Faux Tie-Dye Painting Technique

Written by megan shoop
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Faux Tie-Dye Painting Technique
Create tie-dye effects with food colouring and shaving cream. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Tie-dye effects aren't just for clothing anymore. Whether you need a project to entertain the kids or just love brightly coloured stationery, tie-dye painting fits the bill. The end result in this project can go on to decorate windows as "stained glass," get cut up into colourful snowflakes, or even act as original parchment for a heartfelt letter. Plus, all the necessary supplies are common household items.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Baking tray
  • Foam shaving cream
  • Food colouring
  • Coarse-texture paper: parchment, watercolour or white construction paper
  • Paper towels

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  1. 1

    Lay a baking tray on a flat work surface. Squirt some foam shaving cream into the sheet, making sure to cover the inside of the sheet completely.

  2. 2

    Smooth the shaving cream out with your fingers. The surface need not be perfectly smooth, but the shaving cream should be an even ½-inch to 1-inch layer over the entire sheet.

  3. 3

    Drip one or two colours of food colouring over the shaving cream. You don't need much. Three to five dime-sized puddles of dye should be enough. You may use one colour or mix colours like blue and red, yellow and blue, or red and yellow. More than two colours may make the paint look muddy.

  4. 4

    Stir the puddles into the shaving cream with your finger. The point is to achieve colourful swirling patterns. Don't stir too much or the cream will end up as one uniform colour. You want as many gradients of light and dark as possible.

  5. 5

    Lay a piece of paper over the shaving cream and gently press down. Lift the paper off the cream. Crumple up a paper towel and tap it over the paper. This should spread the paint out in a tie dye-like effect. Allow the paint to dry overnight.

Tips and warnings

  • Try a tie-dye technique on regular paper or walls with marbles. Place a piece of paper in a cardboard box and squirt a little paint on the paper. Toss in some marbles and tilt the box so the marbles spread the paint around. Do this on the wall with a thick layer of paint. Roll the marbles around on the wall with your palm.

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