Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dyeing Japanese Lanterns to Match Wedding Colors

I found white Japanese lanterns for a nice price online.  They were available in a variety of colors- but were more expensive that way.  But you can easily dye them yourself!!

Just purchase white paper lanterns ( I found mine at Luna bazaar-) and some rit fabric dye in the colors of your choice. Don't forget that you can mix up custom colors- there are "recipe" suggestions that come with the dye.  You'll need rubber gloves that fit tightly around your wrist (ask me how I know?!) and a plastic storage container wide enough to dip your lanterns in like this--- (see diagram below)

I mixed three cups of boiling water with one package of the fabric dye.  Stir this mix well- until all the color granules are melted and mixed in.  Add this mixture to 3 gallons of room temperature water in your plastic storage bucket.  I highly recommend doing this in your yard- spilling this much dye in your house is a disaster just waiting to happen!!!

Your lanterns will arrive all folded up- leave them that way- and carefully roll them through your plastic bucket.  I spent about a minute on each lantern.  You want to allow the lantern paper to soak up enough colored water to be thoroughly wet without destroying the paper.  Carefully lift the lantern out of the water bath.  The paper is fragile right now so be careful that your fingertips or nails don't poke through the paper- use the palms of your hands as much as possible.  Dump out any water that is trapped in the lantern and lay it out to dry. 

After about fifteen minutes gently unfold your lantern as if you were going to assemble it and shake off any water drops- then gently let it refold up and allow it to continue to dry.

First- I laid my wet lanterns on the plastic packaging that the lanterns arrived in- then I just I just plopped the lanterns on the grass.  I went out and flipped them over once or twice and they were completely dried out in about three hours. 

Gently unfold your lantern and insert the wire frame that arrives with your lantern and you are ready to hang them.  We had an early evening reception so we did not insert any lights- we just used the lanterns to add pops of colors and we hung them from the trees like giant ornaments.

One package of dye would easily color 30 lanterns.  I'd suggest ordering a few extra lanterns just in case a few tear before you get the hang of it- but it's really so easy!!

Oh, and these pictures were taken by Mindy over at Bellissima Portraits.  She's great!

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1 comment:

Ashley @ Bride on a Budget said...

I wanted to let you know that I featured your project on my Make It Yourself Monday post.

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