Print

How to Dye Wood Blocks (in 4 simple steps!)

Curious how to dye wood blocks with watercolor paint in 4 easy steps? You’re in the right place! You CAN make your own wooden Grimm’s rainbow blocks for STEAM activities and kid-friendly play ideas! Step-by-step instructions and pictures are included! {Kid-friendly}

Ingredients

  • Unfinished wood blocks
  • Liquid watercolors
  • Baggies
  • Aluminum foil
  • Baking sheets/pans

Instructions

  1. Pour liquid watercolors into a baggie. Then place the unfinished wood blocks inside the baggie. Seal the baggie and roll the wood blocks around until they absorb the liquid watercolors. Place the dyed blocks on a lined cookie or baking sheet. I like to line my baking sheets or pans with aluminum foil. You can also use parchment or wax paper.
  2. Let dry overnight in a cool, dry place where the blocks won’t be disturbed.
  3. The next day, place any blocks that need a second coat back in the baggies with liquid watercolors. I find that some blocks absorb well on the first try, and I’m done in two steps. Other blocks need a second coat, and then I’m done in four steps.
  4. For blocks that need a second coat, remove them from the baggie and place them back on their respective baking sheets. Let them dry overnight for a total of 24 hours. Once they are dry, you can start playing with them.

Notes

  • If your blocks have streaks or striations, a second coat may do the trick. I have found some blocks are prone to these issues while others, within the same pack, are not.
  • Liquid watercolors are made up of several individual colors and sometimes those colors come out during the dyeing process. Subsequent coats may take care of the problem. And like the streaks and striations, don’t necessarily happen with every block in the same package.
  • When I roll the blocks around in the baggie, I only do it for a handful of seconds. It’s a fairly quick process. However, you can soak yours longer, if you’d like.