Plants are the backbone of life on Earth, and are essential sources of food, medicine and shelter. Important as they are, plants can also be a source of fun, especially in do-it-yourself projects.
Until the mid-19th century, plants were the only source of dyes. However, when scientists discovered that they could produce pigments from synthetic chemicals, dyes from plants became somewhat of a lost art.
Today, we’re reviving this art that can be enjoyed by yourself or with family and friends. By using pigments from plants, you save on cost while ensuring that your dye is safe and all natural.
Here are some of the plants that can be used in making your own coloring:
• Avocado and beets for red/pink/purple dye
• Turmeric, onion skin and celery leaves for yellow dye
• Grapes for purple dye
• Spinach for green dye
• Coffee for black/brown dye
• Chili powder & carrots for orange dye
Project #1: Coffee Hair Colorant
• 3-4 tbsp of any kind of coffee
• ½ cup of hair conditioner
• Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)
Step 1: Mix the ingredients together until the coffee dissolves.
Step 2: Put a towel around your shoulders to avoid stains.
Step 3: Using a brush, apply the mixture by spreading it evenly on your hair, starting from the roots.
Step 4: After an hour, add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into the pail of water then rinse your hair, the vinegar helps the hair color lasts longer.
Step 5: Dry your hair and style it.
This dye darkens white and light-colored hair. If you want to achieve a darker tone, repeat the procedure until you get your desired color. But if you don’t like the way your hair color turned out, the coffee will fade after a few washes in the shower.
Project #2: Spinach Fabric Dye
• PH-neutral soap
• 8 tsp alum (tawas) per pound of clothing
Step 1: Wash the fabric with the PH-neutral soap.
Step 2: Fill the pot with water then add alum.
Step 3: Fill stockings with spinach and add to the boiling water.
Step 4: You can tie the fabric with rubber bands for a tie-dye design. Add it to the boiling water and let it simmer until desired color is reached.
With the help of PH-neutral soap and alum, the green color lasts longer. To keep the color from fading, use gentle soap when washing your fabric.
Project #3: Paint it Hot Pink!
• 1tsp vinegar
• 1stp water
• 1tbsp sugar
• Pigment (beets extract)
Step 1: To make your hot pink dye, separate the egg yolk from the white.
Step 2: Mix the the egg yolk with a bit of water, sugar, and vinegar.
Step 3: Add the beets extract (you can get this from by the beets) for the pink color finish.
Step 4: Mix all the ingredients until reached the expected texture of the paint.
Step 5: Pour it in a mini jar for a cute presentation.
You can use this on paper, wood and even bricks! Because of the egg, the paint will smell a little.
But after a few days, the smell will go away.
Try this project at home and make it a bonding activity with your family. When you experiment, that’s where the fun comes out!
By: Panahon.TV Intern – Beatrice Hernandez