Watercolor Streamers {DIY}

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When it comes to decorating for parties and events, streamers are pretty standard protocol.  They are cheap and you can do lots of different things with them.  The only downfall with streamers is that the colors they are available in are fairly limited.  Colleen and I were trying to decide a good way to decorate my chandelier for our Valentine’s tablescape and she mentioned painting or dying some leftover white streamers we had.  I googled dying streamers and found out that you can use watercolor paint to dye paper.  This sounded really good until I went to Hobby Lobby to buy watercolor paint and that jazz was like $14 for a tiny tube.  I nearly fell over.  I found something else that said a good substitute for watercolor was Bombay India Ink for $4.49.  Much better.  To be perfectly honest, we meant to dye our streamers a uniform color but since I cheaped it out on watercolor paint, it didn’t work out exactly as planned.  Hence our tie-dyed looking streamers were a happy accident.

What you’ll need:

1) White streamers

2) If you are cheap like us, Bombay India Ink.  I bought white and magenta but I really only needed magenta to make the streamers look the way they did when we were finished.  If you are a high roller, you should try real watercolor paint.

3) Crappy bowl or tupperware that you don’t care about ruining

4) Water

5) Large newspapered area for drying streamers on

What you’ll do: 

1) Roll your streamers out and cut them in pieces long enough for whatever you want to do with them.  We measured one piece on the chandelier and cut the other pieces based on that one.

2) Pour small amount of water in the bottom of your crappy bowl/tupperware.  Hot water makes the streamers break more easily so I recommend cold.

3) Put as many drops into the water as it takes to turn the color dark.  We had some leftover scraps of streamer that we used to test the color and see if it was dark enough to show on streamer.

Just an FYI, this water in this picture does not have enough dye.

4) Start with one end of the streamer and run slowly through the water.  We did not let it sit for more than 5 seconds before sliding each small section up and out of the water.  Colleen grabbed the already dyed edge of the streamer and pulled out of the dye while I slid sections through.  I think the fact that it was vertical for a minute once it was removed from the dye made the pink splotches that you see.

5) After you run the entire streamer through, carefully lay flat to dry.  Remember that because it is essentially wet paper, it is very susceptible to tearing so be gentle.

6) Let dry and use however you’d like.  Pretty cool looking right??

We were really happy with how they turned out.  This idea can be used in different colors for pretty much any celebration.

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