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Simple Summer Craft: How to Ice Dye Fabric

Woman ice-dyeing fabric in her backyard.

From outdoor movie nights to food fights, there's something about participating in childhood activities that brings joy like no other. And while most of us aren't able to pause our lives for summer break, we have found that as adults, we can still enjoy some of the quintessential activities of seasons past.

Cue Schoolhouse Summer Camp — a seasonal series filled with simple crafts and recipes all based around the joyful nostalgia of (you guessed it) camp.

To kick off the fun, we asked a few Schoolhouse friends to share their favorite summer art projects with us. Read below (or watch via Instagram) to learn how Jorie ice dyes fabric in five simple steps.


Woman holding out recently ice-dyed fabric in yellow. 


  • Ice

  • Pre-washed fabric to dye (100% cotton works best)

  • Fabric dyes of your choice (powdered form)

  • Soda ash solution (mix 1 cup of soda ash with 1 gallon of water)

  • Baking tray + cooling rack (make sure there's enough space between the rack and the tray so the material doesn't sit in dye water as ice melts)

  • Rubber gloves



1. Prepare Your Fabric

Soak your material in soda ash + water solution for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove and wring out the material until damp. 


Woman preparing white fabric for an outdoor ice-dyeing craft. 

2. Cover with Ice

Place it onto your tray in a wad formation with lots of peaks and valleys, and cover the fabric with ice cubes.


Woman preparing ice on a tray for an ice-dyeing craft.


3. Sprinkle Powdered Dye

Sprinkle powdered dye over the ice. Try adding multiple colors, and have fun with it!



4. Wait for the Ice to Melt

Once the ice is fully melted, unravel your textile to reveal your creation!

 Woman ice-dying fabric in blue.


5. Set the Color

Rinse material until water runs clear, and follow the washing instructions for your fabric dye to set the color. 


Woman displaying her blue ice-dyed fabric.


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