Saturday, August 30, 2014

how to dye paper with natural plant material.

the supplies:

various papers, i used 140# cold and hot press watercolor paper 

soup pot with a lid

first, gather leaves, dried or fresh, flowers, also dried or fresh,

bark, branches, buds, blossoms, any plant sources in your backyard

or neighborhood.  

large bulldog clips from the stationary store

twine, or cord

1 or 2 tops from a tin can or other firm surface that will 

withstand boiling 


1~  boil water with a few tea bags.   

2~  fold the watercolor papers in half

and sandwich them into each other 

3~  add plant material between each page.  

i did this randomly, some pages 

were filled with various leaves and plants.

4~  use bulldog clips to hold the bundle


5~  wrap the bundle in both directions with twine.  i wrapped it

relatively tight but not so tight that the bundle would bow.

you can  place the can lids on the outside of the packing before beginning to 

wrap to keep the packet flat.  

6~ submerge the bundle into a pot and simmer covered

for about an hour.   you may need to add a weight on top 

to keep the paper below the surface of the water.

take the package out of the water with tongs, remove the twine. 

carefully take out the leaves from each page.

if the leaves are stick, wait until the paper dries a bit

so as not to damage the paper.

separate the papers and  set them out to dry 

or use a heat gun or blow dryer.

i am going to make a travel journal 

for an upcoming trip with these papers.  you can make cards,

a journal or use the paper for background,

the sky's the limit.  




  1. This reminds me of Easter as a child when my mother used to wrap onion skins round the eggs with overlapping layers and (presumably) tie them on (can't remember how!). Then hard boil the eggs. Result=patterns!

  2. Very interesting technique. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. this looks so intriguing. i just mailed the link to myself so i don't lose it.