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3 Naturally Dyed Easter Egg Tutorials – Using Food Waste and Kitchen Scraps to Dye Eggs!

3 Naturally Dyed Easter Egg Tutorials

Spring is here! One of our favorite annual activities is dyeing Easter eggs with natural dyes. Eggs are the perfect reminder of the changing of seasons, of new birth, of the struggle before the victory… I love the lessons they can teach us. Today I want to show you how to make some of the best naturally dyed Easter eggs!

We will make naturally dyed Easter Eggs using food scraps and kitchen waste to create eco-friendly dyes.

naturally dyed Easter eggs on display

Today I want to share three simple natural egg dying tutorials with you. Many of you will already have these ingredients on hand. I think you will find that this is a delightful way to use up food waste in you kitchen!

You will need frozen or spoiled blueberries, yellow onion skin, red onion skin, vinegar, water, and eggs. You can find the simple instructions below…

Naturally Dyed Eater Egg Tutorial

I have provided direction for 3 different natural dyes, but your colors don’t have to end there! Consider what you have around you!

  • Do you have other scraps that might give color?
  • Perhaps purple cabbage, turmeric, beets, spring flowers, coffee, tea, etc? (I have not tried these myself, but this is the fun of experimenting!)
  • And from there – how can you shift or adjust colors with pH? If you add baking soda or additional vinegar to the dye bath, what happens?

The sky is the limit (and how many egg shells you can get your hands on! Haha!) You can also look for more egg dying ideas on Pinterest. I’ve even created an egg dyeing board that you can check out below!

Want to read more about Natural Dyes? Be sure to check out my FAQ page here!

Have you ever used natural dyes to color eggs? I’d love it if you would comment below with what you used and how it turned out! There is so much room for experimenting and playing with nature’s colors. I’d also love to hear from you if you try this tutorial! You can even tag me in your Instagram photos @borrowingcolor.

xo – Alex

3 Naturally Dyed Easter Egg Tutorials Using Kitchen Scraps and Waste!
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How to Cultivate Pretend Play at Home (And why you want to!)

Hello, Friend!

I don’t know about you, but when I stop for just a moment to watch and listen to my children play, I am captured by the magic of their imaginations. Their make-believe play reminds me of my favorite parts of childhood. It is SO important to me to preserve and guard this!

These days, there are few open-ended toys. The “gadgets” that are marketed to our kids as toys talk for them, play for them, and limit their imagination. More than any generation before, our kids are growing up in an environment of streaming services, tablets, social media, parents on devices, and peers that are tech-obsessed. How do we preserve childhood play in this climate? 

Why is play important?

Did you know that kids get to practice social and emotional skills through play? I mean, sure… that makes sense. But we don’t always consider how they get to “test” out scenarios and interactions with open-ended playthings.

We do it as adults too, right? We play out imaginary scenarios in our minds, practice what we might say to someone, etc. Kids do this through play! And what better way than with toys that allow the child freedom to imagine anything (open-ended toys!)

What is an open-ended-toy?

The best toys are made to foster imaginative play

An open-ended plaything can be simply defined as a toy that has no “rules” and that is able to be played with in different ways – it should support a child’s imagination, not replace it. (Read to the end for examples!)

Play helps develop problem solving skills!

Play also cultivates thinking skills in our kids! As they problem solve within their imaginary worlds, they learn to problem solve in the real world.

A child’s imagination provides a safe zone to trial different thought processes and outcomes. And beyond the “scenarios” that the child acts out, play also encourages problem solving and critical thinking skills between children! Arguing over a toy, wrestling on the floor, expressing their feelings to one another – all of these situations help to teach the child how to interact with others in the world, how to be kind, what personal boundaries are, etc.

How can I cultivate pretend play in the home?

We can all agree that imaginative play is critical to healthy childhood development! But now the question is HOW do we foster pretend play in our homes? Here are some ideas:

  • Turn off the devices
  • Keep non-tech related toys – books, puzzles, open-ended-playthings – in places that are easy to see and access
  • Store toys in “collections” (essentially keeping toys that work well together in the same space – dress up clothes with toy swords, train tracks with blocks, baby dolls with play food, etc.)
  • Store pots, pans, mixing bowls, and spoons in unlocked low cabinets for easy access
  • Leave out cardboard boxes for play before recycling them
  • Donate toys that don’t get played with (less toys allows for greater use of the imagination!)
  • Check out Waldorf and Montessori toy guides for more ideas!
  • Be more intentional to buy toys that support open-ended play instead of following fads! (And don’t forget secondhand resources!)

