Halloween Printables? Party Invitations? What would you do with yummy candy-corn-colored card stock? After I show you how easy it is to make your own paper, you will want to make all kinds of seasonal things.
A few weeks ago, I received this package of gorgeous colors of RIT dye to experiment with! Initially, I planned to use it to dye fabric, naturally. It is fabric dye, after all. In fact, I tried all kinds of experiments making Halloween pillows (some of which I’d still like to show you in a later post). This paper project was more of an afterthought, but I loved how it came out, and how simple it was to do! Lesson learned: Fabric dye is not only for fabric! Here’s how I did it:
DIY Dip-Dyed Cardstock
Rit Dye – Golden Yellow, and Sunshine orange
Gloves (recommended, but maybe optional)
Plain white card stock
1) Prep it. First step is to prepare the dye in two separate containers. I wasn’t super scientific about following the mixing directions here. I had been dipping fabric in the orange mix, and just used what I had already prepared there. I prepared the yellow dye with very hot tap water. I used less water and more dye than the bottle recommends, since I wanted bright colors. Also, you don’t need to make a huge amount of dye, so forget the part on the bottle about 3 gallons of water. That’s for a dress or something. You just need a couple of inches of dye bath.
2) Dip it. Dip one end of the paper in one color of dye. For the Candy corn invitations, I kept it super simple by leaving the middle of the paper white and dyeing either end. For example, I would dip one side (the long edge of the paper if you want to make two invitations per sheet) in the orange. If the dye was a little more shallow than I wanted, I just put the paper in at an angle to achieve a higher line. I let it sit somewhere between 30-60 seconds. Longer time lead to brighter colors, but the wetter the paper gets, the more it will warp. Allow the dye to drip of for a minute and set it out to dry for a little bit before dipping the other side, so you don’t end up with drips or streaks down the paper.
For the paper that became my “I want Candy” sign, I dipped a little differently. This is a basic Easter Egg dying technique. You just start with the lightest color! I dipped my carstock in the yellow dye, 2/3 of the way up the paper. After the yellow had set for a minute or two, I dipped the bottom third into the orange dye. It worked beautifully to create that ombre look that is so trendy right now! (I realize candy corns are reverse, but I don’t think the yellow would show up over the orange much at all).
3) Nuke it. Am I the only one that gets really nervous whenever I put something in the microwave that isn’t food? Turns out the microwave is a great tool for setting dye for various techniques. Use a paper towel beneath the paper in the microwave. I put my sheets of cardstock in the microwave for about a minute each and they came out completely dry. Since I wanted bright colors, and no one will be wearing the paper, I didn’t bother rinsing out any of the dye. That being said, you might want to be careful with these around water. I’m pretty sure they would bleed, and could stain fabric or other materials they came in contact with.
4) De-wrinkle it. Your cardstock will be a little warped after being dipped and dried. You might want to try and flatten it out a little–especially if you will be running it through a printer like I did. I used a clean piece of fabric on either side of the paper before ironing it with a warm iron.
5) Print it. Now you are ready to have fun with your pretty paper. You’ll want to do a test run and see if your printer will print nicely on the dyed cardstock. On some of the less-flat pages, my printer left black smudges, so I would definitely dye more paper than you need for your projects, in case they don’t print the way that you want them to. I created these signs in a basic word processing software. Just type in your saying and use a fun large font. Stick it in a frame and voila! Fun artwork to add to your Halloween decor!
“Trick or Treat” makes another good saying. What would you want on a candy-corn colored sign?
I designed the candy corn invitations to print two/sheet. Create a 2 column landscape document and copy the details of the party into both columns. You’ll want the text centered in each column and up and down, as well. I don’t have a template for the candy corn shape. I really just eyeballed it and cut it out with scissors, after the page had been printed. If that makes you nervous, use a paper cutter to cut a triangle around your text, and a corner rounder to soften the points. Make one shape you like and trace it as a template for the other invitations.
If you have a thing for Candy corn, you might want to check out my Pinterest Board of Candy Corn-y ideas. For more original ideas about projects you can do this Fall with RIT Dye, check out their blog! You can connect with RIT here: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.
I created this project and wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with RIT Dye and Blueprint Social. All opinions are my own.