Life has been revolving around work + family, so life has been much too crazy to share much of anything here. But I have been working on a few projects that were done for props for the shop, and will appear in lifestyle photographs next year (I was too late in the game to use them for 2020). But bookmark this because this craft (and others) are SO easy and, so rewarding.
RAINBOW FOREST OF BOTTLE BRUSH TREE
If you want a rainbow of trees, I do suggest buying a rainbow of fabric dyes. You’ll get a huge variety of trees this way, and it’s great fun to mix colours. Some of my favourite colours are Petal Pink, Tropical Teal, Yellow. The neon colours were SUPER neon so I didn’t end up loving them for this project but I’m sensing a summer project with them.
- Boil some water on the stove. The dye doesn’t adhere to the trees unless the water is HOT. I’m not sure if it’s for every application that the water + dye mixture has to be this way but for most of my dyeing projects, the colour won’t stick, unless it’s HOT. (Read ore here) Although I boiled pots of water on my stove, you could possibly just boil water, and have various “bowls” with dye in various colours lined up, and off the stove. But I did 2 – 3 colours at a time on the stove with boiling hot water.
- Add dye to the hot water. I didn’t use a hard & fast ratio of dye to water, instead I started off adding a little dye and if the colour wasn’t dark enough, I either let the tree stay in the water longer or, added some more colour to the boiling water. If you find the colour too dark, on the other hand, just add more water back into the pot to dilute it. It’s experimenting with colours, which is part of the fun. Tip – start off with a little dye, and dip a napkin (or the tree) in the water mixture and see what you think.
- Time to dye you trees. So I started off gently dipping my trees in the boiling water. But as time (and my confidence or perhaps it was impatience) went on, I just dropped the trees into the water and then used tongs to pull them out. I didn’t let them soak for too long. Maybe 15 seconds, as the base of the trees were wood. In some cases the wood bases popped off but they easy went back together once they were out of the water and the trees and wood had dried out.
Have fun mixing different colours of dyes! This is what I owe to the success of the trees, is that I didn’t just use the colours as they came in the bottles. I would add, as an example, a dash of blue to a green, to create a beautiful tone of green for my “green” collection. Knowing what colours mix, is key. (I could mix the blue with the green, because yellow and blue = green) so blue is already a part of the green colour. When I had a great red, I added a dash of blue, and it created a beautiful purple. (Red + Blue = purple) There are so many different blue colours by RIT, you should have some fun with mixing.
The most stressful part for me was when I took them out of the water, where to put them. I started with a method above (the cookie tray and paper towel to soak up the water but I ran out of room quickly and I was worried about the colour that was on the tray, inadvertently dying other trees.
The next drying method was the cooling rack over the sink so that they dried nicely. This seemed to work the best. But be prepared for when you take them OUT of the water, what you will place them on, so that the dye that drips off, doesn’t ruin your countertop / towels.
And there you have it! I went a little crazy (It was a stressful week at work and I was in need of a distraction for a night). Although they look super fun as a rainbow, I actually prefer them grouped by warm / cool tones…
Which is a sneak peek of my next craft project I think you will like!
1. Bottle Brush Trees (I bought them from my wholesale supplier but you can find them on Amazon too) 2. Rit Fabric Dye | I’ve purchased mine on Amazon, This store in Toronto, Fabricland (best pricing) and Michael’s Arts and Crafts