Food Coloring Dyed Paper: How-To Make Easy Ombre Menus For Spring!

/ Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Good morning, lovely friends! I'd love to share a quick little DIY project with you: Food Coloring-Dyed Menus! I made these in preparation for the birthday dinner we hosted this weekend and I'm kind of obsessed with how they turned out. It's such a simple, last-minute embellishment and the results are gorgeous :) I love when that happens. Here's how you make 'em.

Food coloring is my go-to tool for paper tinting at home. We don't have a ton of room for craft-storage, so I like to use kitchen supplies for DIY projects whenever possible (double-duty, you know)! Whether I'm coloring frosting or dipping stationary, McCormick brand food coloring is my favorite. It's affordable, always at the grocery store and you can create incredibly beautiful colors by mixing the colors together—remember the frosting coloring chart I created for Food Network Magazine!? Here, I just used the pink food coloring from McCormick's assorted neon set.

To start, put 8 to 16 drops food coloring in 1 cup water; stir to combine. (Add more if you want your pink to come even more intense!) 
Print menus on regular printer paper and cut out if needed. (I don't have fancy card stock at home—I think the regular stuff works just fine!) One at a timedip menus in the tinted water. For a stronger ombre effect: Dip all menus once, then add a few more drops food coloring to the water and re-dip just the bottom of the menus in the darker dye. Repeat a few times, if desired. 
Arrange menus on paper towels to dry; let sit, uncovered, 15 minutes. Cover with parchment or wax paper, then top with heavy books and/or cans to flatten and de-wrinkle the menus. 
That's it! Making your own ombre menus is super-simpe, right? This craft is definitely kid-friendly. Set up a little dipping station for littles to decorate their own birthday party menus or invites—they can pick their own colors, too! xo Erin

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