Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dyed Tissue Paper Pom-Poms


Tissue paper pom-poms have become a popular wedding decoration--they are cheap, easy to make, and look so dramatic hanging from the ceiling.  After seeing my friend use them at her wedding and gushing over how cool they looked, I started thinking about how to take these pom-poms to another level.  By dying your own tissue paper, you can create a dramatic pom-pom with various splashes of color.

Dying the tissue paper:
Materials:
- food coloring
- some kind of containers (cups/shallow bowls/plates)
- non-glossy white tissue paper

Step 1: Fold sheets of tissue paper in half until you have a 1-2 inch wide strip.  Fold each strip in half lengthwise so that the ends you dye will be even on both sides.

Step 2: Mix food coloring and water in each container to make your dye.  The less water you use, the stronger the color will be.  Pictured above, I have a cup of just yellow food coloring, red food coloring, and a mixture of red and yellow to create orange.  Dip each part of the folded tissue paper into your desired color, carefully squeezing out any excess water.

Step 3: Lay out strips of tissue paper on newspaper to dry.  Wet tissue paper is very fragile, so wait until it is almost dry before you unfold it.

There are many ways you can dye your tissue paper--keep in mind that colors in the middle are much harder to see once you put the pom-pom together.  I used yellow in the middle of the tissue paper to recreate the look of a flower.  Here are a few varieties so you can see the difference between the dyed tissue paper and the resulting pom-pom:

 This pom-pom was made from a tissue paper that had a gradual change from yellow to pink.  Note how light the color is after the tissue paper dries--so keep that in mind when you are mixing your dyes.

 This pom-pom has a less subtle change from yellow to pink--note how the pink still dominates the look of the pom-pom as the yellow color is buried in the middle of the pom-pom.

You can also cut each end of the folded tissue paper before you dye it--for this pom-pom, I dyed the each strip yellow and then only dipped the edges in red dye.  It was easier to use a plate to hold the dye for dying the edges of each strip.

Making the pom-poms:
Materials:
- dyed tissue paper
- wire
- scissors
- ribbon

Step 1: Make a stack of tissue paper--12-16 sheets of tissue paper make suitable puffy pom-poms.

Step 2: Like an accordian, fold the stack back and forth until you have a fan that is between 1-2 inches wide.  Twist a length of wire around the middle of the folded fan to hold everything in place.  If you didn't pre-cut the ends of the tissue paper, use scissors to trim the ends into your desired shape.

Step 3: Separate each layer of tissue paper by pulling it up towards the center.  Halfway through the layer, flip the pom-pom over and do the same to the other side.

 Step 4:  Make a loop with the twisted wire and thread a ribbon through it so you can hang the pom-pom.

Have fun!

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