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How to “Tie-Dye” Paper

November 24, 2008

“Tie-dying” paper is a fun and easy project. And, chances are, you already have everything on hand you need to do it.

The Props

  • Food coloring
  • Foaming shaving cream
  • Cookie sheet, or any large shallow pan
  • Something to stir with
  • Paper (For this project, I used plain laser printer paper)
  • Paper towels

The Procedure

Squirt the bottom of the pan with shaving cream as shown.

Spread the foam around evenly. I’d suggest using your hand for this step because it feels cool!

Drip several drops of food coloring into the foamy mess, like so. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color!

Stir food coloring through cream, making far out swirls. (If you over stir, you’ll get more of a marbled effect to your paper rather than tie-dye, but that looks groovy too.)

Place your piece of paper into your colored foam. Press slightly with the palms of your hands.

Lift out, or rather, peel off paper from foam.

Now, using a paper towel, dab the paper. You can disperse color this way too, putting color where your paper didn’t pick up any foam. It’s sort of like sponge painting.

Finally, wipe off the remaining residue with a paper towel. Rinse towel, wring out well, and swipe paper again, if necessary. Note: your paper will smell like shaving cream, but the scent will fade after a few days. You can even iron your paper to flatten it a bit, as the proceedure makes it a bit wavy.

Original post can be found at Curbly.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Hanna James permalink
    September 30, 2014 5:44 am

    And can it be done on both the sides?

    • Jo permalink*
      September 30, 2014 8:44 am

      Good question! You probably could, but you’d want to make sure the paper dries on one side before you attempt to do the other side. Otherwise, the paper might tear from being too wet.

  2. Hanna James permalink
    September 30, 2014 5:38 am

    Can paint be used instead of food color?

    • Jo permalink*
      September 30, 2014 8:46 am

      Acrylic craft paint might work. I’d certainly give it a try! The only thing I can think that might be an issue is that paint is heavier than food coloring, so it might settle and swirl differently than the food coloring, which has the consistency and weight of water.

  3. Sharon Steenbergen permalink
    October 12, 2013 6:00 am

    I love this never heard of it, but I make paper beads,, and this may be a great way to get color for the beads. Thanks

  4. September 20, 2013 8:28 am

    Ooooo!! I’m going to have to try this!! Doesn’t the paper get soggy because of the shaving cream, though??

    • Jo permalink*
      September 20, 2013 10:08 am

      It gets heavy more than soggy. A hot iron can remove any ripples, if you get them. Added bonus, the shaving cream scents the paper!


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