Supersize Your Stash,
Make Wilton Pastel Shades

Tired of Baby Pink? Baby Blue? Ducky Yellow?

The same jars the make vivid Wilton colors will make Wilton pastel shades.

Learn how to dye wool yarn at home and create Maple Sugar (light Skintone), Victorian Blush (light Aster Mauve) and Jamaican Coast (light teal).

With over 30 premixed colors, Wilton Icing gel was designed for pastel frosting on cakes. Which is why many of the colors look the same when you are dyeing dark colors. For instance, dark teal and dark blue can look fairly close on white base yarn.

Using just a touch of the gel creates great alternatives.

Compare the Wilton saturated and pastel tones from the same jar on the wool yarn samples. Below are the warm tones of yellow, orange and reds.

Wilton® Skintone Icing gel on wool yarn Wilton® Buttercup Yellow Icing gel on wool yarn Wilton® Golden Yellow Icing gel on wool yarn
Wilton® Lemon Yellow Icing gel on wool yarn Wilton® Copper Icing gel on wool yarn Wilton® Fairies Red Icing gel on wool yarn
Wilton® Wilton® Icing gel on wool yarn Wilton® Pink Icing gel on wool yarn
Wilton® Burgundy Icing gel on wool yarn Wilton® Aster Mauve Icing gel on wool yarn

Cool pastel colors of Wilton greens, blue and purples on this page.

How do you create light colors with Wilton colors?

The instinctive answer might be...... just add a ton more water to the dyebath.

That won't work.

For example, if you have .2 oz of yarn, 1/4 teaspoon of icing color and 8 oz. of water you will end up with the same shade as if you had a dyebath of twice the amount of water, even three times.

The critical ratio is the amount of icing color to the amount of fiber.

Less icing color means a more pastel yarn (or in art terms- a lighter tint).

For test hanks of .2 oz, start with a toothpick dip of icing color in 8 oz of water to make a dye stock. That is the amount which sticks to the toothpick when dipped into the jar.

The lightest tints are the hardest to make.

Some Wilton colors are so concentrated, it's almost impossible to pluck out a small enough dab.

If the 8 oz of dye stock is too dark, discard 4 oz of mix and add 4 oz of clear water. The color will be half as dark because there is now only half as many dye particles in the dye bath.

Hints on making Wilton Pastel colors

  • Try ivory yarn to change the color slightly.

  • Wool yarn will dry lighter than the shade you see when the yarn is wet.

  • If you want to reproduce the color for later dye projects, take notes on the amount of yarn to the amount of Wilton.
  • Skintone and Copper are almost the same color.
  • Buttercup is from the Garden Tones set.
  • A substitute for Fairies Red is Red Red.
  • Small jars of Rosa and Pink are hard to tell apart, because of the labeling on the lid. See a discussion of which color is which, here.
  • Burgundy will crock in large amounts, but not as a pastel.
  • Aster Mauve isn't an easy color to dye. But if you follow this advice, you'll do fine.

Return to the Wilton general information page.

See pastel versions of Wilton green, blue and purples.

Color charts for Wilton, blending two colors together.

Go from Wilton Pastel to DyeYourYarn Home Page.


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