Flower Dyed Paper Backgrounds

"Between the villages of Aubiere and Romagnat in the ancient Province of Auvergne there is an old road that comes suddenly over the top of a high hill. To stand south of this ridge looking up at the highway flowing over the skyline is to receive one of those irrefutable impressions from landscape which requires more than a philosopher to explain. In this case it is undoubtedly, for some reason, one of exalted expectation."
- Hervey Allen, from Anthony Adverse

experiment (k-spr-mnt) A test or procedure carried out under controlled conditions
to determine the validity of a hypothesis or make a discovery.

How to Dye Paper with Rose Petals
Turning rose petals into art journal backgrounds. It started with an abundance of blooming knock-out roses, brought indoors to enjoy in glass vases. Then the petals started to drop...

Three experiments using rose petals to give the look of tie dye to your paper...

  1. pureed petals to tie dye paper towels
  2. fresh flower petals with matte medium to add color to watercolor paper
  3. fresh petals with fiber paste and watercolor paper

If you want to try these experiments at home, you'll need a wine cork, a small bowl of fresh or faded rose petals, watercolor paper, a food processor, acrylic matte medium and/or fiber paste, paper towels. {To do just the second two experiments, you won't need the food processor!}

The puree looks like raspberry sorbet, doesn't it? Yummy.

I pureed the rose petals with just enough water for the food processor to go, a few tablespoons of water.

I placed the pureed rose petals on paper towells overnight. Be sure to protect your counter from stains. This is the vivid magenta the paper towells absorbed by morning. I tried to re-use the puree but it resulted in muddy brown. These paper towells can be used as collage materials in your art journal.

On to the second bit of fun with rose + salvia petals + matte medium:

The first step was to place a spoonful of matte medium on watercolor paper. Using a wine cork, I "ground" a handful of flower petals into the medium. This is a bit messy (at least for the cork).

The third experiment, playing with rose + salvia petals + fiber paste:

Started with a spoonful of fiber paste on watercolor paper, adding a handful of flower petals and "grinding" the fiber paste and petals around with a wine cork. Fiber paste has a mild grittiness, so the color was more vibrant. At this point, my arm was taxed. Time for a break.

Placed the dyed watercolor papers under a heavy book (with parchment paper between) to dry flat. The extra petals will flake off, leaving you with wonderous texture and unique color!


I did a half dozen more pages with fiber paste and flower petals, with good results all around.

Love the texture as the roses start to dry.

Delicious periwinkle blues + purples.

I was surprised that the petals with matte medium or fiber paste dyed purple or periwinkle with a tinge of magenta, yet the paper towels with pureed petals dyed magenta. I'm curious how yellow or orange flowers will work... FYI I used Golden acrylic matte medium, great for thinning fluid acrylics to get more translucent color and Golden fiber paste which is awesome for adding texture to your art journals.

These pages are perfect for collage or art journal backgrounds, etc. Like other abstract art, they can easily be cut into artist trading cards, mail art postcards, journal fodder!