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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