Playsilks are a Waldorf concept. They’re big silk scarves, in pretty colors, very versatile. But they’re expensive, usually around $10 – $12 each.

Having seen a bunch of people lately (here, here, and here) dying their own silk scarves, I was inspired to try it too. I bought a dozen of the 30″ x 30″ scarves from Dharma Trading, eventually found the Kool-Aid at the grocery store (I had no idea where to look! I’ve never bought it before!), and one morning a few weeks ago Ben and I worked on it. We did the simplest version we could:

  • mix up the Kool-aid with water in a bowl
  • wet the scarf, put it in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap
  • microwave and let rest for 3 minutes each, twice
  • rinse and hang to dry


Some people soak in vinegar and other complications, but I read somewhere that Kool-Aid is acidic enough that there’s no need for that. Our very simple method seemed to work just fine. I haven’t washed them yet, so I have no idea about colorfastness, but if the dye washes out, oh well, it just means we can play with dye again, right?


We also decided to experiment with some other household coloring agents. When we spill certain things on our clothes, they’re hard to get out. So it seems like they’d make good dyes too. The light gold and coppery ones in the bottom left were soaked with teabags and boiled with coffee grounds, respectively. The light pink one was just soaked in cold blackberry juice for a while. An hour, maybe. The lavender one was microwaved (same steps as above, basically) with a cup of frozen mashed blueberries and a bunch of water and some vinegar.


The kids have been playing with them a bit. They can be capes, pirate head wraps, blankets for babies. We can dance with them, bounce with them, wave them around. Ben likes to wrap presents in them. Timothy actually had lots of fun walking into them, through them and around them when they were hanging on the drying rack. Must figure out something we can hang them from that he won’t bump his head on, I think he’d enjoy that.