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How to Tie Dye Paper

Sonia Nair Mar 6, 2019
Tie-dying paper is a simple task that requires some time and a small degree of creativity. Here are some tips to make tie-dye paper at home.
Tie-dye is an age-old method of dying clothes to create different designs. Clothes tied in different patterns, are dipped in hot water mixed with dye.
Nowadays, tie-dyed paper is also available in the market. You might have seen paper plates, lanterns, and various other articles made of such paper. Tie-dyed paper can be easily made at home, if you know the right methods.

Homemade Tie-Dyed Paper

Tie-dying paper is a fun-filled craft activity that is simple and easy. As in case of clothes, paper cannot be immersed in hot water mixed with dye, for coloring. So in this case, you have to adopt a different method. Here are some simple tips for tie-dying paper.

#Method I

You need plain white paper, food coloring, shaving foam, a large shallow pan (or cookie sheet), a tabletop (well covered to protect from stains), and paper towels.

  • Squeeze out some shaving foam on to the pan and spread it evenly, so that the bottom of the pan is covered with the foam.
  • Drop different food colors randomly into the foam, and spread it in swirls or spirals. You may either use a spoon or ice cream stick for mixing colors, or simply use your fingers.
  • Once done, place the paper on the foam, and press it slightly; so that the paper absorbs some color.
  • Lift it gently. Use a paper towel to spread the colors, and to wipe off the excess foam. Dampen another paper towel, and wipe the paper to remove the residue.
  • Let the colored paper dry. Once dry, you can use it as craft paper.

#Method II

You need food colors (can be replaced with permanent inks), white tissue paper, and rubber bands. In order to tie-dye paper with these materials, you can follow the procedure explained here.
  • Fold the tissue paper in a pattern of your choice, and paint it using different colors. You may fold the paper like a fan.
  • For making a paper fan, fold the edge of the tissue paper lengthwise (2 to 3 centimeters width), and turn it over to fold again. Repeat the process till the whole paper gets folded. Hold the folds together and press them tightly.
  • Fold the corner of one end to form a small triangle. Turn over the paper and make another triangle by folding the former triangle straight up. Repeat making triangles, till the paper fan forms a folded paper triangle.
  • The next step is to tie two of the three corners with rubber bands. This is for holding the triangles together, and to demarcate the tips of the triangle, for coloring. Now, pour undiluted food colors into three small bowls (different color in each bowl).
  • You have to dip each corner of the paper triangle in a different color. Make sure to take not more than two seconds for dipping each corner in food coloring, leaving the center white.
  • Once done with the coloring, remove the rubber bands, and open the paper carefully (so as to avoid tearing). Let it dry before use.
In this method, you may try other folding techniques for creating different tie-dye patterns.
You can use these methods to tie-dye paper towels, paper plates, etc. You may also come up with your own tie-dye ideas, and create some unique designs. Hope the mentioned tips prove beneficial for you in making tie-dyed paper.