Introducing flower dyeing! It’s all natural and waaay more fun the than using store-bought dye! You don’t have to worry about those nasty chemicals touching your skin or buying lots of different colours! Flowers are Mother Nature’s way of saying “Hey, here’s some dye! Go make something pretty!”
I’ve always loved flowers. My mother grew up around a flower shop which my grandparents own, so naturally I grew up hanging out there too. Flowers are really just awesome aren’t they?
Now, some flowers work better than others. The squishier the leaf, the richer colour of dye you’ll receive. It’ll also be much easier to smash. Remember, the colour of the petals won’t always be the same as the dye on some white fabric. Whether you buy your flowers from the store, get them from a someone else, or your own garden, you’ll need to experiment with them!
I have a fairly large garden at home, so I just picked lots of flowers in pretty colours, as well as some greens (leaves) for a green colour. I picked about 40 different flowers/leaves, and only about 10 of them had some nice colour that came out easily. To test your flowers for the best dyes, just squish onto some cotton fabric and dry. Whatever colour the dye dries as, that’s the colour you’ll receive!
Now you’ll have to decide what you’d like to do with your soon-to-be-dyed fabric. Think: scarves, pillow cases, curtains, wall hangings or phone cases. The possibilities are vast! I decided on making a pillowcase, which I’ll post a tutorial about soon!
Enough chatter, here’s the instructions!
– fabric (100% cotton works best!) –> Iron fabric if really wrinkled..I didn’t 😦
-a “smasher” (rock, side of a meat tenderizer, eg…)
-clear plastic (from a bag works well)
-something to go under the fabric to prevent it from staining anything (cardboard, newspaper, old table)
-various flowers and/or leaves
1) Put your fabric on top of some cardboard or newspaper. Do you want to use petals or whole flowers? Petals with give you a tad lighter dye, but you can get a clearer pattern. If you use whole flowers, you’ll get a darker dye, but it’ll be a bit blotchy (check out the photo that my mother did down below). Lay out your flowers in any desired pattern. I chose to lay them out colour wise. Beet Leaves to Verbenia to Hydrangea to Green Onion to Geranium Leaves to Silk Plant Leaves to Pansy to various Geranium petals to Beet Leaves! My mother chose to layout entire flowers and leaves to make a “flower” out of flowers. So witty of her.
2) Cover fabric and flowers/leaves with plastic and smash smash smash those flowers up! You can even smash them with your feet!
Hey, even the dog wanted to get in on the fun!
3) Take off the plastic and smash some more flowers/leaves where needed!
TaDa! Mine on the left and my mother’s on the right.
Note: The colour will most likely bleed through so the cardboard or newspaper underneath is definitely a must unless you want a stained surface!
Also Note: If you MUST wash your fabric, hand wash very gently.