I wanted to dye crepe paper streamers so I could get a whole variety of colors and variations in my decorations. I love color but the brightly dyed store bought colors just weren’t enough for me. However, pouring paint etc on the streamers tended to make a soggy-fugly mess. It took me awhile to figure out a process for dying them that would keep the crepe texture.
- White or Light Colored Crepe Paper
- Dye– See the recipe here
- Alcohol: 90% is best (If you want pastel)
- Um yeah that’s it… Sometimes crafts don’t require a lot of things. But don’t mention it. I’ll take any opportunity to take a trip to the craft store.
Make rolls of the colors you want to create. One large roll of crepe paper is around 150 ft. I always divide mine into three. And no it isn’t necessary to be as anal as myself and wrap it so neatly. That just takes a special kind of crazy. It will dye if the rolls are fairly tight.
Step 2 (For Pastel Colors Only)
Remember this is for pastel colors only! I repeat pastel only. Soak each roll in plain alcohol to wet it. Don’t drench it but go ahead and dampen the whole roll.
Now the fun part! Pour on the dye. Soak that puppy! I like to pour it in the middle, then flip it over and do the other side. Now would be a good time to remember gloves so you don’t stain your hands… Or just tell your friends it is the newest trend in finger dye. If you aren’t going for pastel it will take more dye since the rolls aren’t wet to begin with.
This is the hard one! Wait. Yeah you have to let it dry. You can squeeze a a little of the excess out, but gently. If you squish the roll too much then you risk ruining the crepe texture. I have been known to stick them on top of heating vents in the winter months… Usually overnight the alcohol evaporates and you have a nice dry roll.
Here you can see the variation between a pre-soaked pastel crepe roll and direct dye crepe roll. The paper itself will separate out some of the component dyes… So in less technical terms: Orange is going to leave splotches of red and yellow. But they are pretty splotches.
Want to see what you can do with all this crepe paper? Check out the inspiration for this tutorial in my Spring Garland Post.
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17 thoughts on “How to Dye Crepe Paper”
Hi there, all the stores are closed due to the virus and wanted mauve crepe paper for Easter for the kids. What type of alcohol are we talking? White wine? Rubbing alcohol? Thx!
Unfortunately, I used rubbing alcohol which I can’t find right now. I have heard people having good luck in a variety of recipes using everclear as a substitute but I haven’t tried it.
thank you for this instructions, I am a bit late to the party :) however, i wanted to ask, will the crepe paper stick together or unroll easily once it is dry?
Mine unrolled easily. I have done it many times but if I use too much water and not enough alcohol it may stick a bit.
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Is this waterproof? Or will the color run if it gets wet? Thanks!
No, it is not waterproof. It will run just like a lot of regular crepe papers will.
What a fantastic idea – I’ve never even thought about dyeing my own crepe paper before! I’d be thrilled if you’d come on over to Pink Recipe Box and link up at Creative Wednesdays: http://pinkrecipebox.com/creative-wednesdays-with-pink-recipe-box-3/
Thanks for the invitation. I love dyeing my own crepe paper. The colors are so much more interesting.
What was your recipe for the dye?
Oh my. So sorry I never linked it! I fixed the post and here is the link to the crepe paper dye.
This is genius! I love it! I’d love it if you’d stop by and join my first ever linky party (ya, ya…I’m a bit behind the times).
Hey I have never had a link party so you are ahead of me.
I love this look!!! If you haven’t already had a chance, I’d love for you to stop by and share this great idea for crepe paper at the 100th Tuesday To Do Party over at The Blackberry Vine! http://blackberryvine.blogspot.com/2013/02/tuesday-to-do-party-100-99-list-makers.html
The Blackberry Vine
Thanks so much for dropping by!