Saturday, January 13, 2018

Eco-dyed paper experiment!

Dear readers
in my last post I mentioned some eco-dyeing
 that I had been
experimenting with
at home and thought I might share some more images
some tools, plants etc. that I used to create these results.

This post is not really a tutorial on eco-dyeing as such
 but rather my own adventure into experimenting with 
some plants from my garden. 

In this particular case these are a couple of plants I used.
This first one is from the Plectranthus family - there
are many varieites of this plant but I used
Plectranthus Nitidus (Silver Plectranthus)

Another plant was Impatiens!
I also used some ferns, palm leaves and
Japanese Maple.


I prepared 6 sheets of 300gms heavy weight water color paper
then laid my plant material overlapping on each page,
picking up the whole lot and placing the pages
in my wooden plant press
was just created from timber and 4 bolts with wing nuts
 in each corner.  

 I tightened everything down then placed the press
in this enamel dyeing container which was
3/4 full and which I had brought to the
boil with a number of rusty nuts, bolts, rusty steel rods, 
bits and pieces
to create some iron to the pot of water.


Before placing the plant press in the water
I added 1 cup of vinegar to act as a mordant.

I also did another little experiment where I added a few
sprinklings of Dylon grey dye to the water
(something which I saw on a You Tube video)
this was purely experimental also!
I left the press in the pot for approx. 90 minutes before
when I removed the plant material from the pages
these are the results they gave.

I must say the whole process was very uncomplicated
and gave the most amazingly clear results!
 These images above were taken once I removed them from
the dye pot still wet - so they were quite strong
and the images below were taken several days later.

 So the dried results were still very striking - strong and dark
but soft and subtle also!


The dyed lace piece was from a different project where I was
using some "Infusion" - dried coloured stains but
I thought they blended so beautifully together
along with some favourite lace fabric,
burnout fabric and trims.  


 This is one project where I used the beautiful eco-dyed paper!


 Hope this gives you a little inspiration to
try this type of natural dyeing. It is
so rewarding in every possible way -
don't forget to share your results with us too!

Love and hugs,
Suzy xox


  1. Absolutely,positively Amazing and gorgeous Susi!!
    I am so happy you shared your adventure and steps as this is something I have always wanted to try ,but have been fearful to do...why? I do not know, but surely you have inspired me to experiment as well!! I love that you also shared your press, as I was afraid i would have to purchase one, but I surely have the supplies here to make my own. Thank you!

    Your pages just blow me away with their organic beauty! Bravo!!

  2. I absolutely love how everything turned out! I experiment myself and am always thrilled with the results.

  3. How fun. I bet you were excited to unveil the results. These are all beautiful pieces of art. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful project. Inspiration comes from so many natural things. Enjoy a lovely weekend

  4. Super cool! Love the colors and the plant shapes on the paper. I've tried similar things with cloth, but never paper. Great job! Awesome idea!

  5. So stunning results, dear friend- really amazing and beautiful. So very special , -do you wet the papers, before layering the plant material. I can`t imagine that the tiny Impatiens we see here in DK, is the same as this big one , lol- You really have such extraordinaire results, and I never tried dumping a plant press into the boiling water, but it must be one of the tricks about this results, I think.
    Lucky you are to have found such a big container, to use for your experiments , do you heat inside or out, -when I tried years ago, I used an electric single plate burner, but never had such gorgeous results, as you have. It must be a beautiful experience when opening up the press.
    Thank you so much for showing this, dear . Suzy, I hope you are fine, I would love a few words, about how you are , my friend. Big hugs from Dorthe , thinking of you. xxx

  6. WOW, your papers turned out fantastic, dear Suzy! I love the colors and shapes you achieved. I have to try that when spring is here and I find some plants that are suitable. Thank you very much for the inspiration!
    Have a wonderful Sunday! :)
    xoxo Julia

  7. I shared this with my art bee!Your experiment turned out beautifully!

  8. This is amazing. This produced beautiful papers.

  9. Your papers are beautiful, and such a nice complement to your style. Just lovely!

  10. Oh how I love that look!! Must try to improvise something, won't look that good but will be something different!

  11. oh WOW!!!! This makes me want to rush out and get the 'makings'! I got rid of my plant press when we moved and now wish I had kept it. Never would have thought to do this with it. Might have to make a trip to the lumber store and see if I can scrounge some wood & some clamps. Thank you for the idea!

  12. Stunning results Suzy! How gratifying for you to have the
    pages turn out so striking and clear~ Such a fun and creative
    project. Thank you for sharing with us~ Hugs, Karen O

  13. Oh Suzy, How amazingly gorgeous! What an exciting process to try. Imagine how you felt on opening the press! I wish I was there. I love the piece you did using some of the eco-dyed work. So inspiring!
    Love and hugs to you from Jesse XXX

  14. My goodness, dearest Suzy, you really got such stunning results!! That grey dye tip is really interesting, I think it really adds something special. May be also to bring out the silhouette shapes of the plants that don't dye too well.
    Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with us, dear! I think you inspired many of us to finally give it a go ourselves now :)
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend!
    Big hugs and love, xx


Thank you so very much for stopping here to say hello and to see what I have been creating. I really treasure each and everyone of you for your comments. It is so appreciated....Suzy

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