Flower Dyed Playsilks

Flower Dyed Playsilks

A Simple Craft in Natural Dyes & Botanical Wonder

A simple craft inspired by the natural world is dyeing your Playsilks with flower petals! As we collect petals and leaves in our baskets we create an awareness of color, texture and smell with our children. Gifts from neighbor’s gardens, findings in abandoned fields and botanical treasures discovered in your own wild space become ingredients for dyeing your Playsilks in rich earthen hues.


What You'll Need:

  • White Playsilk for dyeing - we offer them here
  • Petals and leaves (both fresh and dried work for this project)
  • Steamer basket and pot
  • Used plastic produce bag
  • String or twine



1. Start by gathering your flowers.  We used a collection of foraged geraniums (red petals), dried butterfly pea flowers and fresh sweet pea flowers (purple petals).  Other flowers that share their color well are coreopsis, cosmos, marigold, hollyhock, and many flowers in the asteraceae family.

2. Wet your silk and lay flat. Sprinkle with petals and leaves (or design a mandala!). Roll your silk into a tight tube, tucking your petals and leaves in as you go.

3. Fold your roll in half once and then again to make a bundle. Wrap tightly with string or twine to keep everything together and ready for steaming.

4. Take your bundle and wrap it in a used produce bag, using string to secure it again. The produce bag will help keep your silk from getting too soggy as it steams.

5. Set your bundle in a steamer basket and cover. Once boiling, turn your heat to very low and steam for 90 minutes.

6. Let cool and unwrap your creation! Hang to dry out of direct sunlight. The petals and leaves will naturally come off when the silk is all dry. Using a small whisk broom to brush off excess plant material is also helpful.

May you find beauty and botanical wonder all year round.


Sarah & Madlyn

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My son and I did this project! The silk came out so beautiful-thank you!


I’m concerned about the plastic melting. Is there a way to do it without plastic? Would parchment paper work in place of plastic?


I have the same question as Iliana -
Does the silk need a mordant prior to this process to make the colors not fade?


Wonderful! How do you preserve the colour later? Do you need to treat the silk before washing in washing machine?


I did this project with my granddaughters and it was so fun and turned out beautiful!

Kimberly Berkshire

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