Open-Ended Toy Examples

What are NOT open-ended toys? Some might surprise you!

  • Video games
  • Puzzles
  • Board games
  • Lego sets (the ones with the instructions)
  • Art and craft kits
  • Stacking rings
  • Books
  • Shape sorters, etc.

None of these are open-ended. That doesn’t mean that these are bad, it just means that they have “rules” that must be followed to play “correctly” with the toy. A good way to think about it is if the play can be “completed” (like a puzzle, game, or book) it is not open ended.

What are examples of open-ended toys? 

I guess you can see from that last example where my hand-made toys fall. 😉 

My plush playthings are made to foster imaginative play. I’m committed to continue making toys that help our kids as they grow and develop. It is important to me to support make-believe and independent play as much as possible, and I know it’s important to you too! 

The plush playthings that I offer are meant to foster open-ended play scenarios that allow children to practice their social skills in the ways mentione above! That is the beauty of a 100% natural, non-plastic, non-battery operated toy. 

Which Plaything is perfect for you? Take the quiz below to find out!

Did you find this post about play helpful? You’ll want to take a look at my Open-Ended Play Holiday Gift Guide as the holidays draw close (Coming Nov 18th!) I will include a mixture of small shops and Prime items!

Collection of Plush Toys

Well Friends, 

I hope that these ideas have inspired you as you currate the playspaces within your home. If you want to find more inspo, follow me on Pinterest (I’ve been obsessed with pinning things lately!) and then join my group board Cultivating Creativity to share some of your ideas!

xo Alex

PS – I have learned so much from a Scholastic article that inspired this post. Please check it out here!

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Stamps 101: How to Carve and Use a Custom Stamp for OOAK Prints

Hey There, Friends!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how crafty are you? I’d say I fall somewhere in the middle. Now I know most of you would be shocked at that self-assessment. (Right?! You guys have surely been following along enough to know that my entire business revolves around crafting…) but hear me out!

I don’t often have “epiphany” ideas – most of what I create comes from a heck of a lot of research, trial and error, and failed attempts. Creativity has to be cultivated and a lot of that happens from being a student, learning from others around us, and trying new things.

Where am I going with this? I like to share a lot of BTS (behind the scenes) glimpses into how I make things and dye them on my Instagram accounts. And every time, you guys always show up in my DMs. I love having those “wow” conversations with you and I can’t tell you how many questions I’ve gotten about the basics of natural dyeing. I love it when creativity rubs off on people!

I want to create more content that enables YOU to pursue creative things too! A week or two ago, I asked you in an IG poll what sort of a free resource you’d like me to create and the majority of you said – a stamp carving/printing tutorial! (Don’t worry if you voted for something else – I’ll be creating more things in the future!)

Homemade stamps carved from potatoes

I’ve done some stamping in my shop and I’ve learned a thing or two from other artists too (have you seen the amazing block printing work of Jessica from Wild Fire Water or Graham Keegan?) 

For my project of stamping a kitchen flour sack towel, I used a mixture of the printing tools I own (because I have those around MY house) and things that the everyday person will have around their home. You can go all out and buy the professional tools of the trade – which I recommend for anyone hoping to stamp on a regular basis – or you can make do with things you have on hand! 

I really love the final results! Don’t you?

carving a stamp from a potato

Stamping is fun because you can play around with a large range of repeating and abstract patterns. Pinterest has so much inspo and I’ve saved a lot of it to my stamping board there! 

So… who is this tutorial for? It’s for anyone who wants to create one-of-a-kind prints on fabric and/or paper. (I’ll bet you have most or all of the supplies at home already!) Are you ready to get started? Click this link below to get my supply list and tutorial instructions!

Click the link above to download your guide, get carving, make some prints, and then tag me on social media so I can see what you create!

custom stamp of mother and child on a table with a candle and stamped bandanas

Well Friends, 

I hope that these creative ideas have inspired you to make something with your hands this month. If you want to find more inspo, follow me on Pinterest (I’ve been obsessed with pinning things lately!) and then join my group board Cultivating Creativity to share some of your ideas!

