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I love looking at all the wonderful yarn projects out there and have been thinking about doing one with the kids. We had so much fun dyeing rainbow flowers that I though dyeing yarn would be a fun way to explore colors along with a tactile experience. Not only was this activity simple and fun, we now have beautiful yarn to go create another project!

Read more below to find out how to easily dye yarn with kids using a mess free approach.

How To Dye Mess Free Yarn – Materials:

– natural wool yarn

– food coloring

– glass shallow pan

– vinegar and water

– plastic wrap

– latex gloves

1. Gather your materials. Rinse your yarn out and gently squeeze dry.

2. Place the yarn in a shallow glass pan and cover it with a solution of vinegar and water. We used a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water. Let the yarn soak for at least 30 minutes. The vinegar allows the colors to penetrate the yarn and hold. There is a lot of information on this and I highly recommend taking a look at this site for tons of resources on yarn dyeing which helped guide our process.

3. After the yarn has soaked in the water and vinegar bath, take out the yarn and squeeze it dry. Drain the water from your container, and dry it. Place plastic wrap on the bottom up to the sides and place your yarn on top.

4. Using gloves, add the food coloring color by color to sections of the yarn and massage it in. After you’ve done that it’s helpful to flip the yarn over and make sure the undersides are coated with color as well.

5. Once the color is set all you have to do is wrap the plastic wrap up over the yarn to turn it into a packet. Add more plastic wrap if you need to.

Pop the yarn packet in the microwave for about 3-5 minutes at a time. Heat (along with the vinegar bath) is necessary to keep color on the yarn so this step is important. As every microwave is different I would say try it for 3-5 minutes and then check to see how dry the yarn is. We did not have a huge skein of yarn, so I felt 5 minutes was enough time without worrying the yarn was drying out too much.

Let the packet cool completely once out of the microwave, unwrap it and rinse the yarn over water. Squeeze the yarn dry gently, and allow it to hang dry for at least 24 hours.

There you have it, beautiful and pretty rainbow color yarn. You can really dye it any color you want. We’re excited to share what we ended up making with it, so check back soon to take a look!

Take a look here for tons more creative and fun activities for kids!

Agnes Hsu is a mom of three and has been inspiring parents and kids to get creative with easy activities and family friendly recipes for over 10 years. She shares her love for creative play and kids food to her 2MM+ followers online. Agnes' commitment to playful learning and kindness has not only raised funds for charity but also earned features in prestigious nationwide publications.