Tie dying projects are commonly done with garments or paper. However, nature provides other items that can be tie dyed, such as the leaf of a plant or tree. Select a leaf from an indoor plant or tree from outside the home to tie dye using food colouring. Display the tie-dye leaf in a picture frame to compliment your home's decor, or dye several leaves to use in a craft project. Give the tie-dyed leaf projects to friends and family as a gift during the holidays.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1-liter plastic container
- 2 cups plant soil
- Paper towel
- 10-by-10-inch waxed paper
- Food colouring
- 227gr cups
- 8-inch cotton thread
- Cosmetic tweezers
Obtain a paper thin, wilted leaf from a plant. A paper-thin, wilted leaf is absorbent and easier to fold. Fill the container with the soil, and ¼ cup of water to moisten the soil. Then, set the wilted leaf over the moist soil for five days to keep the leaf hydrated as the leaf continues to wilt. Set the container in a cool area of the home.
Remove the leaf from the container after five days and allow the leaf to air dry for 30 minutes on a paper towel to remove moisture. Lay the wax sheet on a table and set the leaf on the wax sheet after drying. Then, prepare the dye by adding three drops of food colouring and ¼ teaspoon of water into four cups individually for the project.
Carefully fold the wilted leaf horizontally in half. Then fold the leaf vertically in half. Pick the folded leaf up with one hand, and carefully wrap one cotton thread horizontally around the leaf three times with the other hand. Tie a knot after wrapping the thread.
Wrap a second thread around the leaf vertically three times and tie a knot as well. Hold the centre right side of the folded leaf with the tweezers and carefully dip the upper left corner of the leaf into the first cup of food colouring. Dip the bottom left corner of the leaf into the second cup of food colouring.
Set the leaf down on the sheet of waxed paper, and grasp the centre left side of the folded leaf with the tweezers. Dip the upper right corner of the folded leaf in the third cup of food colouring, and bottom right corner of the leaf in the fourth cup of food colouring.
Place the dyed leaf back on waxed paper, and allow the leaf to sit on the waxed paper for two minutes to continue absorbing the food colouring. Then, carefully snip the cotton thread from leaf with scissors. Slowly, unfold the dyed leaf with your fingers, and allow the tie-dye leaf for 30 minutes before handling.
Tips and warnings
- Wear rubber gloves and an apron to prevent staining your hands and clothes during the project.
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