Friday, May 25, 2012

DAY 5 - DDL Flats & Handwashing Challenge - Fun With Flats

How To Tie Dye Flat Cloth Diapers
It's Day 5 of the DDL Flats & Handwashing Challenge and I thought we'd have some fun today.  Ok, I actually had fun last week, but I thought I'd tell you about it.  For those of you that have not been following my recent journey, I'm currently taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.

Last week I decided to get my butt in gear and tie dye some of my flats. With just under three dozen flats I was left feeling bland staring at mounds of white and cream. My flats were screaming for some color. They literally said "I'm tired of living in a black and white old school episode of I Love Lucy. Bring me to the world of color!!!"  With that said I marched out to get a tie dye kit and got to work. I'd never tie dyed before, but there's always a first for everything and crafty projects are my deal. This was going to be fun! So pop The Wizard Of OZ into your DVD player, crank up Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, and get ready to enter the psychedelic world of color. We're about to get a little funky!

What You Will Need:
  • Tie Dye Kit (I used the Tulip kit.  It includes 2 sets of gloves, 3 bottles of dye (red, blue, yellow), rubber bands, and a users guide)
  • Flat Cloth Diapers (I used Target flour sack towels)
  • Trash Bag
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Scissors
  • Water
Step By Step:

- Start with prepped, wet (but not dripping) flat cloth diapers.
- Using rubber bands, configure your wet flat cloth diapers as desired. Click on Part 1 of my video tutorial to see how to configure your flats into a Bullseye, Swirl, Starburst, or Folded pattern. Try your own configurations too and just have fun!
- Lay out the trash bag where you will be dying your flats to protect the surface.
- Put on your plastic gloves.
- Add warm water to the dye bottles up to the fill line. With the cap on, shake the bottles till the powder dye is fully mixed in. Be sure to use your dyes within 45 minutes of mixing them.

- Lay a piece of plastic wrap out on your trash bag. Make sure it is slightly larger than the item you are about to dye.
- Place your first configured flat onto the plastic wrap.
- Squirt your dyes onto the configured flat. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Click on Part 2 of my video tutorial for examples of how to apply dye to a Bullseye, Swirl, Sunburst, or Folded configuration.

*Tie Dye Application Tips*

  • Squirt two or more colors into the same location to create new colors. Red and yellow make orange. Yellow and blue make green. Blue and red make purple.
  • Don't be afraid to leave white space.
  • Dilute your dyes with even more water in your bottles to get lighter colors.
  • Have fun! You can't go wrong with tie dye.

- When you are finished adding dye to your configured flat then wrap the flat up in the plastic wrap so that it does't dry out.
- Repeat the dying process with each of the configured flats making sure to wrap each one separately in plastic wrap.
Tie Dye Flat Cloth Diaper
Tie Dyed Target Flour Sack Towel (Origami)
- Let your dyed flats sit at least 6-8 hours to let the dye soak in and set. (I let mine sit about 20 hours overnight).
- When they are finished setting put your gloves back on and unwrap each flat on top of your garbage bag.
- Carefully cut off the rubber bands.
- Spread your flats out on the lawn and spray off as much of the excess dye as you can with the hose. Do not do this on concrete or any other porous surface as it can stain. You can optionally rinse each one off separate in the sink. (This step is optional, but I feel safer doing this before putting them in my washing machine so the dye doesn't bleed and ruin the bright colors).
- Throw all the flats in the washer on the highest water level and run a hot wash with a small amount of detergent (about half of what you normally wash diapers with). Run an extra rinse.
- Throw the diapers in the dryer on hot for about 40 minutes to set the dye in. You can also line dry instead and set the dye in afterwards with a hot iron.

Voila! You're done. You've officially pimped your flats with tie dye. No more boring white flats for your baby's bum. I had so much fun with this project and I know you will too. I'm officially addicted and already trying to think of what else I can dye.

- Wow!  I am sooooo amazed!  I used nothing but a T-Shirt and a Blueberry coverall and I had absolutely no leaks!  I totally expected to wake up in a puddle of pee.  No the true test.  How long does it take for a t-shirt to dry on the line.  I have it drying right now.  I'll let you know tomorrow.
- I worried all week about Linc pooping in flats and the day finally came.  So how was it?  Easy Peasy!!!  Linc was wearing a Target Flour Sack Towel padfolded in a Blueberry coverall.  This was his first actual solid poo!  I just rolled it off in the toilet and easily rinsed off the residue.  I never thought I'd be so excited about poop, but oh yes, it was quite exciting.  : )
- I'm starting to miss my AIO diapers.  Is that bad?  Don't get me wrong.  I really like the flats, but I like variety.  I also miss my washing machine and dryer.  I don't mind doing the hand washing and drying, I just miss the super fluffy feel of my machine washed and dried fluff.
- Linc is becoming quite the wiggly guy.  These flat folds are getting more and more difficult.  I'm loving the padfold more and more.

If you want to read more great posts from other bloggers that are taking the same challenge then please feel free to visit the links below.


  1. Love tye dyed flats! :)

  2. Replies
    1. You can totally do prefolds! You will be limited on the designs though since they are thick and small.

  3. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I am going to try it this weekend.

  4. but I like to bleach my diapers, how do they hold up?

    1. I haven't tried bleaching them. I actually have never bleached any of my diapers.

  5. Those dipes are beautiful! I'm not taking part in the challenge but I'm thinking I might try flats out just so I can dye them and see my boy's bum in rainbow!

  6. I tie dyed a few of my flats last week too! I saw your picture next to your link on DDL blog tonight and i had to stop by and say "I love it!". Good luck finishing the challenge.

  7. Those are amazing! Thanks for the step by step...I'd love to try dying my flats and I'm a little scared.

  8. Cant wait to do this for my girl due in october! We're trying to use just flats and fleece covers I've made for the first year!


Thanks so much for taking the time to show your support with a comment! I LOVE reading all of them and will try and answer any questions that you might have. :)