- How to Dye a Black Dress
- How to Dye a White Dress
- How to Dye a Satin Dress
- How to Dye a White Bra Tan
- How to Stretch My Dress
If you are ready to give your silk dress an all-new look, a trip through a dye bath can dramatically change your old favorite. Silk can be overdyed in a variety of colors, depending upon its original color. Light tones will dye easily; however, you can dye darker or richer-colored silk successfully if you choose a darker dye. Make your simple silk sheath stunning in a deep burgundy or turn your bias-cut silk wedding gown into a wearable pale gold with these dye techniques.
Remove any buttons or other ornaments on the dress, using small scissors to cut threads. Set aside to replace after dyeing. Soak the dress in lukewarm water.
Fill the stock pot, designated for craft or non-food use, with enough warm water to fully cover the dress and place the pot over medium heat on the stove. Wearing gloves to protect your hands, add dye powder to the water. Use 1/3-ounce to 2/3-ounce of dye powder per pound of fabric.
Stir to dispense the dye. Add the dress to the dye pot and continue stirring. Add the candy thermometer and heat to below boiling, around 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
Push the fabric aside with the wooden spoon and add 1/4-cup white vinegar per pound of fabric. Continue to heat the dye mixture for approximate 30 minutes.
Rinse well with lukewarm water. Wash by hand using a specialty textile detergent intended for dyeing. Hang to dry.
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Silk is a soft and luxurious fabric that looks especially beautiful in different colors. If you’d like to try dyeing silk at home, mix the dye color of your choice into a large container of water and allow your material to soak. If you’re planning on using a natural dye, like logwood, consider preparing the material beforehand with a mordant, or chemical that makes the natural dye more effective.  X Research source
Types of Dye
There are a lot of dyes to choose from when you’re looking to recolor your silk. For brighter colors, consider using an acid-based dye.
If you’re looking to paint with your dye, try a special dye paint that comes in jars.
If you’re looking to dye your silk in a fun variety of colors, consider tie-dyeing it. To do this, look for dyes that are cool or hot water fiber reactive dyes.  X Research source
All my workshops in the past 6 weeks had been canceled because we should all be staying home if we can. But I missed sharing the love for plant colors with you, so I created small bundle dyeing sets, available in my online shop. These are the instructions for using the set, but you don’t have to purchase anything to have fun with me. Feel free to work with what you have at hand! And if you’d rather get all ingredients as a kit delivered to you, they are available here. The kit includes four types of dry flowers, a small pre-mordanted silk scarf, a piece of string, and two color modifiers.
Bundle dyeing is one of the easiest dyeing techniques. It produces a unique pattern every time, as it all depends on the arrangement of the dyestuff. This tutorial doesn’t cover mordanting – fixing the color. This step is usually done before dyeing begins, with the use of metal mordants. The silk piece in the kit was first scoured (washed) and then pre-mordanted with aluminium salts in my dye studio. If you are working with materials you have at home, you can skip this step, though colors will be less vibrant and less durable. Don’t let it stop you from experimenting, though!
What you need
For this project you will a piece of cloth, washed and preferably pre-mordanted (incl. in the kit). Silk works best, but you can use any kind of natural fabric.
Dried flowers of your choice. For example: hollyhock, hibiscus, chamomile, marigolds (incl. in the kit).
Two pH modifiers: citric acid for low pH and baking soda for high pH (incl. in the kit). You can use lemon juice or white vinegar as a citric acid alternative, and washing soda instead of baking soda.
A piece of un-dyed string (incl. in the kit).
You will also need follwing items, not included in the kit: a pot, cheesecloth, a bucket for rinsing.
Collect the flowers
For my kits I chose four kind of dye flowers: black hollyhock, red hibiscus, chamomile, and dyers marigold. You can test other flowers growing in your area. Remember, that not all of them will produce much color.
For this tutorial I crash the flowers between my fingers and mix them together. You can decide to make bigger and more spaced prints with full flower heads, too. The results will look slightly different.
Home / DIY Home Decor / Accessories / Spray Paint Fake Flowers Any Color, In Minutes
If you can’t find artificial florals in the colors you need, paint them! This tutorial shows you how to spray paint fake flowers in minutes. No special floral spray paint required.
Skills Required: Beginner. If you can use a can of spray paint, you can make this project! I would say if you aren’t an expert with spray paint, the biggest tip for success is to work slowly. It will work well if you follow that advice.
I love real plants, but they don’t last around this house. Something about having to remember to water them always causes an issue.
Artificial flowers are one way to spruce up a room but sometimes you can’t find the colors you need. Why not paint them?
Painting Artificial Flowers
Before you get started painting the flowers, you will want to make sure that they are clean and ready to paint. Dust the blooms or wipe them lightly with a wet paper towel.
If they are really dirty you can try washing them in the sink, but be gentle. You should also put something in the sink as a trap so you don’t lose too many blooms or petals. Let dry.
