How to Make Naturally-dyed Linens

Adventures, DIY

Naturally Dyed Linens

PHEW! This project has been on my to-make list for a very long time.

As I was saying last week, I’m using January as a get-my-life-together-month, which includes–but is not limited to—freshening up my look a bit. Part of that is getting some new linens up in my life for photos.

I’ve always been after linens with really warm neutral colors and they’ve bit impossible to find. After these dried I was so into the results that I wanna try all sorts of veggies and fruits!!

Naturally Dyed Linens

From left to right/bottom: turmeric (short soak); blackberries + yellow onion skins (long soak); turmeric (long soak); blackberries yellow onion skins (short soak); avocado skins and pits; blackberries; yellow onion skins.

Naturally Dyed Linens

I adore the way they turned out and I’m pretty sure I’m going to use them all of the time! The best part about this lil’ project is that it was super easy, wasn’t messy and was pretty inexpensive and doable.

Let’s start with what I used:

1. Avocado skins + pits = mauve(!!). I bought two avocados, ate them and was sure to save the avocado skins. I boiled them for an hour and they resulted in the most gorgeous color in the world. Who knew?!?

Naturally Dyed Linens

2. Frozen blackberries = dark purple. I left the first linen in the mixture for about 1 minute and then left the 2nd linen in there for about 30 seconds.

Naturally Dyed Linens

3. Fresh turmeric (ground turmeric will work, too!) = light yellow and deep yellow. I left one linen in there for a minute or so and the second one I left in there for about 30 seconds. I loved the lighter one better!

Naturally Dyed Linens

4. Yellow onion skins = light, warm brown. This was probably my favorite. Take the yellow skins from 2 onions and boil them for an hour. It was a beautiful brown color.

5. Yellow onion skins + blackberries = prettiest shade of baby purple. I love the idea of combining them. I think yellow onion skins and avocado skins would be gorgeous together.

Naturally Dyed Linens

Naturally Dyed Linens

Naturally Dyed Linens

(Here’s a dessert I can’t eat!)

Naturally Dyed Linens

I also tried spinach but it was gigantic fail because the water turned pee-yellow. Not so cute. My friend Lara, who gave me the idea for the avocados, just dyed some linens in black bean juice!! WHAA! Yes, and it was the prettiest blue color.

As for linens, I say go with what you have lying around the house. I ended up using ones that Anthropologie gave to me. But I recommend going to the fabric store and get some linen cut (I’ve done this before). OR you could go to Target, Home Goods or TJ Maxx to find some inexpensive linens in the sale bins.

If you wanted some nicer style linens, I say do some test dyes on some scrap fabric and then splurge and buy some from this selection.

Some other things I want to possibly use as dye: matcha (probably the prettiest green!), black beans (tho might be smelly!), purple onion skins and blueberries.

Next up: surfaces!!

Naturally Dyed Linens

How to Make Naturally-dyed Linens with Food!!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


One or two food ingredients:

  • 1 3-inch knob fresh turmeric, sliced
  • Yellow onion skins, from 2 onions
  • Avocado skins + pits, from 2 avocados
  • Frozen blackberries, about 1 pint
  • 6 to 8 cups water


  • To a medium saucepan, combine the ingredient (or two) with the water. Bring the heat to medium-high heat and cover the pot. Boil for 1 hour, mixing every now and then. Turn the heat off and uncover. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Then dip the linen in and allow to soak however long you like (20 seconds to a few minutes). Wring and twist and allow to air dry. Try to dry flat (any creases can show in the dye). Use an iron or steamer, as needed.
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  • Avatar
    Reply Dylan January 9, 2017 at 2:06 am

    Wonderful Idea! Thanks for sharing this
    Best wishes for 2017 from BuzzyCircles

  • Avatar
    Reply Rachael January 9, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Love the look of these, they look amazing 🙂

    Rachael xx.

  • Avatar
    Reply Karen January 9, 2017 at 8:38 am

    These are gorgeous! I have a lot of white or off-white vintage napkins and am intrigued by how they might look dyed with vegetables.

    After using the dyed linens, can they just go in the wash as usual? Does the dye transfer to other clothing, or should I wash the linens separately?

