Here’s my quick and easy recipe for a Fall Inspired DIY Botanical Print Ribbons!

{Note / For our in-house dyeing there are additional steps involved in the cleaning and preparation of dyeing our ribbons, but this is my “short-cut” for beautifully dyed ribbons suitable for crafting and gift wrapping}

    1. Take your ribbon and submerge it in warm tap water to cover the ribbons. Soak for about 30 minutes to open the fibers and allow for the best absorption of the natural dyes. Set aside and prepare your base color.

    2. Prepare your base color. You can choose from a variety of tannin-rich food items that will create an overall base hue and allow for optimal colorfastness. Here I used turmeric for a yellow base hue. [you can use a handful of onion skins instead of turmeric for a yellow base hue, coffee grounds (tan base hue), black tea (tan base hue), or avocado pits (pink and coral base hues), to name a few of the options.]

    3. Add about 4 tablespoons of turmeric to a stainless steel pot and fill it  ½ full with water. Bring the turmeric to a boil and then let simmer for about 30 mins, then let the mixture cool to the touch. 

    4. Wring out your wet silk ribbons and add them to your turmeric pot. You will see the ribbons start to soak up the color. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After the 20 mins., review the color; if you love it, let the pot cool and remove the ribbons and rinse them in the sink; if you’d prefer a darker color, continue to cook or turn off the heat and keep the ribbons in the pot to soak overnight. 

    5. Once your ribbons have completed their base hue and are rinsed, gather your onion skins and a dowel (or twig). Lay out the ribbon and open up the folds so that it lays flat. Begin to roll your silk onto the dowel, adding onion skins as you go. Tightly roll the ribbons with the onion skins, creating a bit of tension so that it is tightly rolled. 

      dyi dyed ribbons

    6. Once the ribbon is wound on the dowel, tie it with a string or extra ribbon to hold it closed, then add it to a steamer basket in a stainless steel pot with a few inches of water below. Cover and steam ribbons for about 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level and add more water as needed to maintain a few inches of water in the pot. 

    7. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Unroll the ribbons and compost the onion skins. Then, wash your ribbon in the sink with pH-neutral soap (I use Seventh Generation). 

    8. Hang to dry, and then iron on medium heat.


TIP / After step #7, you can repeat from step #5 to create more layers of botanical prints. 



The onion skins create a beautiful fall feel and visions of falling autumn leaves. 

SHOP DIY Undyed Ribbons