Elinor Hedger


Words By Elinor Hedger

Art By Miranda Daly

There’s nothing like being stuck indoors to make you realise how much your wardrobe needs an upgrade… But, have you ever considered that the materials you need to jazz up your old clothes have been in your kitchen all along?

In this dye DIY you’ll not only learn how to work with natural dyes, but how to combine them with bees wax printing to easily create patterns and imagery that will turn old clothing into fresh, sustainable statement pieces.

What You’ll Need: 

  • Dye Material
  • Vinegar/Salt to Mordant
  • Beeswax pellets
  • Essential oil burner
  • Tea light candles
  • Paint Brushes
  • Butchers paper
  • Clothing to up-cycle

How to do it: 

  1. Start by mordanting your chosen garment overnight then rinse and dry.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare your dye material and place it in a large pot filled with water. Place the pot on the stove and bring it to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until colour develops (1-2 hours). Once you’re happy with the colour, remove from heat and leave to cool. Strain out your dye material.

  3. Once your fabric is dry, melt the bee’s wax in the essential oil burner. Using a paintbrush, paint the melted wax onto your garment in your desired pattern or print, when you place your garment in the dye bath the waxy sections will remain undyed.  Make sure you layout your garment so that there is a layer of butcher’s paper between each layer of fabric to catch any of the excess wax.

  4. Once the wax hardens, place your garment into the dye bath and leave to soak until you’re happy with the colour. The colour will fade when it is rinsed so try to aim for something dark. Rinse and dry you garment

  5. To remove the wax place butchers paper between each layer of material and iron.