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How to Dye Paper by hibbary How to Dye Paper by hibbary
Edit: For those of you interested in larger versions of the paper texture examples, here is a packet containing those and a few extras [link]

Also, thankyou so much for the DD :3 I am glad that people find the information interesting and helpful.

A HUUUUUGE file! So please be patient! If you have any questions or need any help, just tell me.

This is very basic stuff, but paper dying is fairly intuitive. Sometimes, though, it's nice to have assurance that something is as easy as it seems. :3

Note: A few people have asked about the archival nature of the natural dyes, and another deviant has informed me that no, the teas, juices, and so forth are not archival and that they will alter in color as they age. Archival has never been a thing I have worried about (much to the distress of my drawing professor) and so I didn't even think about it. But if you want your paper to remain the same color forever and ever, an archival, artist's dye needs to be used.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2008-01-30
How to Dye Paper by *hibbary makes it all look so easy, and with the examples included at the end it's sure to make you want to have a go at dying your own paper. ( Suggested by paintspills and Featured by thespook )
dixiekasilke Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for sharing!!
rujiidragon Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Student General Artist
Hey Hibbary, I've tried doing what you've said on your tutorial with coffee,I let the  paper sit in coffee all night and the only thing it seems to do is make the paper wet, the paper doesn't even get a light tone. I've done this a few times with Bristol board but get no results. Are there some dyes that just won't color paper?
hibbary Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
That is most puzzling! It could be you are brewing a weak batch of coffee.  Bristol isn't terribly fibrous, either, so it doesn't suck up dye as well as rag papers. I've dyed it in the past, though, and had no trouble. 
rujiidragon Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Student General Artist
It might be the coffee, but I did add more coffee to water than normal when making it. I've used different types of coffee but got the same result. it either does nothing or makes it vaguely brownish even after a long soak. I can never make it as dark as what you do. What dyes have been successful for you?
hibbary Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
What I did for some of my paper was grind up the coffee to a mudlike sludge and include that sludge with the water. 

I've used all kinds of tea, coffee, rust, acrylic ink, ink, watercolor, and textile dye and it all produced interesting results. 
Crimson-Wolf2323 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks i've all ways wanted to know how to die paper 
dracostarhome Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
one of my old ... ooooold teachers told me about this, but she never showed us how to do that.  thank you for this tutorial  :heart:
NinjaFoxsBuddy Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Would this work with heavy-weight sketchbook paper?
hibbary Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
Sorry for taking so long to reply. I didn't see your comment.

It can if the sketchbook paper is heavy enough. The thing about paper is this: If the sheet is smaller, it can be thinner and still be flattened after it gets wet. The bigger paper is, the thicker it needs to be not to warp. So you could dye little tiny squares of very thin paper.

My suggestion is just to do a quick experiment to see what your paper can take.
NinjaFoxsBuddy Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That's ok and thank you for the help :)
HydraulicFool Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012
I did this for a history project and tried to get that old feeling..
You can try using printer paper crumbling it, open it, crumble it again, then straighten, and then stain it, dry it, and take a candle or stationary heat source and burn the edges and sort of leave those brown burn marks on some sides... it looks really nice!
Little-Lockhart Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012  Student Interface Designer
KeennaK Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's very cool.

Since I was a little girl I wanted to someday use these methods to create a "treasure map" and play with my friends.

In recent years I'm very creative and motivated with a project, so I can use it to create some maps, but not with the same purpose as I was a child.

I will use your tutorials and publish the results on DeviantArt. ^^
ArcherBlack Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great tutorial. I already used it once and it gave me fabulous result (both in colour and texture of paper).
jeddie84 Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Professional General Artist
redmanna Featured By Owner May 10, 2012
Thanks, I think I'll give it a try.
Cinelocopingu Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
Thousands THX, :D
Vazchu Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
I've always been interested in how to dye paper (well, at least since I made my own paper in school nearly three years ago), so this was really fun to read and I'll probably try it asap. (: It seems to be a lot of fun to do it. ^^

I've one question though. After a paper has been dyed, does it work to paint on it with aquarelle paint, acrylic paint, watercolors, etc?
4nto Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome tutorial! Thank you!!!
BlkFlamez Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is awesome I will try it out when I get the time :3
StickyRicePlatter Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I've tried coffee, but I never even thought of using steel wool! I've gotta try that some time... Thanks for the tip on keeping my paper from wrinkling! Sometimes stretching just doesn't work as well...
Fukoo-San Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So cool! I have only dyed my paper with tea, but this looks interesting : ) Gotta try it out
geadizajn Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011
love this!
HyperNoey Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow!!! Amazing!!!
Say,can I translate this into hebrew for friends of mine? I'll give you all the credit for the method and tutorial! Pretty please!
hibbary Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2011  Professional General Artist
Sure thing :3
979023 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
could this tutorial work with dying a canvas board?
979023 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
could this work with a canvas board?
Mad-Hattie Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2011
Helpful! I have to try this out!
SaBi88 Featured By Owner May 15, 2011
I SO need to do this ! seems wonderful ! well done tutorial as well =D :clap:
SkyGateCreations Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
lol, I'm so took me until I had gone through the entire tutorial and saw the DD description to realize this submission was from you XD

...not that I'm anyone you should recognize, just one of your many watchers and fans...just marveling at my own dimness.

anyways, awesome tutorial, presently I'm seeking out as many high quality resource-making tutorials as I can since I want to learn how to make my own resources.
WammyP Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this tutorial and the soap bubble method you mentioned in your description of one of the paper packs! Thanks so much for these! :clap:
I'm restraining myself from running to get the blue green algae from the fridge and trying it right this very moment, snicker! (have other work to do first.) Maybe just one sheet...
plutone123 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2011
Interesting tutorial, look forward to try it.
Pereyga Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
cool XD i want to try this out ... but i will have to get some watercoulour paper ... thx
Silverwingfox Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
How is it that you make the rust? Just dabbing it into the paper or leaving it pressed against it for a day?
0WildWitcheyWonder0 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Simple and wickedly wonderful! I will be sure to note you when I post pics of my finished pieces! :love:
robinseggbleu2 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011
thanks so much for the info. i'm going to try it.
lcuadrado Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2011
Incredible! :heart: Faving for future reference.
soda-with-cyanide Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2011  Student General Artist
This is great, simple to follow and makes you go creative, great tutorial! :D ;)
Aaron-Smiley Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010  Student Filmographer
Thankyou, this is extremely informative and helpful. You make everything sound very simple and doable and your results are beautiful!
UrHellaIgnant Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2010  Student Digital Artist
this is an epic tutorial. thanks so much for making this!! it rocks
Orangeyyy Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
hey i read somewhere that if you put glad wrap on wet paper when it dries it makes it look really cool! you should try it!!! :D
PoliteYetPeculiar Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
This is so wonderful!
colourel Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010
Very helpful. Thank you. : )
MrChopiChong Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Really interesting! I think I might try this.:D
Starrymite Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2010
Ta for the help~♥
GisaPizzatto Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Featured: [link]
CodyThomas Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
I have had some awesome results with beet juice, things normally turn out a lovely indigo blue with darker almost purple hues. and if you ever make your own paper, try adding dryer lint to the pulp mix! you get color, texture and a higher quality paper.
trollop Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
If you add calcium carbonate to the dye bath this may neutralize the paper, use ph test strips to determine the correct amount.
hopperz221 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2010
when your doing a second bath, ..say a color bath, do you use regular tap water or boiled water? also to do a color bath you just add the dye to the water and then dye the papers?
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Submitted on
January 24, 2008
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