Use the discount code SILLY to get your first month of the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club for free!


Tutorial: Tie-dye amazing rainbow yarn!

You remember tie-dye, right? The dye that you used to make funky-colored t-shirts when you were a kid? Would you believe that you can use tie-dye to create amazing yarn? It’s true! In this post, I’ll show you how to use Tulip Tie-Dye to create a uniquely-dyed rainbow yarn!

Materials You’ll Need

You only need a few things to get started: a tie-dye kit and a sock blank… let me fill you in on the details!

Tie-Dye Kit

Since you want a variety of colors, getting a kit (which contains a set of dyes) is the easiest way to tie-dye. I used the Luau Tie-Dye kit (made by Tulip)… but they have a range of kits available (bright colors, rainbow, neon…), so you should be able to find the combo for you!

The kit contains:

  • 5 color-coded applicator bottles (filled with dye, in colors: red, orange, lime, teal and violet)
  • 5 packets of extra dye
  • gloves (so you don’t also dye your hands)
  • rubber bands
  • a project idea booklet

Sock Yarn Dye Blank

Have you heard of a ‘yarn blank’ before? It’s a pre-knit rectangle of yarn specifically made for dyeing… that you can unravel and wind into fabulous yarn.

I got my sock blank from Knit Picks… not just because they’re one of the only companies to offer blanks, but because I happen to think theirs are pretty awesome! Their Sock Yarn blank is actually a double strand, so when you unravel it, you’ll wind up with two identically-dyed balls of yarn. How cool is that?

How to Dye Rainbow Yarn

Have your materials? Let’s get started! (of course, you should read over the dyeing instructions in the kit, first… but you knew that, right?)

Step 1: Prepare your dye

Preparing the dyes is pretty easy… since the applicators are already pre-filled with dye powder, just add water to the bottles and shake!

Step 2: Prepare your blank

I wanted soft, gently-flowing color changes (instead of crisp lines), so I began with a dampened blank. This allows the colors to bleed more freely.

I covered my table with a plastic sheet, and laid out my blank:

Of course, you could get started dyeing right away (and skip to step 3)! However, I wanted the stripes in my rainbow to be approximately even, so I did an extra step of preparation by marking 5 even segments. To do this, I measured the length of the blank:

Then I placed locking stitch markers (which don’t mind being dyed) at equal intervals:

This way, I knew where to dye to get equal stripes of color!

Step 3: Dye!

Now’s the fun part! Just squirt the color where you want it:

I applied the dye pretty evenly (fully saturating the yarn), but you can do whatever you’d like… including making fun designs with the dye!

Step 4: Let it set

The dye needs time to soak in, and the longer you let it set, the deeper the color will be.

The dye instructions tell you to let your piece rest for 8 hours (and cover it with plastic so it keeps moist)… but I was aiming for a less-intense color, so I moved to Step 5 after only about a half-hour. It’s up to you!

Step 5: Rinse

Once you’ve let the dye set for as long as you’d like, it’s time to rinse your (no-longer) blank. Even if your yarn is machine washable, you don’t want to put your blank in the washing machine! It can unravel and make a big mess! So, it’s best to hand-wash:

Once the excess dye has been washed from your yarn, squeeze out any excess water, and lay flat to dry.

Step 6: Unravel

I’ll admit it… this part is a wee bit annoying, but a crucial part of getting your yarn! You’ll have to unravel the sock blank.

Since the blank is made of two yarns held together, you’ll need to simultaneously wind two balls. Hands down, the easiest way to do this is to recruit a friend to help!

At the end, you’ll be rewarded with two balls of beautiful and identical yarn!

Enjoy Your Fabulous Yarn!

I’m in love with mine… and I’ve already started knitting a pair of socks:

Isn’t it lovely?

What will you make?

I’m obsessed with rainbows… so I couldn’t help but make a rainbow-colored creation! But you could create any fabulous pattern that you can dream of!

What pattern would you create on your yarn?

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it inspires you to create some fabulous yarns!

Grab your own kit!

Tulip Tie Dye Kits are available at Walmart, Walmart Canada, Michaels, JoAnn, A.C. Moore, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics, Meijer. Tie dye kit contents and colors may vary by store.

I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.



  1. Su SAYS...

    ok, far tooooo many good ideas! I just coffee dyed a little piece for an amigurumi teacup – what a mess, and said to myself. “I need to find “real” dye & how to use it!” Presto! here it is. Thank you so much I can’t wait to try it. btw how did you wind those balls? is there a blog on that! Thanks

  2. Abby SAYS...

    This is a great idea! I like how you squirt it on the fabric, because I always end up tangling my yarn!

  3. Hey Stacey!
    I just got your book Crocheted Softies from the library. Now I have to decide who I’ll make first – the moose, the owl or the elephant. It’s very exciting!

  4. I don’t trust people who don’t like rainbows, they are just so much fun! I never thought to use a kit like this, I really want to try dyeing a sock blank now!

  5. Kelly SAYS...

    This is a great technique, but just to clarify, It would be best to use acid dyes (kool aid, food coloring, Wilton’s dyes are all easy to find, to use, and work great) with wool and other animal based fibers like the knitpicks blanks. These tulip dyes are designed to be used with cotton and plant based fibers. You can still get some color to stick on your yarn, but it won’t be as deep as you would with the appropriate dye, and you’re likely to have some bleeding for a long time because these dyes don’t want to stick to the fiber as well.

    • Hi Kelly-
      Yes, thank you for clarifying. I had already done a week of blog posts where I featured Kool-Aid dyeing, so I was giving something different a try! If you’re interested in Acid dyes, feel free to check out the posts in my Kool Aid Dye Week.

  6. Ness SAYS...

    Very pretty! I usually recruit my husband to help wind balls of yarn. He doesn’t mind, he used to help his grandmother do it when he was a kid and actually enjoys it. Thanks for this, I have never heard of a blank before.

  7. Sandie Russo SAYS...


    Where did you get the sock blanks from that you dyed. I tried Dharma Trading, but they didn’t have any. Thanks in advance! I’d love to try this. 🙂

    • Hey Sandie- They’re from Knit Picks!

  8. Pingback: How to Dye Rainbow Yarn | feeds