In September and October, we’ve been studying fruits and nuts for nature study. One of the things we did while studying them was making dye from walnuts. My kids loved doing this project. As a guide to our study, we’ve been using Shining Dawn’s Fruit and Nut study and it is so good. Click here to view more details. The idea for this dye came from this book.

Here’s how we did it: 

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We started with a handful of black walnut shells… (thank you, Gina!)

The the boys took turns taking whacks at them till they were pretty smashed…

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then we had to put the shells in an old nylon and let it soak in a pot of water for three days. After the three days were up, we had to boil it for about an hour, then leave it overnight again…(yes, this was a time-consuming project ๐Ÿ™‚

After all that, we soaked some pieces of fabric in the dye for several hours….

Here’s how it turned out. It was a great way to incorporate hands-on learning into nature study. My kids loved this.


  1. Love it! So glad you're enjoying the fruit and nut study!! :o) Thanks for adding this to the CM Carnival, too! (And what a handsome family you are!)

  2. Last night at our spinning class, Kelly showed us all her "natural" dyes that she uses to dye her yarn. She uses black walnuts but she also uses marigolds, onion skins, and some strange bug they find on cactus. The bug dye was a beautiful red. Her yarns are so cool.

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