Tuesday, March 8, 2011

kool aid play silks

dyeing playsilks
One of the kid's favorite playthings is their stash of colorful silks. I've seen a ton of random tutorials on dying your own play silks and thought it would be a fun thing to try with the kids.  Dharma Trading Co. has great quality silks in several sizes as well as dyes and silk paints, but we opted for the simple, kid-friendly kool aid option. We had a bag full of packets in red, purple, yellow, and what I thought was blue, but turned out to be red as well (darn fruit punch). 
dyeing playsilks
I won't bore you with the exact steps we went through because you can google "kool aid play silks" and get a thousand tutorials. I read a few and figured it looked pretty fool-proof. Basically, we soaked our silks in vinegar-water for a bit, then soaked them in vinagar-kool aid-water for a bit, then microwaved them a few times, then rinsed them (and the water runs clear! amazing how much color they soak up and hold!), hung them to dry in the breeze, drank a glass of kool aid, and...voila!
kool-aid silks
We really wanted to make a rainbow with one of the long silks, so we draped it across several bowls of color. Then I realized I could not lift four bowls up to the microwave much less fit four bowls in the microwave. After a messy transfer to glasses and a call for help from dad, we had our rainbow (minus a few colors of the rainbow).
rainbow silk
They turned out beautifully! I was amazed by how much color they soaked up -the red especially. (My hands soaked up a lot of that red as well and are only just beginning to look normal again after a couple of days.)
silks in the breeze
After they dried, the kids all grabbed a favorite and quickly turned it into something of their own imagination. These silks have a long life ahead of them as fairy dresses, butterfly wings, super hero capes, baby wraps, pirate garb and oh so much more. 
new playsilks
All in all, it was a fun afternoon craft that resulted in something lovely, useful and lasting. That's my kind of project.
kate's silk


  1. Where in the world do you find these things? You amaze me.

  2. The shade of purple on Kate's head just makes me swoon. I want to bathe my house in that color!

  3. This project is fantastic and turned out so well. No dyed floors, kids or furniture and that's amazing. Love the pictures of the kids.

    I have a cooking range just like yours and was wondering; is your burner grates gray and hard to keep clean? Mine are and I think it's going to be the death of me. I need to go clean them as I type this.

    Take care,

  4. I want to try this! Looks like a good summer-day project.

  5. Does T love those, too? They have always looked fun to me, but I'm not sure the boys would be as enthusiastic.

  6. Katherine, I can't stand those burner grates! I gave up on keeping them clean (it'll all just burn it all off right?:)

    Christie, let's make these in May!! (Maybe by then I can actually track down some other colors.)

    Meghan, I think your boys would love these. They would definitely enjoy making them, and since they don't have girls around using them as fairy wings or princess dresses (yet), it won't occur to them to think they are "girlie". Blue and green make great landscapes for cars and farms, they wrap and tie in a hundred ways for dressing pirates, robbers and super-men; draped over chairs or tables they make good hide-outs...the useless are endless:)

  7. Kelli, about all I can say is you are one exceptional mom!!


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