DIY Just Because

Dyeing Carnations: A Fun Kid’s Activity

How To Dye Carnations

Summertime is here, which means the kids are home from school. Summer vacation is a good time to try all kinds of arts and craft projects. They’ll keep your kids (and you) from going crazy with the sudden amount of free time that they have. Plus, they could be a good intro to teaching your kids about new things, like plants for example.

Dyeing carnations is an easy process, and it physically shows kids how plants use water for survival. When plants drink water, the water brings nutrients the plants need from the soil along with it. When you put the dye in the water for the carnations to drink, you will see the dye in the flower’s veins. Yep, flowers have veins just like people!

Maybe you’re planning a party this summer, like for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day. Flower coloring is a fun way to get the kids involved in helping out with the party. You can dye the carnations red and blue. Maybe you are just looking for a fun, easy, and quick craft for your kid to do, or maybe you just want to learn how to dye carnations yourself for future holidays and parties. You won’t need a lot of supplies for flower coloring!


Materials for Dyeing Carnations

  • White Carnations
  • Food Coloring
  • Scissors
  • Jars or vases
  • Water

How to Dye Carnations

  1. The first step to dyeing carnations is trimming the stems. This step is probably best for the adults to do ahead of time unless your young one has really mastered scissors. Cutting flowers is a little more difficult than cutting paper, after all. When you trim the stems, submerge them under water and trim an inch or two off the bottom. Trimming the flowers under water will help prevent air bubbles from forming. When air bubbles form in the stems, the flower has a harder time soaking up the nutrients it needs. Plus, when it comes to flower coloring, the food coloring will also struggle to make it up the flower and you will see less of a change in the color.
  2. Put the flowers in a jar or vase with water in it. Make sure the stems are in at least a couple inches worth of water. Here’s where the kiddos can come in! Have the kids drop several drops of food coloring into the container with the flowers. Dyeing carnations will work best with at least 20 to 30 drops of food coloring. It’s pretty hard to go overboard, it’s a simple equation when it comes to flower dyeing: The more food coloring, the more the color will show up in the flower.
  3. Now, you wait. You should be able to see some results within a half hour to an hour. There are some variables on how quick the dye shows up in the carnations, like how old the flowers are or the color of dye you chose. Within 24 hours, the dye should have taken full effect. Your kids can check out the petals and see the veins of the flower in full color.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Carnation Dyeing Experience

  • Any food coloring choice should work just fine, but red and blue will work the fastest. It’s good to throw those two colors in for fun so they can start seeing the magic happen!
  • Older carnations won’t last long in a jar or a vase, and the nutrients will have a hard time reaching their way up the stems. The dye will have a hard time getting through to the petals, so it will take longer or may not work well at all. In other words, find the freshest, whitest bunch of carnations that you can.

Start with Carnations from The Bouqs Co.

Yep, you guessed it — we send carnations online! With a super-long lifespan and a bounty of breathtaking colors to choose from (including white!) you can find carnations in our store year round.

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