Dyeing Flowers with Food Dye

Dyeing Flowers with Food Dye

Although the natural world provides flowers in almost every shade, specific colors such as blue and turquoise may be very hard to find. But you can make these shapes in your own kitchen with a little ingenuity. You will want to use white flowers for your dyeing experiment, since the colors will show up best on these. If you choose to use colored flowers, keep in mind that your results may be unpredictable and possibly darker than you expected.

You will need:

• White flowers
• Warm water
• Vase
• Food coloring

1) First, prepare your flowers.

Again, it is best to use flowers in shades of white or cream. Trim about two inches off the bottom of the stems, cutting with sharp scissors underwater and at an angle. The reason for cutting them under water is that this prevents air bubbles from rising up the stems; air bubbles block full absorption of the water and dye. The angled cut ensures that as much dye is absorbed as possible (more surface area).

2) Fill a vase about half full with clean water.

You will want to add somewhere between 20 and 40 drops of food coloring for every 2 cups of water. 20 drops will give you a light, subtle tint. 40 will give you a rich, saturated color.

Add the flowers to the vase and simply let them to sit in a cool place for a full 24 hours. As the flowers drink the water, the dye is sucked up through the stems and into the petals. Check on your flowers from time to time to prevent them from turning darker than you would like. Once they reach the perfect shade, remove them from the water.

Note:

with some flowers, you may notice that the tips of the petals change color first. Don’t worry, the rest of the petal will follow in a few hours.

Bicolored flowers:

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can achieve a fun, bicolored look with a little tweaking of the above process. Simply slit the stem up the middle and place each of the halves in a different color solution.

Tie-dye flowers:

This is a variation on the bicolored effect. Split your stem into three sections this time and place each in a different colored dye solution.
If you’re up for some more experimentation, go ahead and try your hand at dyeing naturally colored flowers. You may get some very interesting results!