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Natural Homemade Dyes
1/2 cup of plant material for desired color (see below)
1 cup of water
- Mix half a cup of plant material with one cup of water in a pan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer on low for half an hour, adding additional water as it evaporates.
- Mix colors together for different shades and hues of color.
Colorful natural plant materials
Brown: walnut hulls, paprika
Green: oak bark, crab apple leaves and bark
Orange: yellow onion skins, oats
Purple: purple grapes
Red: cranberries, beets (Note: you can use juice directly from thawed berries or canned beets)
Tan: coffee and tea
Yellow: apple tree bark, white onion skins, turmeric
For more natural plant materials used in making dyes, see Plants Used in Art Projects.
Natural Homemade Paints
1 cup of cornstarch
1/2 cup of water
1/3 cup of soap flakes melted with a half cup of boiling water
Natural homemade dyes
- Grate a homemade soap bar until you get a third cup of soap flakes.
- Combine cornstarch, water, and melted soap in a bowl.
- Stir well and let mixture set until thickened.
- Divide into separate bowls and add in natural dyes for color.
- Your paints are now ready for a canvas!
Recipes adapted from Better Basics for the Home by Annie Bond