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DIY Naturally Tie Dyed Avocado Shirt

natural tie dye, avocado dye, way maker, t-shirt, tie dye

Who doesn't love a good DIY?! Since being quarantined, we decided to do some fun, virtual events that would allow us to craft and connect over social media.

Last week, I tried my hand at making this avocado dyed shirt... that's right, I used avocados to dye this shirt. Say what?! It was so fun. It was far more involved than a regular tie dye session, but the results are so worth it. It was so cool to recycle some food waste to dye a shirt and make it fully myself.


  • 3 Avocado seeds and skin per garment (well washed)

  • 100% cotton shirt (or natural fiber)

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

  • An aluminum or stainless steel dye pot (YES... it matters what you dye in because this a chemical reaction)

  • Water

  • A long-handled spoon or stick for stirring

  • Rubber gloves

  • Rubber bands

Color Recommendations

Maybe you don't want my blush pink... here are some natural color options! Blue natural dyes: blueberries and blackberries Red natural dyes: raspberries and beets Yellow and ochre dyes: lemon and orange peels and turmeric Green natural dye: spinach leaves Orange natural dye: onion skins Purple natural dye: red cabbage leaves Pink: avocado seeds and peels Brown: tea or coffee grounds *I recommend on using one color per garment.

Video Tutorial

Step one- prepping the dye phase 1

Cover the seeds and skins in water and simmer gently for 1-2 hours. Turn the heat off and let the dye rest overnight.

part two- dye phase 2

Break up the seeds to incorporate the richness of the color more. This is best done while wearing gloves because the tannins can irritate your skin. Re-heat the dye bath for another hour or so to let the color develop further. Let it cool and rest again for a while, or better yet overnight.

part three- prepping the shirt

Add vinegar to help the color bond to the shirt. Wet shirt and wring out. Then create the design of the tie dye by placing rubber bands where you want the white to show. I used a "sailor stripe" technique. Bring pot to a simmer again and then, add shirt. Add extra water so there is enough space for the fabric to move freely, if it's not covered fully. This will also help to create even color. Let it cook on a very low heat for about an hour, stirring from time to time. Leave it to cool overnight, stirring occasionally. The color will continue to develop as it sits. I was a little uneasy about the color and ended up adding a 2 oz. NingXia Red packet, but now, I'm not sure it needed it. I wanted to make sure the color developed fully. Also, note if you use a synthetic fabric or even water from a different source (tap, filtered, distilled, rain water), each of these will turn out differently.

Here are 8 techniques to choose from:

images below and instructions kindly borrowed from

"Bull’s-Eye Pattern This tie-dye pattern looks like a target or bulls-eye! Here’s how to make it: Lay the T-shirt flat. Pinch center of the garment and rubber-band both layers, about 1 to 2 inches from center. Continue applying rubber bands in this pattern about 1 inch apart from each other.

Nebula Design Even very young kids can help make this cosmic tie-dye design. First, wet the shirt and lay it flat. With your fingers, scrunch and wrinkle the fabric, gathering it into a tight disk. Wrap several rubber bands around the disk. The tighter you bind it, the more white there will be in the final shirt.

Diagonal Stripe Design If you're looking for a unique tie-dye shirt pattern, consider these multi-colored diagonal stripes. To make it, lay the t-shirt flat and fold it accordion-style from the bottom corner. Once folded, wrap with rubber bands every 1 to 2 inches.

Polka Dot Pattern Here are step-by-step tie-dye instructions fo this polka dot design: Gather a handful of plastic beads or dried beans. Cut plastic wrap into squares that are about four times larger than the beads or beans. Place a bean or bead inside the shirt, then place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the shirt. Working with just the front layer of the shirt, wrap a rubber band tightly around the plastic- and shirt-covered bead or bean, as shown. Repeat to make more dots. Wet the tee before dyeing it.

Rosette Pattern This tie-dye idea ends up looking like fun, funky flowers. Start by laying a T-shirt flat. Pinch a 2-inch section through both layers and rubber-band it. Push your finger down through the rubber band to make a donut shape, and repeat as many times as you want. 

Sunburst Design This spiral pattern (shown on the yellow shirt) will have you and your kids doing the twist. Choose a spot in the center of the shirt, between the armpits; with your thumb and forefinger, press down and twist the fabric clockwise. Try to keep the resulting folds at approximately the same height, creating a shape like a flat cinnamon roll. Wrap the shape tightly with rubber bands, as shown. The tighter you bind the shirt, the more white there will be in the design.

Sailor Stripe Design Tie-dye doesn't always mean groovy spirals and circles; you can make straight-line stripes too. Starting at one side, gather the T-shirt to create accordion-like folds that run vertically from neck to hem. Wrap a rubber band tightly around the shirt. For more stripes in the tie-dye pattern, add rubber bands as shown.

Ringer Design This circle shirt couldn't be simpler to create. At the center of the T-shirt between the armpits, pinch the top layer. Pull the fabric up into a point, letting the rest of the shirt fall away. Smooth the fabric down evenly from your pinched point, creating a skinny cone shape. Wrap a rubber band tightly around it.  Move the rubber-banded ring up or down to make the circle smaller or larger. For a wider line, wrap a few bands around the same spot. Or create a bull's-eye by adding bands above and below the first one. Wet the tee before dyeing it with this creative tie-dye technique." (Parents)

part four- the dyed shirt and washing

Last, using gloves again, strain your shirt. Save the leftover dye if you want to dye another batch, understanding each batch will come out a little lighter. Wring out your shirt and wash and dry separately.

part five- adding iron-on vinyl heat transfer

Now, add on your heat transfer vinyl. Watch the video for full instructions.

naturally tie dyed, dyed with food, dyed with fruit, dye with vegetables, natural dye, miracle worker, way maker, t-shirt, farmhouse, farm boots, farm girl, front porch, dye with avocados

Want to grab your shirt? I have solid white shirts and the vinyl available for purchase in our market! Grab yours here!

Get creative and send me your photos for a chance to be featured on our blog and pages. Tag us @jacksonpinefarm #jacksonpinefarm

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Have questions? Contact us via email at

Happy DIYing,


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