Friday, March 29, 2013

Leftover Easter Egg Dye: A DIY

If you have leftover Easter egg dye sitting out, or an extra box that's been sitting unopened in your closet for 2yrs, like me, then you have some options. Typical American coffee filters lend themselves to DIY cherry blossoms or other flowers. You could even tie dye a pair of tights or wooden clothespins. Here in Germany I happened to have a pile of white, fabric-covered buttons, known as Wäscheknöpfe (buttons usually used for linens). Some were really old and yellowed, but most were really white and looked new. I thought it would be fun to see how they did in the Easter egg dye, so I gave it a try and learned a few things along the way.
Confession: I geeked out a little and summed up my experiences in the figure below. When I edit scientific research articles I see a lot of weird tables and figures, so I decided to do a spoof of a microbiology figure to summarize my results. Cell analysis figures often have a LOT going on visually, so I figured I'd just do the same in showing what worked with the buttons and the dye. Check that out and then scroll down to see a little more explanation.
The key things to note are: Old, yellowed buttons can actually work really well (see A, above), and increased exposure to dye does not necessarily equal a better result, surprisingly (see B, above). I dyed more blue and red because I wasn't very impressed with the yellow, orange, or green dyes. The yellow and orange were too faint, and the green was just too neon for me.  

A quick, 30 second dip in the dye lead to the same results as a 2 minute dip, meaning this could be a really quick DIY project. Four minutes seemed to deliver the most saturation and even coloring, but anything longer than 4 minutes resulted in uneven saturation and even some discoloring, unless it was the 7 minute old, yellowed buttons. This was especially disappointing as I did this to the majority of my red and blue buttons thinking that 7+ minutes would bring an even deeper saturation. Oh well.

All in all, a pretty successful little adventure. I think I'll dye a few clothespins and then toss the dye. What about you? Have you ever dyed something other than eggs with Easter egg dye? 

1 comment :

Antje said...

Thanks for the 2 wonderful ideas!

Happy Easter!

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