by Amy Rysavy
Custom dye ribbon or fibers to coordinate with your project.
- White grosgrain ribbon
- Dye-based ink refill (Bashful Blue)
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Small container
- Paper towel
Cut desired length of ribbon and wrap it around your fingers. 2 yards is a manageable amount.
Spray water into a small container. For this amount of ribbon, spray about 15 times.
It's best to start with a small amount and add more as needed.
Add about 10 drops of reinker. The mixture will be much darker than the finished product.
Note: If your ribbon dries lighter than expected, you can always re-dye using more reinker drops.
This is where things get messy. You will want to put your gloves on, then place the ribbon in the container.
Press the ribbon into the mix until fully saturated.
Note: If the ribbon has absorbed all of the mixture, and is still white, pull the ribbon out and add more water and reinker. Then replace the ribbon and repeat this step.
Remove the ribbon and place it on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
Unwind the ribbon and blot with the paper towel to speed the drying process.
To heat set the dye and finish drying the ribbon, use a hairdryer on a high heat setting. It will only take a minute or two.
If you hold the ribbon in your hand during this step, keep the hairdryer moving constantly to avoid burns.
Note: If you're dyeing a small [say 6 inches] amount of ribbon, you can use a heat tool for this step. Be sure to hold the ribbon with tweezers to avoid burning your fingers!
Custom dyed ribbon.
Other common methods for coloring ribbon include sponging ink onto grosgrain, using a marker, or pressing it into an ink pad. These all work, but don't seem to hold their color as well as the re-inker/water method. Six months after dyeing, I have ribbon that hasn't faded a bit!