Black Pocket Chart Tutorial

I have seen some great things on Pinterest, but when I pinned a black chart DIY by The Very Busy First Graders I knew I needed to give it a try.  I shared last night on my Instagram the box of dye and a lot of folks responded that they had tried it and it was an epic fail…I also had some folks share some great suggestions.  I used all that information to photograph and document how I created my awesome new black pocket chart!
Here are the materials I gathered/purchased:
I boiled water, 2 gallons to start and added it to the bucket containing the black powder dye (I am not convinced that I “had” to use 2 boxes of dye…but I wanted to be sure it would take the color).  

I stirred to mix the dye with the just 2 gallons of water first and then I added 1 cup of white vinegar and mixed again.  
Next I boiled and added the remaining 3 gallons of water  (the water wasn’t all the way boiling, but close.  I was afraid if it was too hot, it might melt my chart =)

I added the pocket chart and stirred gently, moved it up and down, stirred some more…mostly for the first 20 minutes.  I used gloves only when I needed to remove the chart from getting stuck on the stick I was using to stir (yes, my hubby went out and got a stick from the yard b/c I was afraid of anything else I used becoming stained…plus I forgot to plan ahead and buy something).  
His comment when I took this picture of the stick getting stuck to the chart  “#witchproblems”

I let the bucket sit overnight.  I am not positive I had to do this because from everything I read online, once the water cools, the dye is technically not working anymore.  But I thought it can’t hurt, so I let it soak with the stick to hold it down (stick not shown =)
The next morning, my husband took the bucket full of black water and poured it out in our gravel driveway (not sure why he chose this location) but then I brought the bucket back to the house empty with the chart in it and used a (very dirty) water hose to rinse it.  We basically just put the hose in there and would empty the bucket after it filled, and then let it fill the bucket again until there was no more black color in the water.  

I occasionally, as it was filling with water, would take the chart and move it around, letting any dye left to come out of the pockets.  There was very little dye left in it…I was surprised by that.
Last, I let the pocket chart dry.  I hung it up for a while on our shady back porch and then took it to our sunny porch for about 20 minutes.

And now I get to enjoy my new black pocket chart!
This is actually the pocket chart my neighbor uses, but it is the same blue as mine was…
(I just forgot to take a before picture =)
Hope you enjoyed my tutorial of how I dyed my chart.  I am sure there are other suggestions and ways to get the job done, but this is what worked for me! =)  I love it!
*Disclaimer: The thread around the outside of the chart did not dye black, it remained blue (the thread is probably polyester and just did not absorb the dye).  But you cannot see it unless you get up close, so it doesn’t bother me at all.


  1. LOVE IT! The pocket chart looks AWESOME in your room. I'm definitely going to try this!

    I'm SUPER impressed with your photo of boiling water and catching the steam while keeping the photo clear. I've tried that before and had one heck of a time! hahaha.

  2. Oh my… I just looked up a post about three days ago and just bought my dye today only to come home to see this! I can't wait to give it a try. I left my pocket chart at school so it has to be a project for next week! Have you ever tried Target Dollar Spot pocket charts?

    1. I haven't tried them, but I have heard that you can't use the cheap ones. It is worth a try maybe, but I would for sure try to do a quality chart also as your back-up =)

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. I have numerous pocket charts in many different colors and I need to make them all one color. These are awesome directions!

  4. Hi Jennifer,

    Do you remember what brand of pocket chart you used. My first attempt was unsuccessful using a Carson-Dellosa pocket chart. I’m thinking different brands, different materials. Thanks in advance.

    1. I can’t be sure, but it is/was really heavy duty, not a cheap one at all! (plus it is old, so maybe better quality?)

  5. You have no idea how excited I am about this. I really want to go and get my charts right now to do this but I am forbidden due to cleaning the school. But as soon as I get the go ahead I will be going and getting them and making them all black. My room theme is always black because it goes with everything. Thank you so much for this informations! **happy dance****. Goodbye ugly blue and red charts!

  6. Arghhhh! Second failed attempt! I tried the stovetop method with the liquid dye which said it was for nylon. All it dyed were the plastic pockets and the back of the chart! The front was totally blue! So today I tried a new chart (not CD but still pretty heavy duty). Followed your directions and still blue 🙁 Why in the world are there tons of black pocket charts but not a black hundreds chart? Bizarre!

  7. Thanks for trying but I’m looking for the hundreds pocket chart. Yesterday I tried a third time and dyed it a beautiful black but dyed the clear pockets too! I think I’ll just wait until one of you crafty women make one yourself to sell. Somebody could make a mint!!!! Have a great day and thanks for responding!

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