Thursday, August 11, 2011

~*Inquiring Minds Want To Know*~

So I will gladly share!

Hello Dear Friends! A few of you have asked about my walnut crystals & walnut stain. Let me fill ya in!
The way I understand it... walnut crystals/walnut powder comes from the dried husks of the black walnut. The green that is around them turns black & dries up. I have never tried to make my own. Several years ago I purchased a pound of the powdery, black stuff from a seller on Ebay... that particular seller no longer offers it or exists. A little goes a long way so I haven't had to purchase any more. I'm sure when I need more though... I could attempt to make my own or find another seller.

I put mine in an old jar for safe keeping...
I mix up small portions at a time & let it set on the counter until I need more made up. I haven't had troubles with it starting to stink & really don't feel it needs to be refrigerated.

To mix it up... I use a small mason jar. Fill it with HOT tap water. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of powder... more or less... honestly, I don't really measure it. Stir it well... and be careful. This stuff WILL stain! It would be horrible to drip it on your good carpets or splash it on your favorite outfit! To give it a little spice... I add a swiglet of vanilla (yes, I know 'swiglet' isn't a word or a measurement... but understand that I just simply add 'some'). Oh, and I don't buy the expensive vanilla for this either... if is just the store brand. It works fine.
I have many herbs on~hand that I purchased long ago for some potpourri making... cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and anise. Today, for the blog post, I just added a few of all of them to my jar of stain. You could use ANY herbs of your liking & they could be ground. It isn't necessary to have whole spices. Mine will just seep in the jar until this batch if done. The ground herbs will leave a little powdery dust on your fabric when it is dry... but, as I have said many times over, primitive is primitive... there are NO RULES FOR PRIMITIVE.

I pulled a piece of white linen to stain today...

I set it on an old baking sheet & used a sponge brush to blot the stain on the fabric...
When the fabric is fully stained... use paper towels to soak up the excess stain. With linen especially, it is important NOT to twist the fibers to wring out excess moisture.
Hang the fabric out to dry. Before I walk away... I use the same sponge brush & dab a few more spots of stain to the fabric to make sure it isn't evenly stained ~ I like a few darker spots. To me, it makes it look more naturally stained...
Also, watch out for big, brown dogs that like to pull pretty things off the clothes line!
(Silly puppy... I think he wants to be a primitive artist too!)

A close~up of the linen after staining...
I did start stitching on the second school girl sampler yesterday... but didn't get as far as I had hoped. My time got caught up with kids... bicycle riding, dirt biking, grasshopper hunting, trampoline jumping, swimming, basketball, dog running... and whatever else they felt I needed to be a part of. Yes, I enjoyed it and I know I will miss it when school starts... but goodness, they really know how to wear an ol' mom out!

Another reminder... the new patterns will be released on my blog tomorrow afternoon!

Wishing you warm smiles...



  1. Hi Betty, I stain all my baskets using black walnut stain. I just boil the dried up hulls in water on my kitchen stove. I used to buy the crushed shells, but it's cheaper (actually free!) to use the whole nut I pick up at a friend's house. If people want to know where to buy the powder for cheap - 1 pound is $5.50. ~Ann

  2. Thank you Betty for the tutorial! I have used walnut shells and they do stink! I bought some walnut crystals from Ebay, a bit expensive, but they do work very well. The only problem I have is that some linen is very resistance to the dye...any suggestions? I have tried soaking the linen prior to dying, but sometimes that doesn't work. Thanks again!

  3. hello dear, thank you for sharing it with us all..i will try it now..soon..
    hugs xx

  4. Bobbie, I haven't had any troubles with different linens. I would proably see it as a happy accident though. :-)

  5. love mixing up the walnut crystals works on so many things - so much easier than making your own and "cleaner!" thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks so much, Betty, for sharing this info!! Very, very, helpful....and the linen looks great! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  7. Thank you, Betty, for the walnut stain tutorial. I haven't tried walnut crystals yet cuz I'm afraid I'll make a dark mess but I'm feeling a little brave after reading this.
    Is that YOUR black walnut tree?
    Warm Regards,
    Susan B., Western MA

  8. Thank you so much for the information. I will try this in the future.Hugs,Jen

  9. Thank you for sharing your technique! I just might try it on some of the pieces of linen I bought online that aren't exactly the color I had hoped for... that picture of Brownie is priceless! I think his thoughts are written right above his head! lol!

  10. Hey Betty, I really like walnut crystals too. I stain most of my needlework with a coffee stain but occasionally use the WC. Love the idea Ann has to use it to stain her baskets. Just bought a buttocks basket at a junk store yesterday and was going to paint it but now I think I might try to stain it....thanks Ann!! ~Kriss~

  11. Thanks so much for the info, Betty. I bought some Walnut crystals way back and haven't had the time to dabble with some linen but will now!


    P.S. I love your newest freebie!!!

  12. Such a wonderful and instuctive post. I have some walnut crystals and they do last a very long time!


What friends have said...