Those of you who are already moms are probably very familiar with Aden + Anais and their amazing muslin swaddling blankets. They’re a true must-have for all new parents, and something you’ll use well into toddler-hood and beyond.
We love the patterns and colors Aden + Anais offer, but the fabric is so soft and natural that we couldn’t resist trying our hand at transforming them ourselves using three different dye and print techniques: indigo tie dye, ombre dip dye, and potato printing.
To get started with any of these projects, you need plain white swaddles, washed and dried. All of our dye supplies came from Dharma Trading Co.. If you dig around on their site you’ll find their fabric paints, fiber reactive dyes, and indigo dye; plus lists of all the additional components you need for each type of project. Make sure you read their lists carefully because you don’t want to start without one critical ingredient!
We ordered a ton of different fabric colors and then ended up mixing a few together to come up with the colors we envisioned. This project is nothing fancy at all. You just mix up your colors, cut out shapes from a russet potato, and stamp. It would even be a fun project for big brother or sister when preparing for a new baby in the house.
Simple, cute, modern. You can’t go wrong, if you ask us.
There is nearly nothing so satisfying as dying with indigo. It’s seriously like magic, you guys. So fun and so many beautiful shapes and shades of blue… you’ll want to tie up everything white in your house and turn it blue. Perfect way to revive stained pajamas and tees.
If you buy the indigo kit, the instructions included will give you ideas for different ways to tie your fabric to yield different results. Part of the fun is experimenting… though it’s not a bad idea to try a round on less important fabric first so you can get a sense of how things work.
The kit comes with little latex gloves, but be sure to pick up a few pairs of heavy duty kitchen gloves.
See how the shot above is green? Indigo is green before it hits the air. Isn’t that crazy?
We whole-heartedly encourage you to try this yourself, but be warned that it can be messy, it will turn your hands (and anything you splash) blue, and that it’s definitely not recommended with littles ones running about, unless you happen to have really obedient children.
Ombre Dip Dye
Oh ombre. You are so beautiful. Since we had pretty blues with the indigo, we decided to find a perfect, coral pink (PR 14: Coral Pink on the Dharma site) for the ombre batch. We followed a tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens for our project and it really worked perfectly. We doubled (maybe tripled?) their recipe batch with no issues.
It takes a little patience, especially with fabric as large as these swaddles, but we did figure out that you can dye two or three simultaneously by clipping them all together back to back.
They’re so pretty, even in the rinsing tub!
Such a fun project. Hope some of you are inspired to try your own! These swaddles really are perfect for any dye project you have in mind. And wouldn’t they make such beautiful, thoughtful shower gifts? We’re going to be doing a lot more dying over here, that’s for sure.
All photos by Scott Clark Photo.