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How to Make Your Own Plant-Based Dye and Ink

Take recycling to the next level and get creative with your leftovers

Lockdown has seen a surprising return of tie-dyeing as a fun activity for kids and a creative home-school project, but did you know you can create your own natural dyes and inks the old fashioned way with nothing but food leftovers?

That's right - there's another use for our amazing range of fruit and veg! Not only does our organic produce taste incredible and compost nicely, you can use the leftovers to create a whole array of beautifully-coloured dyes and inks. As well as tie-dyeing, you can use them for all kinds of creative home projects, from colouring yarn, paper and playdough, or for watercolour-style painting.

Our very own coffee suppliers, Blue Goose Coffee, actually use plant-based ink in all of their packaging as it's a great way to be more environmentally friendly. There's also plenty of professional artists who make their own ink and dye in an effort to make their creations sustainably and cut down on waste.

So if you want to get crafty and take your recycling to the next level, why not try out this artsy way to use up your food waste?

Here's a list of the colours you can create from different fruit and veg leftovers:

All you need to do is roughly chop up the leftovers, toss them into an old cooking pot with two times the amount of water as the leftovers (use cups to measure), and a dash of salt and a teaspoon of white vinegar. Bring the mixture to the boil and leave it to simmer for about an hour. The colours will get richer the longer you let them simmer. The leftovers can now be composted, leaving behind a beautiful dye ready for all kinds of crafts.