Halloween is a-coming and I couldn’t be happier. Last year, Halloween was weird for us given the unexpectedly bad blizzard and power outage that nearly cancelled it altogether here. So this year, I want Halloween to be big for us. Pumpkins and decorations and creepy snacks, oh my!
But while I plan on decorating our house in the Halloween spirit, I am a little tired of cartoon-ish embroidered Halloween kitchen towels, potholders and whatnot. I mean they’re cute and all. But a lot can be said for subtly.
So, instead of digging out the cute Frankenstein and adorable black cat gear this fall, I made some fabulous Dip-Dyed Halloween Kitchen Towels. These are pretty simple to create and also inexpensive too. I picked up a five pack of 100% cotton towels and used some RIT Dye liquid dye that I was recently sent to play with. Oh, and a big bucket (thank you, Cate, for recommending that … oh, and sending over the Martha Stewart Dip-Dyeing 101 Tutorial! So helpful).
I’m kind of in love with this RIT Dye. See, until this week I’d never really dyed anything (well, except for the washed out tie-dye t-shirts of childhood). And I was a little afraid to try it — what if I accidentally made something explode whilst dying a shirt? (Irrational? Absolutely. But that’s just one of those little thoughts that run through my head. What?). Then I tried it.
Oh wow. It’s easy. So easy. And there’s some joy in seeing a plain white thing turn pretty colors with a simple dip-dip-dip. I can’t wait to experiment with more dye ideas.
Dip-Dyed Kitchen Towels for Halloween
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 gallon (16 cups) hot water
1/3 bottle RIT Dye in Sunshine Orange
Stir together the salt, water and dye in a large bucket. I recommend doing this outside on a really sunny day — that way you don’t risk getting the dye anywhere.
Fold the towel to make for easier dipping (you want to fold it in half horizontally and then in thirds vertically so that the ends are facing down). Dip repeatedly into the dye until desired effect is achieved (you may want to dip more, then less, then less for an ombre effect).
Unfold the towels and hang to dry overnight — I left mine outside until they stopped dripping and then moved to a hanging rack in the basement. If you are concerned about the dye dripping, place a plastic bag beneath.
Rinse the towels in cool water until the water runs nearly clear. Wash by hand with mild soap and then rinse. Wring out to remove as much water as you can and hang to dry again.
Now, the towels are ready to use. But when it’s time for the first official wash of the towels in the washing machine, just be sure to wash them separately from other items to ensure that the dye doesn’t run.
Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with RIT Dye and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.