Create and Celebrate: DIY Watercolor Paper Towel Ruffle Garland

Hi, this is Katie again and I am so excited to share this project with you! These gorgeous ruffle garlands are easier than they look and are made out of nothing more than paper towels dyed with food coloring. It is quite simple, but a bit time consuming. When editing the photos below for the step by step, I started laughing as I realized the photos reminded me of a paper towel commercial. Thankfully the end result is much prettier.  Enjoy!    

Viva Paper Towels- one roll makes approximately 10ft. of garland. {I would recommend using this brand for the fabric-like quality. I would also recommend getting the full-sized sheets rather than the "choose-a-size" rolls}

Food coloring in any color. I used gel food coloring, but you can experiment with different dyes. Easter egg dye would make beautiful colors

Oven or dryer with rack attachment.  Drying in the sun on a warm day may also work

Sewing machine (optional, but much faster) or needle and thread

Mix food coloring with water and dip each end of the towel roll into the colored water
Saturate the rest of the roll with colored water.  You can also just submerge the whole roll. 
If you would like a bit more color variation on the ends, dip them again in darker colored water
Squeeze out as much of the excess water as you can

Now comes the time consuming part.  Set your oven to 200ยบ  Place the towel roll on a baking sheet and unroll one layer at a time, stacking the layers as they dry.  The second time I made these, I remembered I have a rack that goes in my dryer to dry items that cannot tumble.  It worked great for this project and I actually found it to be a bit faster.  I set the dryer on high and unrolled the towels every 5 minutes or so.  It will take several hours to dry the entire roll.   

Your stack of towels will look something like this after it is all dried

Lastly, choose a coordinating thread color and gather and sew down the middle of the towels. Don't worry if the sheets tear apart from the roll in certain places, you won't be able to tell once they are all sewn together. You can sew sections together to make the garlands any length you would like.

What a lovely backdrop for a sweet table!


Sammy said...

OOh gorgeous!! very clever :)

Bellenza Bistro said...

What a frilly and romantic final effect!

Nikki said...

Proof that it doesn't take a lot of money, just thinking outside the box (and the party supply aisle) to make beautiful party decorations. Bravo!

Dalis Menendez said...

Lovely!!! just one single question: how to sew them? joining them all together by one side (top or bottom) or in the middle of the veeery very long sheet of paper ( linke if I'm sewing right in the middle of the roll? Am I clear on my question? Thanks 4 ur help!

Unknown said...

Amazing! I wonder if I can do that with regular towels! Did you know that dyes have many use? Before it used to be just for fashion and art, nowadays there are industrial textile dyes that are made to sanitize the fabric it colors. This is what many hotels use on their towel to cut on cost and to keep their towels looking fresh and clean.

Unknown said...

My husband suggested that I lay the paper towels across the seat of my car or in the back windshield. With temps souring, he thinks it may dry quickly and easily. I will try it this weekend and let you know if that works.

Anonymous said...

I used my blow dryer to dry them. I put out baking cooling racks in a row on my table, then blow dryed the sheets as I carefully unrolled it. It took about 1 hour to do this. I also make mine a light blue, and will use it for an event to look like clouds with birds flying about it.

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