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