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Old 02-04-2014, 04:55 PM
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How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

After a very short and unsuccessful online search for wood dyes to buy, I decided I might as well make my own...


Items you will need to make the dyes:

•mason jars with lids
•liquid measuring cup
•teaspoon
•isopropyl alcohol (I used 70%)
•liquid food coloring (from the baking aisle)
•latex gloves


**it's easiest to make one color at a time...

**as long as you don't add water to your solutions, they will keep for repeated uses.

**alcohol is safe to use because it evaporates as it dries, and actually dries faster.

1. Measure out 4 oz alcohol with your liquid measuring cup, then pour into a clean mason jar.

2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of liquid food coloring to the mason jar; some colors may need less or more color, depending on the desired result.

3. Mix and test with a plain piece of wood. Add more color if needed.

4. Remove wood and lay to dry.

*repeat until all your desired colors are made

Here are my test sticks:

The red is lighter because I started out using 8 oz of alcohol and quickly discovered it wasn't the ratio I wanted. So the rest are made with 4 oz of alcohol.

Now time to dye!!

What you'll need to dye your pieces:
•pan/plate/something to lay them on to dry
•paper towels
•bowl
•strainer
•homemade dye
•wood pieces

1. Lay multiple layers of paper towels on your plate or cookie sheet

2. Nest your strainer in the bowl (I used glass and metal because they won't stain from the dyes)


3. Open your dye jar and put some wood pieces in and re-close; shake until wood is desired color.

*you can use larger jars and make more dye solution, but this is why I like using mason jars

4. Pour everything into the strainer; the dye will strain through and catch in the bowl while the wood remains in the strainer.


5. Dump your wood pieces onto your pre-prepped paper towels


6. Pour your dye back into the jar and close for next time!


7. Rinse your bowl and strainer so they're clean and ready for the next color!
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:59 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

What a fantastic tutorial! Thank you so much Shirre, I am going to try this this weekend. Great directions!!!
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:00 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

Quote: Originally Posted by Terry57 View Post
What a fantastic tutorial! Thank you so much Shirre, I am going to try this this weekend. Great directions!!!
Thank you Terry!! btw- I didn't use gloves and my hands look like I had a war with a pack of Skittles haha
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:03 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

Note to self..get gloves..lol
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:17 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

Fantastic tutorial, Shirre!! LOVE IT!!! The amount of wood I go through, this will come in super handy!!!

C'mon, show us your Skittly hands, please.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:19 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

Have you tried use grain alcohol ? i Got it from the ABC store, everclear is what i used. You could use about any thing like vodka, higher proof the better. No, it wouldn't get your birds "drunk", LOL.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:21 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

Quote: Originally Posted by JerseyWendy View Post
Fantastic tutorial, Shirre!! LOVE IT!!! The amount of wood I go through, this will come in super handy!!!

C'mon, show us your Skittly hands, please.
Thank you Wendy!! And no- no skittly hand pictures hahaha chili was trying to pick at all the multi-colored specks LOL
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:23 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

great idea Shirre!....
I have so many destroyed toys, I keep all the parts that are still in good shape in a box.
I rarely use them cause they look so dull in colour.....now I won't have to do that anymore.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:23 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

Quote: Originally Posted by henpecked View Post
Have you tried use grain alcohol ? i Got it from the ABC store, everclear is what i used. You could use about any thing like vodka, higher proof the better. No, it wouldn't get your birds "drunk", LOL.
I haven't tried it, but that's good to know- this was actually my first attempt at making an alcohol-based dye. Is grain alcohol cheaper than isopropyl?? I'll have to keep my eye open for it....
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:26 PM
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Re: How to Make Your Own Wood Dyes (tutorial)

Quote: Originally Posted by henpecked View Post
Have you tried use grain alcohol ? i Got it from the ABC store, everclear is what i used. You could use about any thing like vodka, higher proof the better. No, it wouldn't get your birds "drunk", LOL.
I will now dig through the liqueur cabinet, HAHAHAHHA!!!!

Pink Sambuca anyone?
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