New Colors by Adding Ghoul-Aid

Ghoul-Aid is a limited Halloween Kool-Aid.

The flavor is Blackberry (but that's not important) and the color is black.

The good news is it can be found in surplus stores. Perhaps you have a few case of it stored away.


Bad news- making black yarn with it isn't easy. Getting that last bit of blue to bond on yarn that is almost saturated with the other colors used to make the black can drive you to distraction.

I'd suggest heating the yarn to 180 degrees and leaving the yarn in the dyebath to cool overnight. If the water is still blue re-heat it and let it cool overnight again.

If there is still blue in the water, add a small amount of vinegar and try again. Eventually, it will bond (or you'll give up and settle for black yarn with a slight red tone).

     What else can you do with Ghoul-Aid?

Here, I'm adding it to other Kool-Aid flavors.

From right to left: Lemonade, Orange, Cherry, Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Grape and Lemon Lime

The top row is 3 parts of the other flavor and 1 part Ghoul-Aid. The middle row is equal parts and the bottom row is 1 part of the other flavor and 3 parts Ghoul-Aid.

The lemonade mix isn't very attractive, it resembles the color of lichens. The orange mix would be good for cat-tails or goldenrods. Cherry ends up looking like Black Cherry Kool-Aid. Ice Blue Raspberry Lemon-Aid tends toward green. Grape stays Grape, there's hardly any difference. Lemon Lime turns a nice pine green.

Base yarn used:
Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool in off-white and also recycled wool from a thrift store sweater. Each sample is .1 oz of yarn.

How the dyestock was made:

  • Each packet was mixed with 8 oz of tap water.

  • Each pair of flavors was tested at the ratios 1 to 3, 2 to 2 and 3 to 1.

  • I used a tablespoon as a measure.

  • I didn't simplify the ratio 2:2 as 1:1 because I wanted the same amount of dye in each formula. 1:1 would have produced a lighter shade.

What if you can't find Ghoul-Aid?

You can substitute other brands of black food color including McCormick, Wilton and AmeriColor.

The resulting colors won't be the exact shades as shown here. But it's still a fun project.

Simple step-by-step instructions with photos of yarn dyed with each flavor.

Can't find the page you want? Here's our site map.

You can dye silk with Kool-Aid, too.

Have you tried solar dyeing?

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