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Make Your Own Waldorf Play Silks ~ A Tutorial Using Kool-Aid!

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If you’re looking for reasonably priced Waldorf toys, how about making your own  DIY Waldorf Play Silks! They aren’t hard to make and your kids will love these Waldorf rainbow play silks. So get your crafty on and make your own Waldorf toys instead of buying them!

waldorf play silks hanging on the line

 Homemade Play Silks Make Beautiful & Inexpensive Waldorf Toys

If you’ve ever looking online for waldorf toys, you know that they are expensive! We love high quality toys a lot, but not the big price-tag that goes We all got together on a rainy spring day and worked together to craft the most beautiful play silks. These silks were used in my house for years and we still have some! 

chalk board silk dying instructions

How to make your Waldorf play silks

First, you will need to source silk. Our group found a killer deal for bulk silk on-line. I highly recommend that you go in with a group to keep the cost down. We got our silk from Dharma Trading Company for a reasonable price. You’ll need to 10 yards of silk per scarf so it doesn’t take that many people to end up with a bulk order.

cutting waldorf play silk

Once your silk arrives, cut to the right size. Again, you’ll need 10 yards of silk per scarf, so measure and cut the bolt into 10 yard pieces.  Please note, we did NOT hem the edges of the silk. We just cut it and kept on going. It probably goes without saying that an adult should cut the silk, but just in case, it’s probably a good idea that young children do not do this step. 🙂

Added years later: After years of use, it did not really fray much at all so I think hemming is not necessary.
 
After you cut your silk to the proper size, you’ll need to soak it in vinegar and hot water. Simply mix three cups of vinegar with a kettle full of hot water and soak for ten minutes.
 
While the silk is soaking, mix up a kool-aid dye. 
red and blue kool-aid dye

How to make the Kool-Aid Dye

  • Mix 3 packets Kool-Aid with
  • 2 cups hot water 
  • 2 cups vinegar

The color should be pretty and vibrant. Then, line up bowls of color and start soaking! You’ll want to soak the silks in the dye/vinegar mix for at least 2 minutes, but probably more like 5 minutes. You’ll want to do this on a covered table or even outside to avoid getting kool-aid dye all over the place. If your kids are little, you’ll probably want an adult to supervise.

Then, take the silks to the kitchen or bathroom, and rinse the silks in cold water. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. It will take quite a while, but persevere.
Finally, hang them out to dry!
how to dye the silks in a rainbow

Want to make rainbow Waldorf play silks?

 We also tried our hand at making tie dye AND rainbow Waldorf  play silks! To make the rainbow, we just lined the bowls up in ROYGBP. Then we soaked only a portion of the silk at a time in the right bowl. It took a little coordinating but worked very well! order and soaked only areas of the silk to achieve the rainbow coloring. This was a bit tricky, but not too hard at all!
the rainbow Waldorf sillk
 
My little stinker wouldn’t cooperate well for the pictures, but you can see that we achieved a rainbow! After you’ve dyed your rainbow, make sure to rinse and hang per the instructions. So gorgeous! And the kids LOVE playing them…
 
Yield: One play silk

Make Your Own Waldorf Play Silks ~ A Tutorial Using Kool-Aid!

Make Your Own Waldorf Play Silks ~ A Tutorial Using Kool-Aid!

Lovely DIY Waldorf Play Silks for a fraction of the cost to buy.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Materials

  • 10 yards of silk
  • 3 packets of kool-aid
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups hot water

Tools

  • bowls, silk, spoon, sink, line to dry

Instructions

  1. Cut silk into 10 yard pieces
  2. Mix 3 cups vinegar with hot water to cover and soak for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix kool-aid, vinegar, and water well in a large bowl.
  4. Soak silk in the kool-aid mixture for at least 2 minutes.
  5. Rinse until the water runs clear.
  6. Hang on a line to dry.
  7. Wash cold at home (alone to prevent colors from bleeding on any clothing).
  8. Line dry.
  9. Enjoy!

Want more Waldorf homeschooling inspiration? Read these posts:

Waldorf Homeschooling

How to Host a Waldorf Solstice Spiral

How to Make a Waldorf Wheat Grass Basket to Welcome Spring

If you make your own DIY Waldof Play Silks or Rainbow Waldorf Play Silks, let me know how it turns out! 

Want to learn how to dye DIY Waldorf play silks?? Follow this easy tutorial to make beautiful rainbow Waldorf play silks and save tons of money!

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About Michelle

Michelle Marine is green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.

Comments

  1. Larae says

    Michelle, I love your blog! We are going to do this! Where did you get the silk? Because I know you did not pay the $10 a yard that JoAnn Fabrics wants for it.

    • Justine says

      Thanks for post!could you’re write instructions from board?I’m having trouble seeing exact measurements of step 3 and 4. Did you hem edges for raveling?

      • Michelle Marine says

        Hi Justine, Thanks for your comment. I edited the post to make the instructions more clear. They were written out in the post, but I bolded them so hopefully you can see them better now. I did not hem the edges and they did not fray much at all.

  2. Larae says

    Oops, never mind. I saw it on Melanie's blog. (Love your blog too, Melanie.) Your Waldorf Homeschool group sometimes makes me wish I lived close enough to have fun with all of you!

  3. Michelle says

    It's a great group. We have a lot of fun. Larae, glad you found the link. Melanie bought an entire bolt of silk which made it much cheaper for us – around $3 a yd I think. A lot of people went together for the purchase. Actually, she got 2 bolts!

    I like the Waldorf philosophy for younger kids a lot. I think we are going with a little more formal academic work for A next year (2nd) grade.

  4. Many Hands House says

    I loved reading this. Your photographs are beautiful! Thank you for being a part of our group.
    As far as Waldorf education goes, there are curriculae available for more formal work. I use Oak Meadow and Live Ed! But really, I figure if you're homeschooling your children will grow up awesome no matter what curriculum you use.

  5. Frieda says

    Did you hem the edges of the silk? Where did you purchase it? I’m also wishing I lived near you to join your group!

  6. renate says

    Hi,

    I would like to know if these were natural dyes? I bought some but it asks for using alum and cream of tartar 🙁
    no vinegar..

  7. DKC says

    Thanks for this! How did you finish the edges of the cut silk to keep it from fraying? That’s the part I’m struggling with.

    • Michelle Marine says

      We didn’t actually do anything to prevent fraying and they honestly didn’t fray too badly. We’ve been playing with the same silks for many years now and they are still pretty good. Good luck to you!

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