Happy Stamping!

xo Alex

STAMPS 101: How to Carve and Use a Custom Stamp Tutorial
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Easy Naturally-Dyed and Crocheted Lovey – DIY Blanket Pattern and Natural Dye Method

Hello Friends!

As this blog transitions to include my journey as a maker, I want to occasionally share projects that anyone can easily make on their own at home. ♥ I am not a traditional crafty person. Much of what I have learned related to crocheting, sewing, and natural dying are skills I have picked up through Google, trial and error, reading books, and learning from others. I tell you this so that you can know that being a maker is possible with enough diligence and hard work!

Today’s DIY project is one of my favorites! Today is I Love Yarn Day and in honor of that, I am posting this crochet + dye tutorial!

In my shop I used to offer a hand-dyed and crocheted wool lovey. This tiny blanket measured approximately 10 inches by 10 inches. It is a simple design and process that anyone who knows the basic crochet stitches can easily complete. The dye process is also equally doable with the proper supplies and patience. I hope that it can be the perfect addition to a baby shower gift or that it can be a special item for your own sweet babe.

Let’s get started!!


  • Un-dyed, naturally-colored wool yarn (this is the one I use)*
  • Size N (9mm) crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Post It notes (or something similar in size)
  • Yarn needle
  • Stainless steel pot (not to be used for food!)
  • Stainless steel or wooden spoon (not to be used for food!)
  • 2-4 clothespins
  • 10 black tea bags

* Please be sure that your yarn is wool. The dye will not hold on synthetic fibers such as the more common acrylic yarns. It is possible that the dye would partially hold onto a synthetic/wool blend, but I have not attempted this and cannot say how it would work.

Crochet Pattern

1. Row 1: Using your wool yarn and hook, crochet 25 chain stitches to form the bottom of your blanket. (The length should be approximately 10 inches.) Turn and chain 2.

2. Row 2: Double crochet across the row. Turn and chain 1.

3. Row 3-5: Single crochet across the row. Turn and chain 1. (Repeat for rows 4 and 5.)

4. Rows 6-27: Repeat this process (steps 2-3) until the height of your piece matches the length of your piece. (About 27 rows.)

Finishing: Single crochet around the entire square. Add one extra chain stitch at each corner as you go. (This process can be tricky on the sides of the square, but it will give the piece a nice, finished look. Simply do your best to space out your stitches evenly when an opening is not readily available.) Finish off with a slip stitch into your first single crochet of the border.


1. Wrap the yarn around a Post It notepad (or something similar) 20 times.


2. Thread another strand of yarn through the middle and tie a knot.

3. Remove the notepad and cut the loops at the end of the tassel. (Repeat 3x for a total of 4 tassels.)


4. Tie off the tops of 3 tassels. Leave the 4th tassel loose. (This will be tied after the dye process.)


Dye Process

1. Add 10 tea bags to your stainless steal pot and fill the pot about half-way with filtered water.

2. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.

3. Simmer, covered, until the water is a dark, amber color. The amount of time that you steep the tea depends on your color preferences. Longer times = deeper colors

4. Remove the tea bags and filter out any particles that may be floating in your dye. The dye can be used immediately or it can again be kept in the fridge until it becomes moldy.

5. Very gently, submerge your lovey into lukewarm, filtered water and soak thoroughly. (Because it is wool, it is important to avoid drastic temperature changes and to use minimal agitation to prevent accidentally felting your project!)

6. Remove and wring out excess water as well as you can.

7. Carefully drape your lovey over the edge of your dye pot so that the untied tassel corner is in the dye bath. You may submerge as much or as little of your project into the dye as you would like.

8. Use clothespins to hold your lovey in place while heating the dye bath on LOW heat.

9. Allow the project to absorb as much dye as you want. Remember that the finished product will be a few shades lighter once the blanket has been rinsed.

10. When you are happy with the color, wring out as much dye as you can and line dry the lovey out of direct sunlight.

11. Once dry, set it aside for a few days to allow the dye to affix itself to the wool fibers.

12. Finally, hand-wash (with a ph neutral soap) and rinse your lovey until the water runs clear. Once again, use cool water and minimal agitation to protect the integrity of your work.

