DIY Dip Dyed Tote Bag

Hey there! Holly from Revamperate here, and today I’m going to share a surprisingly easy project you can try this summer – an ombre dip dyed tote bag!


Summer is the perfect time of year for dying projects because the extra sun gives things a chance to dry so quickly, and it makes it easy to do projects outside. This very simple dip dyed tote bag has an ombre look to it based on how long you leave parts of the bag in the dye. I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time, so I’m really thrilled with how the dipped ombre colors turned out and how well it’s held up over the last couple weeks when I’ve taken it to the store with me.

When it comes to dying, just take your time and start with an easy project (like this one!) and it’s bound to be successful. You can also try my watercolor striped dish towels, which is another easy project with dye that’s more subtle.



  • White tote bag
  • Fabric-safe dye
  • Large bucket
  • Plastic for work surface
  • Gloves (optional)

First, let’s go over the supplies. I highly recommend using a white tote bag if you can find one because the color will be truer and easier to predict. You can still use a tan/beige bag but your dye might not appear the way you expect it to. I used Rit dye, which is very simple to use and is easy to find at any craft store or online.

It’s important to cover your work surface in plastic before you begin mixing the dye (I use cut up trash bags). I also recommend doing this outside if possible. If you use newspaper, the dye can easily leak through to your tabletop, and since you will be laying the dyed bag on top of the plastic, you want to protect your work surface.


Steps to Creating a Dip Dyed Tote Bag:

  1. Follow the directions on the package to mix your dye. If using Rit, you will want to mix warm water into the powder dye until dissolved.
  2. If using a smaller bucket, fold the bag in half and make sure to hold the handles out of the way.
  3. Over your work surface, dip the bag into the dye about halfway only for a second. Pull out a couple inches and let the bag rest over the side of the bucket still partially submerged. Leave for about 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, pull the bag out a couple more inches with only the bottom of the bag still submerged. Leave for about 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, carefully hold up the bag. If you can clearly see the difference in color intensity between each section, you’re done. If not, add the bottom of the bag to the dye again.
  6. When you’re satisfied with the color, carefully unfold the bag and lay on clean plastic for several hours or overnight to dry.
  7. Once completely dry, hand wash the dyed portion of the bag in the sink. If you submerge the entire bag in water, you may risk the color transferring to the still white portion of the bag.
  8. Let dry again and it’s ready to use!

This bag is great for carrying groceries, books and anything else you tote around!


  1. Alyssa Gruenwald says

    Summer is just not officially here until a dye craft has been completed. Last summer I dyed cotton T-shirts, makeup bags, even a pillowcase! Perhaps this technique would work on other cotton items as well; I will have to experiment. Thank you for the idea!

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