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How to Dye Flowers with Two Colors

by Jean Van't Hul
July 3, 2012
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Learn how to dye flowers with two colors and use this fun and educational activity for your 4th of July celebration.

Three painted daisies in jars of food coloring

These patriotic flowers are the perfect artful science experiment for kids. Learn how to dye flowers with two colors and use this fun and educational activity for your 4th of July celebration.

Plus, it’s never too late to make them; they start changing color within an hour!

This basic science experiment is much the same as our painted daisies, except that we were aiming at two colors per flower this time, specifically red and blue. While we were at it we also tried some other color combinations as well. It’s super easy, super fun, and super cool!

How to Dye Flowers with Two Colors

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MATERIALS

  • White daisies or chrysanthemums
  • Red and blue food coloring or liquid watercolor paint
  • 2 or more Mason jars or cups
  • Chopping board and knife

INSTRUCTIONS

How to Dye Flowers with Two Colors

Step 1: Prepare the cups

Pour an inch or two of water into each cup. Add food coloring or liquid watercolors to the water (we use liquid watercolors interchangeably with food coloring for most of our science experiments and homemade art materials). Be generous with the color. If you’re going to make the patriotic flowers, use blue food coloring in one cup and red in the other.

Patriotic Flowers for 4th of July Decorations

Step 2: Prepare your flowers.

Pick your daisies (ours are in bloom right now) or pick up a bouquet at the store. Using a sharp knife, slice the stem in half lengthwise. Leave an inch or two of solid stem between the cut and the flower head.

A flower's stem split in half and dipped in two different liquid colors

Step 3: Put the flowers into the cups.

Position the flower over your two cups of colored water with one stem piece in the red cup and one stem piece in the blue cup (or, as in this picture, green and purple). Make sure the stem ends are well submerged in the colored water.

How to Dye Flowers with Two Colors

If you happen to have double-dip paint cups they are perfect for this activity!

Flowers dipped in liquid colors starting to change in color.

Step 4: Wait and watch how the dying process happens.

The flowers will start changing color within the hour, with some colors appearing faster than others.

Flowers absorbed the liquid colors and changed color within an hour.

The longer the flower stem sits in the colored water, the more of the dye the flower will absorb as it “drinks” the water. The photo on the left is the green and purple daisy that I shared on facebook and Google+ yesterday. The right-hand flower is the same one photographed this morning.

How to Dye Flowers with Two Colors

And here are our red, white, and blue patriotic flower ready to grace the table at a 4th of July BBQ. A whole bouquet of them! How often do you get to use your science experiments as party decorations?

By the way, if you need a couple more kid-pleasing activities for the 4th try milky fireworks (another artful science activity) and let them help make patriotic popsicles.

And if you want the basic tutorial on how to dye flowers, here’s the painted daisy post.

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How to Dye Flowers with Two Colors

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