DIY Shibori Onesies

Admittedly, I’ve gone a bit shibori crazy. I’ve made curtains, blankets, and tanks in the last two weeks, but in lieu of the upcoming baby-makes-three, I wanted options for onesies that didn’t involve turning my loft into a pink palace. I’ve never been the pink girl, and so much of infant girl clothing is a petit-Bismol for my particular taste.

Every parent knows that infants have oodles of white onesies, and white happens to be the perfect canvas for experimenting and dyeing projects.

You will need:

White Onesies (like this Gerber Newborn 5-piece essential pack)

Indigo Dye Kit (this one works really well, and has instructions that are so easy to follow)

5 gallon bucket with lid (Home Depot is full of them)

Smaller bucket for mixing the reducing agent

Long stick for stirring

Objects like: stones, wood pieces, and string for binding. (The kit comes with 2 wood blocks, but you can experiment with anything)


The Dharma Trading Company dye kit comes with really thorough instructions, and despite what you may read, it is really difficult to mess up a shibori pattern–especially on a onesie for your own baby. The dye vat can keep up to several weeks and dye more than 15 yards or 5 pounds of fabric or 15 shirts. This allows the dyer several sessions to experiment and discover the magic of indigo. It is best used with natural fabrics, or those that haven’t been treated with any finishes.

Any way you twist or bind the fabric will create a unique pattern.

When dyeing, it is important to note: the indigo color appears MUCH darker when the fabric is wet. Once it has been rinsed, and washed, the indigo will lighten significantly. You will want to dip the fabric multiple (average of 5 gives you a deep, rich indigo color) times to achieve desired color.

This onesie, wrapped around a wood block, bound with rubber bands, and scrunched down comme ca:


no wrong way to bind.

Yields the onesie on the left. A very simple fan fold, yields the onesie on the right. I opted to dip the “diaper” part of the onesie on the right in the vat multiple times post initial dunk. Seemed like a smart place to darken significantly.


hippest baby on the block.

There’s so much you can do with a little imagination, a few materials, and some indigo. Like this blanket:


Everything went into the dye vat, and came out with a twist of its own. Happy shirboring.

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