14. Line dry your lovey one last time! (And don’t forget to finish tying your last tassel!)

* Please do not use your dye pots and/or utensils for cooking. Although this natural dye is safer, it is important to maintain separate equipment for these two purposes.

Lovey Care

May be spot cleaned and/or CAREFULLY hand washed with minimal agitation in COLD water with a gentle detergent and then laid flat to dry. Do NOT place in a washing machine or dryer. Please note that due to the nature of natural dye, the color may change and/or lightly fade with additional washings.

Additional Notes

I would like to note that while black tea can provide depth of color for a relatively long period of time, it is still considered a fugitive dye. This means that after exposure to washes and sunlight, it can and will loose some or all of its color. If this happens, feel free to re-dye it using the instructions above! As I like to say – “A naturally dyed product truly is alive and is meant to be enjoyed for as long as its lifecycle lasts. Its elusiveness is what makes it so alluring!”

Please be advised that none of these items should be used without parental supervision as the materials used could pose choking, strangulation, or suffocation hazards. Please do not leave any item with an unattended child. Do not allow children to wear or play with these products while sleeping or while riding in a car seat. Alex and My Lovely Things Co. are not responsible for any injuries associated with use or misuse of these products. Thank you!

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Easy Eucalyptus Wreath Tutorial – How To Make An Eucalyptus Wreath For Any Occasion

As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I am a lover of pretty things. What sorts of things strike my fancy? Nature, calm and cool colors, lovely aromas (and, no, beauty is not always seen – sometimes it is encountered through the other senses!), warm drinks on cool days (few and far between here in Florida, lol), cozy hugs, old movies, etc. I’m sure you get the picture… 

Not only do I love experiencing the pretty and beautiful aspects of life, I also love to make them. This is part of my WHY behind becoming a maker and starting an Etsy Shop (more on that in a later post!) This post was birthed out of my latest creative obsession and my desire to share how-to and DIY posts on this remade blog.

You see, it is fun to create, but it is incredibly rewarding to empower others to create.

I believe it is good for the soul – your soul AND mine. My commitment to you is to make things fun and attainable. Your commitment to me is to not take yourself too seriously and simply enjoy the process – whatever it looks like!

Have I convinced you to try the creative process? I hope so! Today’s tutorial is for a lovely (and easy!) Eucalyptus Wreath. I promise you will love having this in your home! Its aesthetics are gorgeous and its scent is heavenly!

So let’s get started, shall we?


  • Several bunches of eucalyptus stems (I used 3 bunches from Trader Joe’s)
  • Yarn or twine
  • Scissors
  • A few bundles of berries (optional)

Wreath-Making Process

  1. Take two sturdy stems of eucalyptus and gently bend them into an arc. You will be connecting the top of one stem to the bottom of the other stem and vice versa.
  2. Using a short piece of yarn or twine (I used yarn,) tie the ends of the stems to the tops of the stems – forming a rough circle. 
  3. Take a few more stems and lay them onto the circle pattern. Tie these to the original two. (I recommend staggering the connected ends thoughout the circle so that it is stronger.)
  4. Once you feel that your circle is sturdy, you can continue adding eucalyptus. I decided to tuck, twist, and thread each new stem into the existing ones – instead of tying them on. (This kept the yarn from being visible on the finished product.)
  5. Continue adding eucalyptus stems until you run out or until you like the fullness of your wreath.
  6. (Optional) Tuck a few berries bunches in between the strands of eucalyptus for a festive feel! (If you dislike the look of the berries once they dry out, you can always remove them later on.)
  7. To hang your wreath, add a loop of yarn onto the back of the wreath. (Be sure it is attached to one of the original stems that you tied together!)
  8. Your wreath will smell AMAZING while it dries. As long as you did a good job of properly securing the stems, it should hold its shape forever! Eucalyptus dries beautifully and is the prettiest accent in your home. 

Note: I have kept my wreath indoors. I am not certain how it would hold up in an outdoor environment.

I’ve created a time-lapse video to show you the wreath-making process. You can find it here:

This wreath was the perfect Christmas decoration in my home. And once the new year rolls around – I will simply remove the holiday berries to have a lovely year-round wreath!

Will make a similar wreath? I think that dried plants look so much more beautiful than their fake counterparts! Be sure to leave me a comment if you make one for your home!

xo Alex