Next week marks the official start of Spring, almost everyone’s favorite time of year. Celebrate sunny days, beautiful blooms and birds by making a hand-dyed box filled with hand-dyed and stamped fabric ribbons. Follow along as I show you how easy it is and then leave me a comment telling me what crafts you plan to do this Spring to enter our giveaway sponsored by Rit Dye and Walnut Hollow. The prize package includes everything you need to complete your own box of hand-dyed ribbons, including a Walnut Hollow Basswood Box, eight bottles of Rit Dye, eight yards of torn fabric muslin, and a package of E-Z Transfer Rub-ons from Royal and Langnickel.
I loved creating this project because it demonstrates the versatility of Rit Liquid Dyes. They can be used for a wide variety of surfaces. I tore 1-1/2” strips of pre-washed and dried cotton muslin from a two-yard piece of fabric. It is important to launder your fabric materials before dyeing to remove any finishes. This will improve the dyeing process by allowing your material to dye more easily.
I chose recipes based on Rit Dye’s color forecast for Spring and I have to say I loved the colors. Color is back in a big way and the intensity of these colors are proof. The names of the colors and formulas are as follows. For each recipe, used one cup of very hot (at least 140 degrees) water in a medium-sized mixing container. I used a plastic shoebox. The wooden shapes and torn fabric “ribbons” were dyed using the “low-water” immersion process which generally means that you are using more dye and less water in a shallow dye bath. Refer to the link provided for more specific directions on this process including materials you will need such as measuring utensils, mixing spoons, etc.
- 1 Tbsp. Aquamarine
- 2 tsp. Kelly Green
- 1/4 tsp. Tan
- 1/8 tsp. Golden Yellow
- 1/8 tsp. Petal Pink
- 1/8 tsp Purple
- 1/4 tsp. Sunshine Orange
- 1/4 tsp. Tangerine
Here is my first prepared dye bath of Emerald. I like working close to a sink and stove so that it is easy to clean up and get the proper water temp. Also make sure you wear rubber gloves. I always recommend working on a covered surface. In this case, I got in a hurry and ruined my Mom’s wooden cutting board, so I guess I owe her a new one of those. Dye spills can usually be completely removed from slick surfaces if you wipe them up quickly, but for porous surfaces like wood, you’d better remember to cover.
Place your torn fabric strips into the dye bath and make sure all of it is covered before removing the ribbons with long tongs. Rinse them under cool tap water to remove the excess dye.
Gently squeeze the water from the hand-dyed ribbons and place between the folds of an old towel to remove the excess water. I dyed several strips using the dye recipes above and placed them outside to dry. For the wooden shapes, place them inside the dye bath and make sure they are completely submerged on both sides so that you achieve the desired color intensity. They may need to soak just a bit longer than the fabric. Remove them from the dye and place them on a layer of paper towels to dry.
Once I hand dyed my fabric strips Nectarine, I used the remaining dye and a paint brush to stain the box. This is my favorite part because it is such a quick and easy process. The basswood accepts the dye beautifully and you can add additional coats of dye to achieve a deeper color.
To speed along the drying process, I placed everything outside to dry as it was a dry, breezy, sunny almost perfect day here in Southern Georgia. When everything is dry, the really fun part begins.
I chose rub-on sentiments and a floral motif stamp to decorate the top of the box. I used a solvent ink so that it would quickly dry.
A little birdie shape and wing dyed African Violet and Nectarine respectively added some needed color contrast to the box top.
When your hand-dyed strips of ribbon are thoroughly dry, use an iron with a heat setting to remove the wrinkles. Choose some fun spring sentiments and motifs and stamp the ribbons with the solvent ink. Use the iron on a medium setting to heat-set the ink.
I wrapped my ribbons around wooden spools and nested them inside the box. This would make a terrific gift for an artsy friend. A teacher would appreciate something like this as well. Imagine giving something like this to a new neighbor. These ribbons can be used for scrapbooking, cardmaking, wrapping gifts, or just about anything else you can think of.
Now, aren’t you eager to create your own little box of hand dyed ribbons? Don’t forget to leave your comments here by April 4 at 11:59 PM EST and we will randomly select one lucky winner to receive our prize package. The winner will be announced April 5 right here on the Crafts ‘n things Blog. Happy Spring and don’t forget to…
Live Life Creatively,
Melony Bradley (www.mel-designs.typepad.com)