So funny thing, two weeks have gone by and I’m still playing with dip-dying. This week, I am transforming a few sheets of paper into patterned placemats. The process is pretty easy and mildly messy (mostly if you don’t wear gloves). My favorite thing about it? Each mat is unique simply by the way you fold the paper, so have fun and experiment!

MATERIALS // fabric dye, shallow dish, wooden spoon, paper (I used 11″ x 14″ lightweight watercolor paper), clothesline & pins, latex gloves, iron
Step 01 // Prepare paper for dippingStep 01 // Prepare paper for dipping

STEPS // 01 PREPARE PAPER  To achieve the pattern effect when dying, accordion fold paper into sections starting at the short edge (similar to how you would if making a paper fan). Then, fold in half.

Step 02 // Make warm dye bath

02 // MAKE WARM DYE BATH  Select a shallow baking dish. Add desired dye (I used one half of a RIT powder packet), then fill dish with hot water till about a 1″ deep. Stir to blend.

Step 03 // Dip one edge of the paper rectangle into warm dye bath

03 // DYE FOLDED PAPER  Dip one edge of the paper into warm dye bath. Soak for 1 minute. Repeat with each side of paper (the center fold will require a slightly longer soak since it is a bit thicker).

Step 03 // Repeat with each side of paper, set aside to drain

Once all sides have been dyed, set aside to drain for 1 minute. Gently unfold and hang to dry (I used my laundry line and clothespins). Dry for several hours to overnight. Once dry, iron paper flat on low setting to soften folds.

DIY Dip-Dyed Paper Placemat

Don’t forget, mix-up your patterns by playing around with the number and size of your folds! Happy making!

photos by Christine for Design For Mankind

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