How to use coffee to dye doilies

October 4th, 2011

I’m sure there are lots of ways to do this. And it’s probably REALLY easy if you drink coffee. But I don’t, and I don’t have a coffee machine, So I did it the quick & cheap way!

First I grabbed some supplies:

Paper towels


Instant Coffee



Doilies** – Do not use the grease-resistant doilies that are sold by Wilton or other cake supply companies. They will not dye well.

Then I mixed the coffee in COLD water. You can mix it in hot water, and it probably does better, however, you should wait until the coffee cools before doing the dye process. I was too lazy to wait for coffee to cool down so I used room temperature water. You can also use coffee filters to filter out the granuals, this will make your process a bit easier than mine. I couldn’t find my coffee filters though (the kitchen is still packed up), so I used paper towels.

I mixed the coffee and water:

And then realized I had granules to contend with! Being a coffee noob, I thought it would all dissolve :p. So I put paper towels over the granules as a way of filtering out the coffee-water from the crystals.Then I just put the doily on top of the paper towel, and pushed it down to get a lot of the coffee-water soaked into it.

I let the doily soak for maybe a minute, and then place it on a paper towel to get off excess moisture:

You can see here the difference between the dyed and un-dyed doily. Then I set up a make-shift “clothes-line” across my craft room, and draped the doilies on it to dry:

I wasn’t happy with the depth of color the first time around, so as each doily dried, I repeated the process. If you do this, make sure that your doily is mostly dry before re-dying or else it will fall apart!

I was really happy once they were dyed a second time.

I used this batch of doilies on my Halloween banner:

The color was just perfect for the antique look I was going for.

During the process I did have one doily fall apart on me. I ended up with just the “lacy” part around the edge, so I punched a circle with my 2″ circle punch, and then glued the doily around the edge:

Here is a view of the back:

Then I cut out a skull & bones, and put it on the front:

You could put any sort of element or letter in the center. It definitely makes a cute and easy element!

Hopefully this quick tutorial helps you create this same effect on your doily projects! I’m sure you could use it to dye all sorts of items as well. Happy Crafting!

One response to “How to use coffee to dye doilies”

  1. Michele says:

    I have just admired and admired and admired again your wonderful banner! So in awe of your creativity. I so want to duplicate this amazing banner!!!

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