After you spruce up the flowers and let them dry, you’ll want to get rid of any leaves and petals you don’t want. If you want to, use painter’s tape to tape off the stem(s) so that spray paint doesn’t end up there.
Floral Spray Paint
I did a little research on floral spray paint before beginning this project, and a lot of people use Design Masters brand. Apparently it goes on very light.
I wanted to see if I could forgo floral spray paint and just use the paint I had on hand. My two colors were Rustoleum in a shade of orange-y red and then white for an accent.
The Rustoleum worked VERY well! My personal opinion – you don’t need floral spray paint for a project like this. If your artificial flowers are *very* lightweight (the fabric used is very sheer), I might consider purchasing something else. But for what I did, regular spray paint worked just fine.
You could always do a test before you completely cover the flowers, just to make sure it’s going to work. I’ll leave that up to you. Are you ready to dive in? Here’s how to paint fake flowers!
How to Paint Flowers
- Artificial flowers
- Spray paint in a base color and accent color
- Poster board or something else to cover your surface
Outside, place the poster board (or newspaper, etc) on a flat surface. Use the main spray paint color to completely cover the flower petals. It’s better to work slowly, adding several light coats and letting dry in between.
Allow about 15 – 20 minutes to dry before flipping the flowers over and spraying the other side with paint. Keep rotating and spraying the flowers until they are completely covered.
Let the artificial flowers dry completely, and then work on adding the accent layer of paint.
To add the accent dimension, take your second color of spray paint and randomly spritz the petals. You’re going to love how this gives the flowers a nice highlighted look.
Leave the flowers outside to fully dry and air out for at least 2 – 3 hours. Just remember not to let them dry in wet spray paint! This will cause the blooms to stick to the poster board, which you obviously don’t want.
The flowers in the above photo are what the bouquet looked like before paint. Sad and kinda gross.
This is what they look like after – much better! Place them in a lovely vase to showcase your creative awesomeness.
With a little spray paint, they were revived to a more modern display. Now you are empowered to spray paint fake flowers yourself!
My real flowers will be vanilla colored gerber daisies, stephanotis and off white roses. I would like to make the church and reception floral arrangements out of similar silk flowers. Of course the ONLY vanilla gerbers I have found are sold by the stem, not on a bush. At $2 per flower, that just isn’t in the budget. I can get a bush of white gerbers with 15 or more blooms for about 5 bucks. But that’s going to stick out like a sore thumb with the other cream colored flowers. Has anyone ever tried this. Please let me know
I would try one flower first. if not, you’re only out $5. BUT i think it will work. you can tea stain lace, coffee filter, chiffon. why not silk flowers?
I bought a wedding gown at Goodwill for $7 a couple of weeks ago and stripped it for parts to–it had gorgeous lace and the perfect skirt. Of course it was dripping with sequins and pearls. WHITE WHITE WHITE!! — (Don’t get me wrong-white gowns are beautiful, the one I’m making just happens to be mocha colored.)
I ripped all the lace off, stripped it of the pearls and sequins and tea stained that!! Looks awesome on my mocha satin dress. Now I’m adding back my own pearls and topaz colored austrian crystal beads. Today I’m going to rip apart the skirt and make a pattern from it to build my own skirt on–the shape is exactly what I want. Good rainy day to sew all day when I get home from work at noon. 🙂
Um. pics?? THAT SOUNDS AMAZING. The only sewing I’m doing is my 3/4 wig (finished) and a ring bearer pillow. MAYBE. I don’t have a sewing machine so it’s all by hand
As for a white dress. I’m not a fan either. They’re too bright! I am getting my dress in ivory. Our venue is in the middle of a state park and I think if I were to get a white gown it would clash like something horrible against all those neutral colors lol
Olivia-here’s the last thread I posted on my homemade dress. This is before I decided to dye the lace. Hope to have new pictures to post by the end of the weekend. With any luck, it will have a bottom half!! 🙂
Wow. you must know what you’re doing!! That looks amazing! Come do my alterations lol. I ordered my dress true to size but I think I want a more sweetheart neckline and maybe a shoulder strap?? Hahaha I have candy, please come.
Candy. mmmmmmm. I like candy. I know just enough to be dangerous. I’m still trying to figure out how the hell I’m going to get it all put together, and I am not hemming it myself. I will have a friend who is a seamstress do that for me when I’m all done. I’m sure your bridal shop can help you out. I have seen other girls post similar alterations to their dresses. You may want to search the forums for a little advice.
I got lucky too–the skirt of the sacrificed wedding gown fits me perfectly, and the pattern I’m using for the top half is very easy to work with and all the “fitting” is on the side seams and will be done before all of the embellishments go on. And with a corset back, I can eat all the candy you send me and still fit into it.
