Dyeing Flowers

During Teacher Appreciation week, we wanted to have some fun flowers for Pioneer to give out at school. He had a book that mentioned that you could make multicolored flowers by splitting their stems and putting the ends in dye. The dye gets sucked up to the head of the flower and, voilà, multicolored flowers.

Stem CuttingWe decided to give it a try. I got two dozen white carnations and put them to the sword.  Actually I used an Exacto knife to split the bottom two inches of stem. Pioneer worked away putting a loop of scotch tape around the stem above the split to keep the split from propagating. Then we cut down 4 plastic cups so the split stems could reach all the way down to the bottom of the cups.

Dyed Flowers HangingWe put different colored food dye and water into each of the 4 cups and used a loop of yarn to lash the flowers to a kitchen cabinet. Then I performed the somewhat ticklish task of getting all the flower stems to span the 4 cup boundaries. Once that was done, we just let them sit in the water over night.

In the morning, the flowers had taken on some of the colors. The colors weren’t super dramatic. I guess if you started with shorter stems or let them sit longer, you might get more color. I thought they came out looking good. Since I had left the stems quite long, we were able to just hack off the stems above the tape and presto! Colored flowers.

Blue And White FlowerI was really worried about the dye getting all over the counter. I put a plastic bag under the cups, and I’m really glad I did. In the morning, quite a bit of dye had found its way out of the cups and onto the plastic. I had to very carefully lift the bag up by the corners and carry it to the sink. Thankfully the plastic bag didn’t have any holes in it. If I do this again, I will put all the cups in the bottom of a glass casserole dish so I won’t have to play Food Dye Bomb Technician during clean up.

PioneerWithFlowers

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