Skip to Content

How to Make Homemade Natural Dyes

Feel free to share

How to Make Homemade Natural Dyes

Before you toss that spinach that’s starting to wilt or those orange peels from your lunch into the compost pile, consider saving them to make your own homemade natural dyes.

Homemade dyes are ideal for creating lovely shades in your dyed fabric, coloring Easter eggs, and making your own natural face paint. Best of all, making homemade natural dyes is easy and can save you money!

What You’ll Need to Create Homemade Dyes

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Water
  • Small saucepans

Directions for Making Natural Dyes

1. Gather the fruit or vegetable scraps you’re using to make your homemade natural dyes. You’ll need about one cup of chopped scraps to make each color.

2. Add your chopped scraps to a small saucepan and cover with twice as much water. Simmer the scraps over medium heat for one hour.

3. Turn off the heat, and let the water cool down to room temperature.

4. Strain the dyed water into a glass container. You now have natural dyes ready to go.

5. If you want to dye fabric, you need to start by placing it in a fixative. For fruit dyes, simmer your fabric in four cups of water and 1/4 cup salt. If you’re using vegetable dyes, simmer in four cups of water and one cup of vinegar. Then boil for one hour. Once you’re done boiling, rinse the fabric in cold water. Finally, let it soak in the natural dye until it gets to the desired shade.

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Art Supplies for Kids and Adults

Color Ideas for Homemade Natural Dye

Red: Beets, raspberries, strawberries, red onion skins, cherries

Orange: Carrots, orange peels, onions

Yellow: Lemon peels, yellow apple peels

Green: Spinach, green apple peels

Blue: Red cabbage, blueberries, blackberries

Purple: Red onion skins, raspberries, blackberries

Pink: Beets, raspberries, blackberries

Feel free to experiment with different fruit and vegetable scraps to see what type of colors you can create for your homemade natural dyes!

More Natural Crafts for Kids

Are you looking for even more easy-to-make craft projects that your kids will absolutely love? Then you need to check out these natural crafts for kids!

Flat lay of natural crafts for kids pages

You’ll get natural versions of some of your children’s favorite crafts, including natural slime, homemade sidewalk chalk, natural finger paint, and homemade bubble solution. Not only will your kids have a blast making these crafts, but they only require natural ingredients that you can feel safe using around your kids.

Help your kids have safe and natural fun without worrying about what types of chemicals they’re being exposed to by picking up these printable natural crafts for kids!

More Eco-Friendly Tips

Now that you see how easy it is to make homemade dye, are you interested in learning even more simple eco-friendly tips? Then be sure to check out a few of our other popular posts:

Ready for more eco-friendly tips? Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required


Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Earth Friendly Tips:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.


We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.




Colorful dyed fabric with text overlay How to Make Homemade Natural Dye

Piles of dyed fabric with text overlay Discover the Easy Way to Make Homemade Natural Dye

Dyed cloth text overlay How to Make Homemade Dye