Thursday, September 29, 2011

we had a crafty day (in the sense that we were cunning.)

I've been trying to pack in as many crafty get-togethers as I can into the end of the summer. We had an awesome paper making day a couple of weeks ago (that I forgot to photograph), and last weekend Rachel (of Camp Smartypants) and Kat came over for some more fun.

It's tricky for me to let go of my usual "plan everything to death" tendencies. Rachel and Kat can help with that. We got out a bunch of paper scraps- Rachel made some campfire notebooks, and I bound a few things I lovingly named "Uglybooks". (Handmade paper covers, buttons, and old forms and paper on the inside.)

That was nothing compared to the messy fun of tie-dyeing paper.

The paper dyeing was pretty simple, but only worked on tissue paper (none of the other paper we tried was absorbent enough.)

We used liquid watercolors and water in plastic containers for our dye. (Tried food coloring, but it wasn't as awesome.) We tried combinations of folding, and crumpling with rubber bands to hold it all together. My favorite was folding the tissue into one long strip, and then folding it into triangles. I dipped each corner into a different color and held it in while it absorbed the color.

Here's one Rachel did in Rachel colors.

If you are smart, you will wait for the paper to dry (overnight) before you attempt to unfold it. Otherwise it tears into really colorful fringe.

We were warned by professional-tie-dyer-Rachel that we may never have normal looking hands again.

We were then reassured by professional-child-educator-Kat that the watercolors were for kids, she had no permanently dyed children in her class. (Which is good, because we were a mess, and somehow all had blue marks on our right legs/feet.)

(P did not participate in the crafting; but he was very helpful, and didn't grimace at the mess.)

Here is a good example of why you should let the paper dry some. IT'S SO PRETTY but oh so ragged.

I think we had fun. I stole Rachel's idea and started pasting the pages into a journal. They are a beautiful reminder to not forget about color. I definitely plan to do this again- with more planning and patience this time...

Does anyone have any suggestions for an absorbent paper that might work for this?


  1. Dammit... This is what I could have been doing instead of breathing in 40 year old spider web dust. Once my studio is fixed up, you'll all have to come out and get messy out there with me. Oops, I meant "Y'all will..." Or is it "Y'all'll" ? I'm rusty.

  2. I really like your "uglybooks," and I think you should rename them. It looks like you all had a messy, papery good time! :)

  3. oh. my. gosh! i love all of this. what a fantastic idea. it's a bit messy but probably really worth it.