Did you know you can dye wicker? And raffia? And wooden shells? You can! And today I’m going to share my easy DIY for dyed vase fillers.
I love coloring unfinished wood, and lately you’ve seen me share projects using different types of paints, like my chippy paint cigar box tutorial I shared with you in March.
I also love to dye wood. Dying wood is the fastest way to get an all-over color onto your unfinished wood pieces.
DIY: Dyed Vase Fillers
I purchased my vase fillers at IKEA:
I love that I can even reuse the netted bag they came in – and yes I dyed the bag too for another upcoming project!
I also found a package of vase fillers at an after-Christmas sale and decided to try dying some of these too.
I used two liquid dye colors that match our home decor: teal and dark green.
I separated out the vase fillers into those that would be dyed green:
And those that would be dyed teal:
(You’ll notice some other items in the pictures above that I’m dying for other projects, like the unfinished wood easels.)
Rit Dye in your choice of colors
Plastic to cover your surface area
Dollar store serving spoon (I use this for mixing and rotating items.)
Step One: Mix two quarts of hot water with approximately 1/2 a cup of the Rit Dye color of your choice. Unlike when you’re dying fabric, you don’t need to use any salt or vinegar in your dye mixture.
I use a large all-purpose bucket when I dye, even if I’m not using that much liquid. Since the bucket is tall, it prevents any splatter from escaping out of the bucket. I put down plastic just in case. (I used a kitchen garbage bag cut open.)
Step Two: Once the dye is mixed in, slowly add your vase fillers into the dye bath. You want to do it slowly so you don’t splatter the dye everywhere. If your items float in the water, just make sure to rotate them occasionally so that all parts get dyed both inside and out.
After 20 minutes, you should have a pretty set of dyed vase fillers ready to dry!
Step Three: Remove the vase fillers and set to dry on some paper towels (with plastic underneath). After about an hour I turned each piece over just to help dry evenly.
Some of the vase fillers did not fare too well. In the picture below, starting clockwise from top left: the wicker unraveled, the wood strips came off, some pieces fell off, and in one case the entire ball just sort of broke apart. I share this just so you know it can happen, and it’s not your fault if it does!
(Yes, I’m keeping these anyway because I can use them in future craft projects!)
On the plus side, over 90 percent of them turned out great!
In this picture, you can see the teal shade which adhered to parts of the small wicker ball, while the dark green dyed the larger wicker ball completely.
What’s nice about dying vase fillers is that you’ll get different levels of color on the different pieces. Some of the pieces dyed a vibrant shade, while others had a very subtle color change.
In the picture below, on the bottom left, you can see how the teal dye adhered to the dark brown shell. Just above that shell, the ball of raffia took on just a very slight hue of the green dye. (I didn’t dye all of the vase fillers, as I liked the ivory shades as well as the fun reddish-orange ball.)
Even the ball that had strips of spotted brown took the dye nicely to give it a soft color. And the open wicker ball in the very front of the picture below (in front of the reddish-orange ball), was originally an orange shade and now is a pretty sea green color.
I love the results!
This is an easy project you can complete in a few hours, including drying time. And with all the Rit Dye colors to choose from – as well as all of the additional colors you can get just by mixing the dyes – you can make custom vase fillers to match your own decor easily!