    Thanks and happy 2017!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme January 9, 2017 at 8:40 am

      I would hand wash them gently. The dye will transfer but if you’re washing them with each other then it’ll be ok!

      • Avatar
        Reply Karen January 12, 2017 at 10:21 pm

        Thank you!

      • Avatar
        Reply new reader February 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

        You can use vinegar to “fix” the color into the fiber of the napkins.

  • Avatar
    Reply Laura (A Beautiful Plate) January 9, 2017 at 9:50 am

    So beautiful! Love this, and those colors are gorgeous. Can’t wait for the surfaces post!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme January 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      thanks, laura! i’m excited about new surfaces–yay!

  • Avatar
    Reply Celia Becker | January 9, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Really lovely. The products you found that make these colors was brilliant thinking. Who would have thought avocado skins and pits would = mauve? I’ll be trying this soon.

  • Avatar
    Reply Courtney January 9, 2017 at 10:58 am

    So beautiful! I can’t wait to try this! Very therapeutic!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sogol January 9, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Live the palette comours!! Can you share sources on the enamel pots, cups please?

  • Avatar
    Reply Kari January 9, 2017 at 11:42 am

    What stunning linens! I love the muted colors!

  • Avatar
    Reply heather (delicious not gorgeous) January 9, 2017 at 11:59 am

    i love how the blackberry one turned out, but in terms of something i would actually use, the avocado skins one seems perfect. really curious how your friend’s black bean one looks too (:

  • Avatar
    Reply Me and Tea January 9, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Looks beautiful! My favourite is the avocado one because you can use all the parts of the avocado- even the ones you can’t eat! This is awesome, can’t wait to try it!!

  • Avatar
    Reply Erin January 10, 2017 at 9:32 am

    The blush pink was what fruit/vegetable?
    Looks amazing so so pretty!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme January 10, 2017 at 9:32 am

      avocado pits and skins!

      • Avatar
        Reply Erin January 10, 2017 at 9:46 am

        Thank you !!!!!!

  • Reply Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is January 14, 2017 at 3:46 am

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    Reply Stephanie January 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Do you think you could set the dyes with a mordant like salt?

  • Avatar
    Reply Laura January 16, 2017 at 7:07 am

    These are gorgeous. What a fun project.

  • Reply Lovely Links - Heather's Dish January 20, 2017 at 2:00 am

    […] naturally dyed linens are […]

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    Reply DessertForTwo January 21, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I’m obsessed. I want my whole life dyed avocado skin mauve.

  • Reply Blogs to Read this Month in Tea // January Round Up | The Cup of Life February 2, 2017 at 11:20 am

    […] Cozy Kitchen | How to Make Naturally-dyed Linens – When I first saw this DIY from Adrianna I thought it was just going to be tea dyed linens. […]

  • Avatar
    Reply Lydia @ theliterarylollipop February 15, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I love it when you post crafty ideas! It’s February and I’m up to my eyeballs in snow, and crafty is cozy.

  • Avatar
    Reply Eva September 13, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Oooh damn this is amazing! Am so gonna try these 🙂
    Oh and is the surface-post coming up? Can’t wait!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 13, 2017 at 8:38 am

      I know I need to get on that. Grrr….I might buy them haha.

  • Avatar
    Reply Debra Veda Weeden January 31, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Thanks I was very interested in the dying of linens story and found out about how easy it is to do I can’t wait to have a go to get my old linens more up to date and have lots of fun doing it I was into tie dyed and using wax and die to make all sorts of beautiful things years ago thanks for the wonderful ideas of how to use all of my vegi scraps and the new interest for me to do I have a lot of time spare and it will keep me busy for a while so thanks again for your blog take care and keep up the great ideas for us all Debra Veda

  • Avatar
    Reply Debra Veda Weeden January 31, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    I am also interested in any other recipes for Vegan foods that you might have as well thanks again Debra Veda

  • Avatar
    Reply Inga March 5, 2018 at 4:23 am

    Amazing to see such a beautiful colors created with natural ingredients. Does the color stay after the wash?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme March 6, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      Yes it does. I have these linens a year later and they still look the same color. 🙂

      • Avatar
        Reply Inga March 25, 2018 at 7:21 am

        Thanks Adrianna!

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