I love to scrapbook. I'm always saving little things here and there thinking "What can I make these into?" I have entire jars full of string (yes ladies...a string jar), bottle caps, yarn, plastic and the one that disturbs most of my friends, doll hair. No, im not a serial killer of dolls but I do weave their hair into recycled paper. I went around my house a couple of days ago grabbing any extra things lying around and ended up with old white envelopes, old business card tags, loose pages from a book that lost it's binding and round coffee filters.
When I scrapbook Im always looking for new textures and colors. I never buy premade dye. I always make my own with whatever I have handy. Today it was red wine and coffee! Wine is a great inexpensive dye medium. It's affordable, it comes in varying shades of red and purple and it can be found almost anywhere. The same goes for coffee. I usually stock up on it when I stay at hotels so I don't even have to buy it. The basics here are pretty simple. *This is a great project to do with kids, just avoid using the wine!* Here's what you'll need.
A large baking dish or brownie pan (glass, metal, nonstick, whatever you have)
Medium to be dyed (Unsealed paper of any kind, you could dye a speeding ticket if you wanted to)
All you do is lay your paper in the pan, fill the pan until the paper is covered with your wine or coffee and wait. I usually check my paper (carefully because it will rip if you're too rough) by pulling up the edge every 6 hours. A light dye job may only take a few minutes but if you're looking for a richer color leave your paper in the wine or coffee for at least a day. Keep in mind that the color you see when you check it won't be the color you get when the paper is dried. Figure three shades lighter for dried paper. I usually go for at least two days of dyeing time with wine as I like a darker effect. The cool thing about using wine is that it will usually leave the paper slightly sparkly. Coffee is great because you can control how strong the coffee is. The stronger the brew, the darker the dyed color. If you have trouble with floating paper try pebbles or something equally handy. I used a spoon once and when I took the paper out and dried it, it had a few cool markings on it where the spoon rested. You could do a pattern or basic shape like a star or several circles. It's a learning experience so don't be afraid to get creative. Leave your papers in until all the liquid has evaporated or try using a blue kool-aid dye. I bet that would work great if you were making a kids scrapbook page.
*This technique can also be used to dye light colored fabrics! Just make sure you wash with a color sealer if you plan on wearing the item.*
These are the coffee filters. They were so thin I threw them all in the same pan and layered used coffee grounds in between them and on top to add extra color and keep them from floating.
The loose book pages, also done with coffee, minus the grounds.
Assorted tags and envelopes using the coffee.
I wine dyed the lighter envelopes for about a day and the darker envelopes in the upper right corner were done with coffee and wine. I put them in coffee for about two days and then I did wine for a day. The papers on the left are leftover tissue paper and I did those with just wine in about two hours.
Do you have any great dye tips? Please feel free to share.