There are an unlimited number of colors you can achieve from crepe paper. I alter the color of most of the doublette crepe that I use – because who wants to use something “straight out of the package”, right? This technique some call “washing” the crepe and you get variations in color by adding additional colors to the the “wash” through transfer. I just call it transferring by lightly wetting the crepe to facilitate the color change – emphasis on “lightly”. Too much water can make a mess and cause your crepe to tear.
Using the photo illustration above, this is how I change the color of my crepe paper – I’m attempting to achieve a more believeable color for a purple mop-head hydrangea.
Step one: Using white doublette and a Cobalt/Aqua doublette I cut two sheets of white and one sheet of Cobalt/Aqua approximately the same size and to fit my container. Any flat pan or container will work – the larger the surface, the larger you can cut your paper.
Step two: layer the sheets White / Cobalt / White and, using a fine-mist spray bottle, wet each layer as you go until each sheet it thoroughly wet but not dripping. You can use a piece of plastic (or plastic bag) laid over the wet sheets or gloved hands to press down gently to ensure each layer of crepe is soaked through.
Step three: Wait for the colors to change – and, remember, the paper will dry lighter. Try not to pick up the paper at the point because it will tear.
Step four: Add another color – this is optional. I added a Pink/Red doublette at the end to give a little more “red” to the mix. I layed the new color sheet on top of the rest, lightly sprayed it and let it set for a while. I then carefully pealed it back off the stack to add just the right amount of red to the purpley-blue.
Step five: The hardest part of the process is waiting for the paper to dry. Some people put it in a slow oven. But since I don’t want to burn my house down (because I will forget the oven is on), I tend to wait until it is almost air dried then finish up with a blow dryer.
After the crepe is thoroughly dry, I always iron my paper flat. Don’t be afraid to do this because it will actually allow the paper to “shrink” back up and retain most of its stretch. Just a hot iron, no steam.
There are more techniques I use but water soaking and transfer is the one I use the most when I have a lot of petals to cut but want a slight variation in color. Below you can see the paper I ended up with after I added the Red/Pink doublette to the stack and how it worked in making the hydrangea.
What is your favorite method of coloring your crepe? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you need to ask me anything, please feel free to reach out via the Contact page.
p.s. Don’t forget to write down your “recipes” and techniques for coloring your crepe paper. I created a system for keeping up with all the details of handcrafting flowers and put it in the shop. Check it out!