try and comment any photos below – if you’re not into newborn photography, it could also be fun to try it on a white cotton or linen t-shirt, or even a plain white baby onesie! I would love to know if you think of any other fun foods to dye with that I haven’t tried yet!