Saturday, 15 September 2012

Dunkin and Dyeing

Guess what I played with yesterday!

It felt like a science experiment in my kitchen yesterday.

I tested out all the different tea bags and made lots of lovely crinkly seam binding.

I used Chalk White Seam Binding

I love all the shades. I crinkled it up and dried it in the oven. 

I dunked the tags in the leftover tea. Next time I need a colour I will know how to get it.

I couldn't stop there so I dunked and splattered some white art paper with the various solutions of tea and coffee and dried it in the oven. When it is dried in the oven it creates a fabulous texture, and the darker papers that were dunked in coffee look like leather.

Then I played with some of my mists and sprays. I dried them in the oven too. I cant tell you the exact recipe for these colours. They were a little bit of this and that. I used Dylusions melted chocolate, Lindys Boogie Boogie Gold, Perfect Pearls heirloom gold, and Java walnut ink - I will probably never be able to recreate the exact colours again! 

If you want to dye your own ribbon or paper , it is very easy. 
Boil the jug. 
Pre heat the oven to a moderate heat. 
In separate bowls steep various tea bags.
I used instant coffee for the above picture. 
Let everything soak until you get the colour you want. The more teabags  (or coffee) the richer the colour. 
When I was happy with the colour I lightly scrunched it in my hand and dried it on an oven tray. 
I kept a close eye on the oven. Do not leave it unattended.

The tags were dunked in the solution while the seam binding was drying and then into the oven for a few minutes. 
The paper was splattered or soaked in the solutions and then also dried in a single layer in the oven.

Take extreme care - the paper gets very hot and do not get distracted while the paper is in the oven. 

Let me know if you have any questions - next time I will take pictures of the process and the state of the kitchen after!!

I made enough to share. If you would like the above seam binding leave me a comment below and I will send it out to someone lovely in the next two weeks!

If you have any other techniques or tips for dyeing paper and ribbon I would love to hear them!!

Have fun playing 
xx Michelle 


  1. Looks as though you had fun doing this Michelle and also achieved some great results. Love the colours you ended up with.

  2. Ooooh you did a great job Michelle! Love the colours of the tea stained seam binding simply gorgeous. I shall have to try and give them a try sometime!
    Great to see you back, hope all is well with you!
    hugs Alyson x

  3. Meant to say great idea with the tags for matching colours in future! :o) x

  4. Love them all! Here's my technique - aptly called The Lazy Gal. Make morning java. Drink 2 cups. Pour leftovers in bowl. Add desired item (ribbon/paper/doily) to be dyed. Forget about item bathing in 100% organic coffee. Work 8 hours. Return home to find once white, now brown item. Rinse off with water and set to dry. Very important to let husband know that the brown item is not garbage. :-)

  5. wow they look great haven't been able to find a source yet for seam binding have hunted everywhere you are a lucky girl I love seam binding...I am in australia.... Do you know of anywhere????

  6. Hi I am in NZ and couldn't find it anywhere here. I bought it from an etsy seller in the States. The link is
    I bought the Chalk White and have coloured it, to get whatever shade I need. The etsy seller was really quick and I had no problems at all. xx Michelle

  7. Your clouds of seam bindings are so lucious, I just want to roll around in them, Michelle! I now have steady Internet back after the move so hopefully can keep up with you better! Your vintage "hand" inspires me so! Something I do in the Fall is sprinkle a little ground cinnamon and/or cloves in my tea dye mixes to add some texture and a yummy smell. I have added other spices to bring in some red and yellow hues to my mixes, too! Take care and we must catch up soon! Hugs! Kit @ Paperkitz

  8. I cant get the seam binding to wrinkle. Does drying in the oven help that. Love your work!!!

  9. I cant get the binding to wrinkle. Does drying in oven help that? Love your work!!!

  10. If you scrunch it up and wrap it with an elastic band or peg it into 'scrunch' shape that might help. If it is too wet it might not hold the texture so maybe wring it out before trying to shape it. It is not an exact science so playing is recommended!! xx Michelle

  11. thank you so much for this post! definitely trying it out and have bookmarked it!