dyeing flowers

free_spirit(z5 IA)August 3, 2005

Does anyone have specific information on dyeing dried flowers? I am looking for a list of the best way to dye flowers for dried arrangements. Is is better to use a floral spray rather than a dye process with some flowers? Which flowers color best when dried and then dipped in a dye mix, or use an absorption method with glycerin. Also what proportions of dye to boiling water do you use? Any suggestions on where to purchase dye, like Design Master? Does Rit dye work just as well? Anyone want to share their success and failures in dyeing flowers? Thanks a bunch!

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lmariesteve(z5 OH)

I just use the Design Master paint. On the darker color flowers you have to use a darker paint. You can spray them lighter but it will take up a lot of your paint which is not cost-effective. There are some nice tints that Design Master make and it looks more natural on the flowers - but you have to use white or light lavender dried flowers to look best. Sometimes if you lightly spray a color flower with the tint it will perk up the color.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 12:06AM
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I use Rit dye, diluted with water to get the shade I want. It's especially useful when I have greens that are starting to turn yellow, to brighten them up again.

I like to use an old hot plate, plugged into the electrical outlet in our garage. I put the hot plate itself outside, and after I dye some of the greens, I hang them in bunches, in the shade, on a clothesline to dry. No indoor mess.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 5:36PM
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lmariesteve(z5 OH)

You do that while they are still pretty fresh, right? I've thought about trying the rit dye to keep from spraying fumes and breathing it in. What do you do with the dye that is left over? How do you dispose of it. I had a crazy idea and I don't know if it would work or not. I thought that maybe I could put the leftover dye water in my big chest freezer and thaw it out when I needed to use it again. I have a pond behind me with fish and I don't want to throw any of it out back by my fence and I don't want to put it down any of my sinks ( I don't have a deep sink )
because it would stain them. Any suggestions, anyone?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 9:16AM
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I don't dye them unless they're completely dried and starting to yellow, maybe when they're over a year old (leftovers) and I haven't yet used them in arrangements. Dyeing them with green Rit dye makes them a pretty shade of green again, and then they'll stay that way until I get around to using them. Not all dried flowers or greens will take the dye, though. I use the greens from wild asters a lot, and they take Rit dye well. Asparagus fern and other ferns don't. You just have to experiment. Buy just one box of Rit (the lighter shade of green, not the real dark one.)

I occasionally use spray paint or floral sprays on dried flowers, etc., but it getsquite expensive and the fumes from them while painting aren't all that healthy to breathe in.

I use an old coffee can to do my Rit dyeing, and fill it quite full. I just add very hot water, (you might want to experiment with how much too.) Then I set it on the hot plate so it stays quite warm but doesn't simmer or boil. Ijust keep dipping drieds in it until most of the liquid is used up (until there are only a few inches of dyebath left in the can). I hang the bunches of drieds on the clothesline in the shade, as I mentioned earlier. Then I dump the leftover dye along the country road that runs by our house, in the weeds.

There have been times when I was interrupted and just left the dyebath cool down. I kept it in the garage, covered with an old piece of screen until I could finish my dyeing a day or two later. I haven't tried to keep the dyebaths long term. I suspect that they'd lose their color, but I don't know.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 10:49AM
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lmariesteve(z5 OH)

Thanks Madge, I will give that a try.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 1:11AM
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free_spirit(z5 IA)

Thank you everyone for the great ideas. I got a two burner hotplate at a garage sale - cheap- and I found an old canner that is quite tall. I plan to try sweet annie and amaranth that is already dried. Finding Rit dye was the hardest part of this quest. I will let you know how it turns out! Kathy

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:06PM
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lmariesteve(z5 OH)

Kathy, I went to Michaels Crafts today and got some of the Rit dye. They had a rather large selection of colors.I also went to a Second hand shop and bought a used canner. Going to use the burner on our grill to heat the water up and hang the flowers in the yard while it is dry. If you don't have a Michaels nearby try AC Moore or Hobby Lobby. I found it in the section with supplies to decorate tee shirts. Linda

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:49PM
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Do you all spray the died flowers with a preservative or fixitive after died?
I am doing a variety of dried ornamental grasses. Will they take the dye up, do you think? Also have Krylon fusion paints. Might those work?
In dyeing process are you dunking them in? Some of these are quite fragile. Don't see some of them surviving the process. What do you think? I have never tried this.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 1:45PM
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Water based dye can damage dried flowers. Professionals in the dried flower use alcohol based dyes that are specifically designed for pressed flowers I use these dyes after after trying many other ways to color and it's so much better, like night and day. Get the dyes in this sites web store. They also have a page that gives simple instructions to use.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Dye Dried Flowers

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 11:59AM
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The link gives me an error message. Can you give the web address?


    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 10:04AM
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