Natural Dyeing your Kraft Bin with Avocado Pits

Our Kraft Bins are made with undyed kraft paper fabric, making them the perfect blank canvas for all sorts of customizations. Dyeing, block printing, painting, embroidery - the possibilities are endless! Julie decided to naturally dye one of her bins with avocado pits that she had saved in her kitchen. The process was simple, and the result was a lovely soft shade of pink.

This article is a brief overview of how Julie dyed her Kraft Bin using the steps outlined in Journeys in Natural Dyeing: Techniques for Creating Color at Home by Kristine Vejar and Adrienne Rodriguez. While you can certainly experiment with dyeing using this summary of Julie's process, we recommend you pick up a copy of the book for more thorough instructions.

Julie's Process

Each bin comes with a piece of fabric which you can use as a test swatch.  Try your dye on this fabric piece so you can make any adjustments to the dye bath before dyeing the bin.


Making the Dye Bath

  • Julie pounded about 20 avocado pits with a hammer - about 6x the quantity listed in the book for a more concentrated color.
  • She boiled the pulverized pits in a pot of water, per the instructions on page 232 of Journeys in Natural Dyeing, then strained out the liquid dye and discarded the boiled pits. (Compost if you can!)
  • From here, the dye bath was ready to use.

Dyeing the Bin

  • Julie soaked her bin in water for a couple hours - it is important that it be thoroughly damp so it can absorb the dye.
  • She poured enough dye into a pan to thoroughly cover the bin.
  • She then heated the dye bath to simmer at about 200°F, per the instructions on page 232, and added the bin to the pan. She then covered the pan and simmered it for about an hour.
  • Once the Kraft Bin was about the color she wanted, she removed the pan from the heat and let it come to room temperature. 
  • When cooled, she removed the bin and rinsed it in tepid water until the water ran clear, then popped it into shape and allowed it to dry. 
  • Et Voila!  A lovely pinkish bin made from kitchen scraps - magic!





When Dyeing Your Bin

  • Make your dye bath and store it for later! The strained liquid dye can be refrigerated for several months in a sealed container.
  • Before dyeing, soak your bin in water for 1-6 hours. Your small sample fabric can soak for about half an hour.
  • Dilute your dye bath with water to lighten the color, if needed.
  • Flatten or gently fold the bin in a sauté pan and add just enough dye to cover it. This method uses much less dye than an open bin in a large pot.
  • To keep the bin from floating, put a small lid on top of the bin, inside the pan.
  • Remove your bin from the bath when the color is a bit darker than you want. The color will lighten somewhat with rinsing.
  • The kraft paper fabric is entirely machine washable, but keep in mind that naturally dyed colors may lighten over time with repeated washing.
  • If you want a different color, Journeys in Natural Dyeing includes instructions for over 400 shades naturally dyed with different plants. Before deciding on avocado pit pink, Julie also test dyed with persimmon leaves and got a warm gold shade.

Other Ways to Customize Your Kraft Bins

Our Kraft Bins were designed to be fully customizable - let them be blank canvases for your imagination! Some other ideas include:

  • Ice dye
  • Tie dye
  • Block print
  • Draw with ink
  • Embroider
  • Sashiko stitch
  • Watercolor
  • Add handles (like our Leather Handle Kit)
  • Follow your imagination!

If you want a little more inspiration, read How to Customize Your Four Corner Bag.




Hi Joanne, They are available at LYS, and if you can’t find one there, click the words Kraft Bins in the first line of this article to purchase here on our website.



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