Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilk Tutorial

Make these beautiful Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks for you kids!

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I wrote a post about Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks three years ago and it’s still one of my most popular tutorials. The only problem is that it’s not technically a tutorial! There’s only one picture and no actual instructions on how to make them (I obviously was still getting the hang of a craft blog!) Since I had to make a new set of playsilks for nephew, I figured I’d revisit the Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilk tutorial and add some actual instructions for you all!

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks



1. Based on the colors you want, assemble your Kool-Aid packs. You can reference the handy chart at the bottom of this post to determine which color combinations you want.

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - Dye

2. Place silk scarves in a pot of hot water with 2 tablespoons vinegar for 30 minutes to help the fibers absorb the colors. Remove one scarf at a time to dye.

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - Boil

3a. Stove Method: In a separate pot, pour 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and Kool-Aid packs. Dissolve thoroughly over low heat.

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - Pour

3b. Microwave Method: In a glass bowl, pour 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and Kool-Aid packs. Dissolve thoroughly.

koolaKool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - Microwave

4a. Stove Method: Place silk scarf into pot and stir to disperse dye. Continue stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, making sure the scarf is absorbing the color evenly.

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - Add

4b. Microwave Method: Place the scarf in the glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for three minutes and allow to sit for three more.

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - Microwave2

5. Allow scarf to cool. Over a colander, begin to rinse/wring your scarf until water runs clear.

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - Rinse6. Set your scarves to dry in the sun while you endlessly try to keep your kids away from them! ūüėÄ

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - DryNotice how the scarf on the right in the picture above has more of a tie dye effect to it? That one was done in the microwave and the one on the left was on the stove. It seems that the scarves I did on the stove top had more uniform coverage than the ones done in the microwave. I like the way both of them look but you can decide which method you prefer!

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - LabelAssembled in a box with a pretty little card, Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks make wonderful gifts! And in case you’re wondering what kids do with playsilks…

Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilks - Play

And here’s that handy little chart of Kool-Aid Dyed Playsilk colors:





  1. When I do this on the stove top, I leave the scarves in until they absorb all the colour from the water. I also usually make a few sets at one time.

    Two years later, these are among our most played with toys. I am making bigger ones for Christmas.

    • I absolutely love!!!toys kids can use with their imaginations!!!- where everything isn’t proscribed for them!:) I think its great training for life later!I’m an elem. school teacher, and a mom of 5. I’ve seen that its a great asset when kids/teens can amuse/entertain themselves Hopefully, kids who have time/supplies/practice for a lot of creative play won’t be saying ‘I’m bored/, there’s nothing to do’ 10 yrs from now when the batteries run out in their Gameboy, but I hear that from my kids, too:(

  2. Mine machine wash just fine. I make the smaller 22″ squares in a rainbow as my standard baby or first birthday gift.

  3. If you dye multiple scarves at one time, is there enough Kool-Aid (dye) in this mix to dye several or would you need to increase the amount of Kool-Aid?

      • Thanks Vanessa! I’m hoping for rich, vibrant scarves so I was guessing that I might need to head back to the grocery store for more Kool-Aid packets. Thanks for your advice.

  4. Dear Tried & True-Did you always start with white scarves?And did you tie or knt any of the fabric in elastic bands, like you would with traditional tie-dye?

  5. Is there a difference between method 3a and 4a? thjey’re both dtove top and I don’t see a difference.

  6. Thank you for showing pics of boys playing with play silks! Seems most pics of kids playing with play silks are of girls. And of course, the tutorial!


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