Last year completely by accident we discovered the fun idea of dying paper towel. We were actually attempting to dye hard boiled eggs, which was a fail because the solution wasn't strong enough and the eggs came out a very, very pale tint of the colours we had set up. The kids picked up the paper towel and started dipping that in the solution and low and behold it came out in bright, vivid colours. This week we've been experimenting with this process further and dying more paper towel using the tie-dying technique in different colours. This is a really fun craft for kids of all ages and so easy to do, plus my bet is you have all the materials already in your cupboard at home. We love how they turned out! Here's how we did it...
You will need
• Paper towel - minimum 2 ply or it will tear and get ruined
• Rubber bands
• Food colouring - the gel kind is great for achieving vivid, bright colours but the regular supermarket cheap varieties will do
• Plastic containers for water and craft sticks or a teaspoon for stirring
• Art smocks and a protective plastic table cloth
Prepare the paper towel in advance with rubber bands – they'll get through a pile like this pretty quick. Scrunch it into a skinny worm and tie it tightly with a rubber band or two to get a pattern like you see in the picture at the top. If it's not tied tight enough it won't work as well.
Add a generous amount of the colouring to the water and mix with a craft stick or a tea spoon. The kids loved stirring it in and watching the water change colour.
Dip one end in one colour, and the other in a different colour. We had 3 colours that blend well for ours but try whatever you like.
The food colouring stains the kids hands, but it comes off later in the bath. Also be careful to cover up furniture because undiluted food colouring can stain that too.
Take off the rubber bands and hang up to dry. It's awesome unwrapping the paper towel to see the beautiful pattern created by the dying process.
We loved this so much we did it again later in the week with different colours. This time I hadn't tied the elastic bands tightly enough and the pattern didn't come out as well, but we still love them!
The kids put their finished paper towel pieces in a pile for me to untie and hang out, because it can be a bit tricky for small fingers.
When the pile of paper towel was all used up, Miss K delighted in dying her hands orange.
In the Spring heat we've been having this week they dried within a couple of hours, but the drying time depends on the weather.
The thicker the paper towel, the less wrinkled it will get and the stronger it will hold up to little kids art activities. The girls love the beautiful pieces they have made! We'll use them in some different Christmas and Halloween crafts we have planned for the near future, so stay tuned.
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