Itajime- Japanese Paper Dyeing

Paper dyeing is a lot easier than I had expected. It was fun to experiment with this fun art with my daughter. You can watch videos on YouTube to learn specific folds, but we just tried folding in our own way to see what we could come up with!

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    We added our liquid watercolor paints to small ramekins and watered them down with just a little water.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Emma began folding the paper in different directions.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    We tried the accordion fold, which made a lovely stripe style dye.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Once folded into small packages we dipped them into the paints, using several different colors on each end. This is where the experimenting fun starts.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    We unfolded the paper very gently to reveal our beautiful creations.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Done!

    Emma laid them all out to dry and used several to wrap a birthday gift. It was a lot of fun to see how each fold changed the appearance of the paper. We will be doing this again very soon.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

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