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This is a project you might be able to do without buying art supplies.



  • Food coloring

  • Sturdy white paper napkins or paper towels

  • Clear containers, one for each color  (preferably small – ex. recycled plastic olive bar containers

  • White paper napkins, squares of paper towels, cut to ½ inch size if needed

  • Brown shopping bag paper or newspaper to place the tie-dyed napkins to dry

  • Covering to protect the work surface



  1. Pour into each container as much food coloring as you think you’ll need. You can always add to it.

  2. Put some water in each if you want to increase the amount of dipping liquid and the intensity of the color.

    • No water = stronger, intense color

    • Water added = less intense, diluted color

  3. Fold your square of paper, for example

    • Accordion or fan fold

    • Smaller squares or triangles

    • Crumple

    • Gather and tie with string or secure with rubber bands

  4. Dip edges of the napkin into the colors as you wish

    • Dip it in a little

    • Dip it in a lot

    • Let it sit in the dye a short amount of time = less intense color

    • Let it sit in the dye a longer amount of time = intense color

    • Double dip

  5. When finished dipping unfold your napkin and place on brown paper or shopping bag to dry.

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Art Project, K-3
Tie Dye with Food Coloring

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