Four different dyeing methods:
1. Food coloring
2. Powdered drink mix
3. Natural elements
Any of the methods are great for adding color to your corn husks. For me, on hand supplies and the ages of the children were the deciding factors for which method was used. For example, food color and powdered drink mix are simply mixed with water (your desired concentrate) and left to soak until you achieve the shade you are after. Paints can be watercolor, tempera, or acrylic (again- think on-hand supplies) only need a protected work area, paintbrush and some creative juices. Natural elements may warrant some research, a nature walk to gather items- or simply a tour of your kitchen, boiling-steeping time. Before you choose a method consider your age group, on-hand supplies, and the time you want to put into it.
|husks under food coloring mix|
Food coloring is very simple and can be done by most young children. Pour water into a shallow bowl or some pie tins- no measuring necessary, simply consider leaving enough room for adding husks. Add enough food coloring to make the water fairly dark; remember it is the soak time that determines the result. Place your husks in the color and soak until you are satisfied, bearing in mind the colors will be lighter after the husks are dry. To keep your husks in the dye (they float) consider placing a canned good in a bowl on top of the husks to weight them down. Small children may enjoy checking the color occasionally and watching the shades develop. Bear in mind that with this method, the color choices are limited, however, you can try mixing them for different hues.
I hang my husks on the clothes line to dry- you can lay them outside on the grass, a picnic table, or on newspapers.
|red powdered drink mix|
|painting at the table|
I realize this post may be a bit overwhelming- trust me- it's not meant to be. If you choose to try it, this activity can be rewarding and fulfilling- just ease into it. Remember that children love to "help"- they can do more than we think: pour, measure, mix- dip, observe, discuss. Over the years we have used it to aide a lesson in school or just to spend time together. My children loved to see things change- to participate in the changes. Like the colors of fall, there is no limit to the beauty you can display. And, there's more.....
We're not done with these husks!
|corn husk dolls as angels|