DIY Bleach Tie-Dye Swaddle Blanket

diy tie dye bleach swaddle blanketI’ve been working on a few DIY swaddle blankets the last couple months. In case you missed it, I shared a star printed, a yellow ombre dipped, and a pink tie-dye.

I’ve been into tie-dye lately (just bought this dress I love, would be great post baby too), also really into the navy/white combo, and interested in experimenting with bleach tie-dying. Stirred all those ingredients together, added a sprinkling of experimental scary cat faces, and ta dah! Came up with this version.


You could always tie-dye a white blanket with navy dye but I liked the idea of using bleach and seeing a wider, yet subtle, spectrum of color (light gray-voilet-navy).

Keep reading to see how I made this swaddle (which chances are I’ll be using as a scarf until baby arrives next month!)…

Photography and styling by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Isabelle Ambler

navytiedye4I started by dying my white muslin blanket (it’s technically gauze if you’re looking to buy some at the fabric store) to navy blue. You can find instructions for dying on your dye box (I used Rit brand). I had to leave the blanket in for a while to get this dark of a navy color, even with the thin fabric it needed a long bath. Keep in mind that it will always lighten after you rinse and wash it so err on the site of darker than you think you want.

navytiedye5Start twisting the blanket in one corner, adding rubber bands every 2 inches or so as you go. I twisted it hard so that it started to curl back into itself, and then added more rubber bands to keep those curly twists in place.

navytiedye6This is what it looked like when I was done. Notice how I still left a lot of blue and didn’t let it twist completely up in a big ball. I wanted to be able to control where I applied bleach so I left it a bit stretched out.

navytiedye7Dampen your blanket. Then with rubber gloves, a large bowl, and a squeeze jar, start applying bleach carefully and ONLY around the rubber bands. Straight up bleach, not that watered down business your mom taught you to clean with. Let that sit in another clean bowl for at least 12 hours. As it starts to pull color away you’re gonna flip out a little at the colors emerging, just relax and quit freaking out about it. Don’t look at it for a long while. It’ll work its magic, just give it some time.

diy tie dye bleach swaddle blanket

With gloves again, cut your rubberbands and unroll your blanket, then rinse well before washing and drying.


I have been thinking about gauze and making scarves for weeks and weeks. This was just the inspiration I needed to get myself to the fabric store. Thanks Liz. Your blanket is absolutely gorgeous.

“Straight up bleach” can burn holes in some fabrics. It’s really best to water it down a little. You’re lucky you didn’t ruin your blanket. It looks amazing, by the way!

I can’t believe how beautiful it is! So much classier than the rainbow swirl t-shirt I made for myself right before school started. 😉

This is just beautiful liz, i love how it turned out

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