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Love It
& Leaf It


The vivid hues and streaky leaves of coleus
inspired Midwest Living’s
Editor in Chief Kylee Krizmanic to reimagin
e a favorite art: tie-dyeing.
She shares how she took the popular quaranti
ne craft to the next level,
bringing color to her fall table (with a few
plant tricks along the way).
photographs by AUSTIN DAY


When I told my friend Joanne Roth, who owns
Des Moines-based Modern Monogramming,
about my plan to create tie-dyed
projects inspired by the electric hues of coleus,
her creative brain kicked in. She suggested
embellishing 6x6-inch cocktail napkins
with embroidered words, using a simple chain
stitch. I love the cheerful, bespoke flair they
add to the bar cart on my screen porch.


Tie-dye package instr
will explain the basic
over the years, I’ve le
a few tricks for produ
vibrant color (and kee
it where I want it).

Stick to natural fabrics, such
percent cotton, silk, wool, he
Poly blends never come out a


Cover surfaces and wear old
an apron. Line the area wher
with paper towels to catch d
prevent dye from pooling und
project. Wear gloves—and ri
(while wearing)—as you work
tainting one dye with another


Before dyeing, wash fabric wit
gentle detergent to remove ch
residue. Dampness determine
travels through fibers: If you w
to merge and transition organ
the fabric quite wet (though n
For more defined lines or patte
fabric partially air-dry.


I like Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit
economical and fuss-free, with
colors. Unless you dig a Gratefu
(or muddy) effect, limit projects
two or three analogous colors, l
coleus-inspired red, pink, and p
They’ll happily merge to create b
variegated transitions. Rememb
complementary hues—opposite
color wheel, such as purple and
will turn brown if they bleed tog
patterns, I use narrow zip-ties, n
bands. They go on more easily an


COMING 10.17.21
dried leaves
and flowers with
fresh specimens, like
these long shoots of
a backyard

These linen napkins were an inexpensive
find on Amazon—perfect
for tie-dyeing.

After dyeing, wrap each item in
wrap to prevent different colors
contacting one another and plac
zip-top bag. The longer the rest
stronger the colors; I always wa
48 hours. Put your gloves back o
rinse each item separately unde
water until the water runs clear
dyes require a vinegar soak next
Tulip One-Step, I find I can skip t
Finally, heat-set with an iron, pr
the board with butcher paper or
grocery bag. (Or put items in a h
if shrinking isn’t a concern.)


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