Food art doesn’t have to happen on a plate! You can use foods to make colorful works of tie-dyed art.
Choose 1 of the following:
Ask an adult to help you wash white cotton item in washing machine (no need to dry it). (Washing fabric before dyeing it removes any coatings, chemicals, or oils, which can affect how well the fabric absorbs the dye.)
In medium saucepan, combine water and blueberries OR turmeric (but not both!). Bring to boil over high heat. Cover saucepan with lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer mixture for 1 hour (small bubbles should break often across surface of liquid).
While mixture simmers, use rubber bands to create pattern on cloth.
To make spiral pattern:
Lay cloth on table. Use your hand to pinch fabric at center of cloth. Use your other hand to twist cloth around center in circle to create tight spiral shape. Tightly secure 5 to 7 rubber bands around entire shape.
To make squares pattern:
Fold cloth accordion-style in 1 direction to create long rectangle. Fold rectangle accordion-style in opposite direction to create stacked square. Tightly secure 4 to 5 rubber bands around entire shape in both directions.
To make scrunch pattern:
Lay cloth on table. Use your hands to scrunch and crumple cloth into tight circle shape. Tightly secure 5 to 7 rubber bands around entire shape.
When dye mixture is ready, turn off heat. Slide saucepan to cool burner. Let dye mixture cool completely, about 30 minutes. Place medium bowl in sink. Set fine-mesh strainer over bowl. Carefully pour dye mixture into strainer. Use rubber spatula to gently press on any solids in strainer. Discard solids.
Use tongs to carefully place rubber-banded cloth into dye (make sure cloth is completely submerged). Cover bowl and let cloth sit in dye for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. (The longer the cloth is submerged, the more color it will absorb from the dye.)
Over time, your food-dyed fabric will fade from washing, but there are a few things you can do to preserve the color.