Thank you! Here are the answers to your questions:
1) I held them in for seconds and adjusted the color by adjusting how concentrated the paint was. For the purple ones, which were the lightest, I think I just double dipped them rather than holding them in longer because eventually more dye just led to pooling of the dye and not darker colors. So, I would hold them in for about 10-15 seconds, let them dry, and then redip those flowers.
2) I let them dry until they felt dry to touch. Since I was doing so many, this basically amounted until I finished another color (like if I did the blue first, I set them aside while I did the teal, and then I came back and used the hair dryer on the teal). Then, I think to play it safe, I let them all sit overnight and went over them again with the hair dryer to make sure the colors were set in.
3) I didn’t have any problem with the colors running. You could do a few things to lower your risk: 1) make sure you follow the instructions on the fabric medium regarding the ratio of fabric medium to everything else – fabric medium is designed to be used on clothing that can be machine washable, so the colors shouldn’t bleed if it’s used properly, 2) use my hair dryer tip from above – let them dry, use the hair dryer to heat set, and then the next day use the hair dryer again just to be safe, and 3) test your dye in a dish of warm water once you think everything is set to make sure it doesn’t run. I didn’t have any problems, so hopefully you won’t either!
Noticed two typos in my response and can’t figure out how to edit – in #2, I meant that “this basically amounted to finishing another color” and I meant that I did the blue first, set them aside while I did the teal, and then I came back and used the hair dryer on the BLUE.
Question: Can I Refresh the Color on Faded Silk Plants?
I am trying to decide whether it’s feasible to refresh the color for the outside portion of the plants for the neighbors’ viewing enjoyment or just forget the idea of using them at all anymore and pot flowers and/or herbs in the planters instead.
I really would like to keep the silks if there’s a natural looking way to recolor them. Any ideas from my fellow family members? I’m attaching a photo of the view from the living room facing side. They are the darker green foliaged plants directly next to the fairy angel.
By Deeli from Richland, WA
How about tricking the eye by adding a few new foliage sprays or tucking in a few silk flower sprays. It wouldn’t take many to give the illusion of freshness. Make sure the new ones are a different variety from what you now have, this way the faded ones will just look like they are a lighter variety and will act as a “filler” for the new additions.
Also, if you add flowers, you can change the varieties each year and your neighbors will think you are creative gardener. Red geraniums would look beautiful! Remember, in nature there are many hues and shades of colors living side by side.
I don’t know about dying the faded leaves all one color. You might try just sketching in some color here and there on the leaves. It may give the illusion of light dappling the leaves. I think that coloring the leaves would be a lot of work and would probably fade in short order.
Turn food scraps, flowers, and plants into wearable art with bundle dyeing, an easy, non-toxic, and sustainable technique that extracts beautiful colors from everyday natural materials. The process, good for any natural fabric (silk, wool, cotton, or linen), uses dyestuffs (whole dye plants and extracts) that are playfully spread onto fabric, bound into a bundle, and steamed to release organic color. Upcycle an old garment or bundle dye a piece of silk to make this go-to spring accessory.
What You’ll Need
35″ x 35″ light-colored silk fabric square
Stainless steel pot with lid
Alum mordant (available on Amazon or at any art supply store)
Dye materials (details below)
Yellow onion skin (yellow)
Red onion skin (green)
Red rose petals (purple)
Black tea (tan)
Turmeric powder (bright yellow)
Dried marigolds (light orange)
Madder root extract (red; available at botanicalcolors.com)
Cochineal extract (pink; available at botanicalcolors.com)
Wash Fabric: Add fabric, warm water, and a bit of mild detergent to a pot (A). Bring water to a simmer and keep simmering for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let fabric sit overnight in the soapy water for best results.
Mordant Fabric: Rinse washed fabric in cool water. Refill pot with warm water and dissolve ¼ cup of alum mordant for every quart of water (B). Bring to a simmer and let fabric soak for minimum of 2 hours. Let cool. For best results, let fabric sit overnight in alum mordant water. This will ensure the colors won’t wash out after it’s dyed. Rinse fabric and let dry.
Create Bundle: Spread fabric out and sprinkle dye materials evenly onto the fabric (C). Less is more when using natural dyes. Feel free to mix materials. Fold the four corners of the fabric into the center, add a sprinkle more of dyestuff, and fold in the corners again (D). Repeat this folding in process two more times (E). Finally, bind fabric tightly with string (F). You should have a small bundle that fits in the palm of your hand.
Steam: Place vegetable steamer in a pot with about two inches of water (G); place the bundle on the steamer and secure the lid. Steam the fabric bundle for 45 minutes on low to medium heat. Remove pot from heat and allow to cool. Remove bundle with tongs.
Reveal: With scissors, carefully cut string to release bundle. Shake off steamed dyestuffs, and view your beautiful dyed silk scarf (H)!
By Molly George
Photographed by Ashley Batz
Hair and makeup: Karla Hirkaler, using Glossier and Amika
Model: Chloe Mills at Red