Dyeing Artificial Flowers

Written by jessica reed
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Dyeing Artificial Flowers
Create realistic flowers by colouring artificial flowers with acid dye. (silk waterlelie image by Simone van den Berg from Fotolia.com)

Artificial or silk flowers provide beauty that won't fade away when the seasons change. Often flowers appear too bright or too pale to pass as a real flower. Dying your own flowers allows you to achieve the perfect shade or colour combination and add more realistic tones to your creations. Dying artificial flowers requires few supplies and you can reuse the dye as you buy more artificial flowers for your craft projects or personal collection.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective eye wear
  • Acid dye
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Towel
  • Paintbrush
  • Glass jars

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put on rubber gloves and protective eye wear before beginning. Set up your supplies in a well-ventilated area. Mix together 1 tsp of acid dye, such as PRO WashFast Acid Dye or Jacquard Acid Dye, of the desired colour with 2 tsp of boiling water. After mixing, add 1/2 cup of boiling water.

  2. 2

    Wait for the water to cool to a lukewarm or cool temperature and add 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol to the mixture. Stir the mixture. To create a lighter colour, dilute by adding equal parts of water and alcohol if necessary. DGreetings.com advises starting with a light colour and dying the flower repeatedly to darken the colour. If the flower becomes too dark, you cannot lighten it.

  3. 3

    Dip the silk flower into the dye. Completely submerge the flower and hold it under for several seconds before slowly removing it from the dye. Allow the excess dye to drip off and hang the flower somewhere it can dry without risk of dirt blowing onto the wet petals. Put an old towel on the surface below the flower to catch any drips.

  4. 4

    When the flower is dry, dip a paintbrush in the dye to add details or cover small portions of a silk flower. Paint the dye onto the flower and allow it to dry.

  5. 5

    Repeat the dipping or painting process as many times as necessary to reach the desired colour. Allow the flower to dry before dipping again. While it does not need to be completely dry before re-dipping, the colour will appear darker when wet and can make it harder to tell what colour the flower actually is.

  6. 6

    Store excess dye in an airtight glass jar for later use. Dip a paintbrush into older dyes and wipe it on a paper towel before dying flowers to ensure the dye is still good. If it still appears wet and normal in colour, proceed to dye the flowers.

Tips and warnings

  • The "DIY Maven" blog suggests using Sharpies or coloured, felt-tip markers for colouring small individual flowers. It's faster than dyeing the flowers and allows you to add small details.
  • Alcohol is a flammable substance and you should not create any sort of flame in or near your work area when dyeing flowers.

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