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How to Shibori Dye Baby Onesies

While I was planning my baby shower (because yes, I am a control freak who can’t let someone else plan a party for me), I came across some invitations on Etsy with gorgeous blue watercolor moons. The color and pattern reminded me of the shibori dying technique and since I was having a small baby sprinkle with just a few guests, I thought it would be a fun activity to shibori dye some baby onesies at the baby shower. Not only would be it be great to dye some new baby onesies so Baby #3 wouldn’t just have hand-me-downs but we could also dye all of the twins’ old burp cloths and swaddles which were used and stained. In case you’re interested in doing the same at a baby shower or just on your own, I’m sharing a quick tutorial below on How to Shibori Dye Baby Onesies.

Here’s the invitation which inspired my baby shower – I loved the moon theme and the color! And the baby onesies turned out to be amazing! 

I didn’t have any DIY activities at my twins’ baby shower fiesta since we did a larger, mixed-gender baby shower where we invited all our local friends and family to celebrate with us, but I do love DIY-type activities at baby showers where the guests, for example, paint a baby onesie or on baby blocks, or draw a page for an alphabet book.

But all of those things rely on the creative talents of your friends and while my friends are really talented, I know they’d much rather drink wine and do something easy, because honestly if I wasn’t pregnant, I would just want to drink wine and craft something easy. So I figured putting rubber bands on onesies and dipping them in indigo was pretty easy, although potentially messy so I planned accordingly. 

How to Shibori Dye Baby Onesies

First of all, I put right on the invitation that it would be an outdoor crafternoon and to dress comfortably. I also told my friends via phone, text, or email to NOT to wear anything fancy, that we would be doing an outdoor craft, and we would be using a dye that could potentially stain their clothes, although I would be providing some protective coverings.  

Next, I gathered my supplies. 

Supplies Needed:

  • Baby Onesies in an assortment of sizes (I went with a pack each of 0-3m, 3-6m, 6-9m, and 9-12m)
  • 2-3 packages of Indigo Dye
  • Extra rubber gloves
  • Extra rubber bands
  • 2-3 5-gallon buckets
  • Stir stick
  • Tarp
  • Optional: Burp Cloths (I LOVED using these cloth diapers as burp cloths for the twins – super absorbant!)
  • Optional: Swaddles
  • Optional: Dish Towels for guests to dye and take home as favors
  • Optional: Painter’s coveralls

And then we simply followed the instructions on the box:

  • Filled up the 5-gallon buckets with 4 gallons of water.
  • Laid out a tarp for the dyed items to go after we pulled them out.
  • Mixed the indigo, soda ash, and reducing agent into the water and stirred.
  • Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes while we bound the materials with rubber bands, blocks, and popsicle sticks.
  • Then we started dropping them in or dip dying. 

I simply told everyone that everything that was dyed for the baby could be put into a pile and I would deal with removing the rubber bands and washing the items after the baby shower. Honestly, they sat on the floor of the garage for a day before they were washed, so that may be why they turned out so dark. 

And since my friends were helping me dye all these baby onesies, burp cloths, and swaddles, I wanted to send them home with something of their own creation, so I also provided some white dishtowels that they could shibori dye as well. After binding and dying the towels, we simply put them into plastic bags for each guest to take home to wash and dry. I’ve seen the dishtowels pop up in their Instagram stories as children’s capes or used as potholders and I love that they’re using and loving them! 

Here’s how mine turned out:

And since the baby shower, I did another shibori dying batch of the twins’ old baby onesies, white tee shirts, more burp cloths, and swaddles as well as some Miracle Blankets (including my daughter’s old pink ones which I just dropped in the bucket and dyed a single color). I also threw in some men’s XL white teeshirts which I got for me to wear during these last few weeks of pregnancy because I’m not spending any more money on maternity clothes this late in the game. 

If you’re looking for more baby shower, baby nursery, or baby DIY inspiration, check out some of my other blog posts:

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