Natural Flower Dye DIY

For thousands of years the people of earth have been dying cloth. The chemicals we use today, while very useful in creating vibrant, artificial colours, lack a bit of the charm that comes from using nature to inject our clothes with splashes of brightness. I thought this would be a great post to get out there before spring is in full swing (I think Oregon is currently experiencing 4th winter...) Naomi Rose and I took a day last summer and collected flowers I thought might work for this project, I have always loved this white silk nightgown, undoubtably a goodwill find (huzzah!) and thought it would be the perfect candidate to make a little more feminine by using some flowers to change it up a bit. I'm not going to lie to you dear reader, this DIY project did not come out exactly as planned, in fact, N and I almost burned down the house while trying out the steaming technique I'll tell you about later down the line. Luckily you can skip those slip ups when trying this for yourself, learn from our mistakes by reading on...





Even though I scorched the shit out of this nightgown (originally from Victoria's Secret) I'm pretty stoked with how it turned out, I tried two different methods I read about online to get these results. The burnt spots that resulted from trying to steam colour into my nightgown actually turned out quite lovely and added another layer to the process that ended up giving me a really antiqued finish. Ironically the old fashioned roses yielded the best results why dying, and in contrast to the steaming, I found hammering the flowers into the fabric was the most effective way to transfer a echo of them onto my silk.






Instructions for this DIY:
You will need...
1. A warm spring or summer day 
2. Assorted roses (or other flowers you've found work, experiment with stuff dude)
3. Home made cold brew 
4. A playlist that makes your heart sing (I'd reccomend the Shins, they'll change your life man...)
5. A silk nightgown or other article of clothing 
6. A walk in the park 
7. A hammer 
8. A board 
9. Good aim 
10. A miniature person to "help" you
11. A basket
12. Front or Back porch, whichever you feel happier on
13. Tolerant neighbours


Use the warm spring or summer day to take the walk in the park, collect roses or other flowers unbeknownst to me that would work for this project while you're there. Take miniature person on walk with you, give them the basket and have them help you search for said roses or flowers. Experiment with leaves too maybe? Sip cold brew and let the sound of your chosen playlist wash away any thoughts not pertinent to the tasks at hand, bask in the moments of relaxation inbetween child's inevitable need for help with flower finding. Go home and grab your board and hammer. Head to your preferred porch, miniature person in tow. Set up the board on the porch. Arrange flowers in whatever pattern you would like to see cascading over your silk nightgown. Pause to push play on playlist again, assuming it stopped playing at some point between the park and your preferred porch. Take another sip of cold brew, remember you should drink more water when consuming coffee, dismiss thought and congratulate yourself on drinking cold brew, which you believe to be healthier due to a reduced amount of acidity when compared to normal, hot brewed coffee. Start hammering flowers into fabric, taking care to watch your fingers. If miniature human hits fingers thank tolerant neighbours for forgiving all loud noises coming from preferred porch and miniature human. Repeat this for three afternoons straight. You should end up with something similar to what is shown below. Enjoy! 



I froze my bare feet off snapping these pics for you, you're welcome. 

Anyways that's pretty much the gist of how I accomplished this look... I should add that I also have a full proof method of failing at this project that I may also post eventually, as I think that's a great way to learn how to scorch your fabric and create a technique that way as well. I'm only half joking about that, I do think it looks rad all scorched. I've found the most important part of creating is to go easy on yourself and not give up when things don't go according to plan. There have been so many projects I've wanted to give up on in the past, this one included and always end up feeling much better at the end of the day if I persevere and focus on learning what I can from the experience. My favourite art teacher always used to say that "Art is about the process of creating, not the end result."  which is probably the most useful thing I learned in all of high school.

Please leave any comments or questions below :) 

Hellidy 

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