Hew & Sew

Quick Dye Doilies

I needed an emergency bit of bunting to hang over our door (birthdays/spring/sunny days need a little something extra!) so I dug out my little stash of paper doilies and kool-aid… two things that always come in handy in a pinch! The initial investment is well under a dollar and under an hour’s worth of time which makes this project totally appealing for a Saturday afternoon. Huzzah!

The Steps Steps Steps

Fill a shallow plate* with water and add ¼ packet of kool-aid (or however much it takes to get the intensity you’re looking for). I used the Black Cherry flavor for this particular set of doilies. Use a fork to swish the water around, dissolving all the kool-aid. If there are any clumps of pigment left you’ll get uneven coloring on your paper.

Gently lower the first doily into the dye bath. Use your fork again to completely submerge the doily. Let sit for two minutes or until it is the desired color.

Use your fork to lift the doily out of the dye bath… make sure to be careful or the delicate paper edges might tear. Lay doily flat on a clean cookie sheet or plate to dry. Repeat with remaining doilies. You may need to add more pigment or water after the 6th doily as things start to get a little pale…

When your doilies are dry, lightly press them with a warm iron (set to Rayon or medium-low heat). Next, cut a piece of thread ten inches longer than you need for wherever you’re planning to hang them. Thread your needle. You’re going to pass the needle from the front of the doily to the back side through a large hole on the top left edge of the doily within the decorative edging. Then, running your thread across the back, thread the needle through a large hole on the upper right side of the doily directly opposite from where your needle entered. Repeat with remaining doilies. Now, space them evenly across the length of thread making sure to leave five inches free on both ends (that’s where the extra ten inches comes in). Take your glue stick and apply a light swath of glue to the backside of your doilies where the string crosses the back. This will help anchor your doilies in place so that they don’t slip down to the middle of your strand. Let the glue dry for 15 minutes. Now, you’re ready to tie them up and enjoy them! Oh happy day…

Project Type


  • Total: 45 minutes
  • Working: 15 minutes
  • Before gifting: 45 minutes


  • Kool-Aid
  • Paper Doily
  • Thread
  • Water


  • Cookie Sheet
  • Fork
  • Glue Stick
  • Iron
  • Plate
  • Sewing Needle (Large)


*I discovered that plates make ideal dye containers for the doilies because you only needed to dye one doily at a time and you need a really intense dye bath. Plus, you want to have the least amount of water sloshing around when you’re working with paper, or things will start to fall apart pretty quickly.


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