How to Dye Paper Doilies

Do you love crafting but can never seem to find the perfect materials? If this is your plight, then paper doilies are just what you need. Not only are they incredibly versatile – ranging from a delicate background for scrapbooking compositions to something that can be folded or cut into shapes and patterns for special cards – but they also open up a world of decorative possibilities when it comes to dying.

How to Dye Paper Doilies

When you dye paper doilies yourself, you can create the exact hue that works best for your project – from bright and cheerful primary colors to soft pastel shades. Plus, learning how to dye paper doilies is an easy and inexpensive way to take a craft project up a notch! So roll up your sleeves, grab some colored dyes, and create stunningly customized handmade doily projects with these step-by-step Instructions.

What Will You Need?

To dye paper doilies, you will need the following materials:

  1. Colored dyes or fabric dyes (depending on your desired color)
  2. Paper towels or an absorbent cloth
  3. Bowls for mixing and soaking the doilies (multiple bowls are recommended if you want to create a variety of colors)
  4. Measuring spoons or medicine droppers
  5. Paper doilies of your choice (preferably white)

Once your materials are ready, you can begin preparing the doilies for dyeing.

10 Easy Steps on How to Dye Paper Doilies

Step 1: Preparing the Doilies

Before you begin dyeing your paper doilies, it’s important to prepare them properly. First, lay out a large piece of newspaper or an old towel on a flat surface, such as a table or workspace. Next, separate your paper doilies into individual pieces and place them on the newspaper or towel surface, ensuring they don’t overlap.

Step 2: Submerging the Doilies in Dye

Next, pour a small amount of dye into one of your bowls. Be careful not to use too much, as you’ll need some leftover space to add more water later if needed. Then, carefully dip your paper doily into the bowl so that it is completely submerged in the dye.

 Dip Your Paper Doily Into the Bowl

Step 3: Soaking and Rinsing the Doilies

Let your doily soak in the dye for about 5 minutes, then remove it from the bowl and rinse it with warm water until all of the dye has rinsed away. Once your doily is clean, gently squeeze out any excess liquid and set it aside to dry on a piece of paper towel or an absorbent cloth. Don’t worry if your doily looks a little discolored at this point – the dyeing process has just begun, and it will take some time for the final results to come through.

Step 4: Drying the Doilies

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each different color of dye you want to create until all of your paper doilies have been dyed. Depending on how vibrant you want your colors to be, you may need to repeat these steps more than once by adding water to the dye mixture and soaking the doilies for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.  Be careful not to let your doilies dry completely in between soaking and rinsing sessions, as this may cause the colors to set.

Step 5: Letting Your Doilies Dry Completely

Once all of your paper doilies have been dyed and are fully dry, you can begin using them in various crafting projects – from beautiful handmade cards to lovely decorative accents for scrapbooks or other DIY projects. You can use your dyed paper doilies as-is for a simple and elegant effect, or you can transform them into fun shapes and patterns by folding, cutting, and shaping them as desired.

Step 6. Experiment with Different Colors

While the traditional white paper doily is beautiful in its own right, you can also experiment with dyeing your doilies in various colors – from jewel tones and vibrant pastels to muted shades and even metallic hues. Another fun way to use your paper doilies is to create a collage of different colors and designs for a vibrant, eye-catching accent. Ensure that your finished project is completely dry before you display it so that the colors do not smudge or run.

Your Doilies in Various Colors

Step 7: Try Different Shaping Techniques

Aside from folding and cutting your paper doilies into different shapes and patterns, there are also a number of fun and artistic ways to shape them. For example, you can lay out several dyed doilies in different sizes and arrange them in concentric circles for a pretty sunburst effect. Or, try using your dyed doilies as stencils to create interesting designs on other surfaces, such as wood or paper.

Step 8: Incorporate Your Doily Crafts into Other Projects

Once you’ve created beautiful dyed paper doilies by following these easy steps, choosing how to use them is completely up to you. Whether you want to create one-of-a-kind greeting cards for friends and loved ones, add a decorative touch to your planner or home decor, or give your DIY craft projects a unique and personal touch, these pretty little accessories are a perfect choice.

Step 9: Share Your Creations

Finally, once you’ve learned, be sure to share your unique creations with friends and family! Whether you decide to create simple single-color designs or intricate patterns using different colored doilies, the possibilities are endless for how you can use these versatile homemade decorations in your own crafting projects. And who knows – maybe your next handmade card will become an heirloom that generations will cherish forever.

Step 10: Have Fun and Be Creative!

Whether you’re using dyed paper doilies for card-making, scrapbooking, or another DIY project, the most important thing is to have fun and be creative. After all, crafting is all about exploring your own personal style and putting your own unique stamp on whatever you create – so don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different ideas as you make these lovely little accessories your own.

By following these simple steps for how to dye paper doilies, you can create beautiful handmade accessories that are perfect for various crafting projects. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try today, and let your creativity shine!

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To Create a Beautiful Handmade Paper Doilies

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

1. Before dying your doilies, make sure that you prepare them accordingly. This means thoroughly washing and drying them first, that the doilies are bleached and starched, and that they have been ironed.

2. Once your doilies are ready to go, choose your dyes according to what color you want your doilies to be. Some great options include water soluble dyes, food coloring, and fabric dye.

3. To dye your doilies, you can either submerge them in a bowl of water and dyes or use a brush to apply them directly to your doilies. Either method should work well, though if you’re using a brush, it can help to dilute your dye with water first.

4. Depending on how saturated you want your doilies to be, you may need to let them sit in the dye for several hours or overnight. Try repeating this process multiple times to add even more depth and color until you get the desired effect.

5. Once your doilies are dyed how you like them, simply wash off any excess dye with water and let them dry completely before using or storing them.

Follow these simple tips and tricks and start adding gorgeous color and style to your papercraft projects today!

5 Precautions You Can Take

1. Always use high-quality paper doilies for dyeing, as cheaper varieties may not be able to withstand the process.

2. Always start with a clean, dry surface when dyeing your paper doilies. This will allow for even application of the dye and prevent unwanted staining or damage to other surfaces in your work area.

3. When working with water-based dyes, use gloves and protective eyewear to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals or irritants that could damage your skin or eyes.

4. Keep the dyed doilies out of direct sunlight while they are drying, as this can cause them to fade or discolor over time. Instead, find a cool, dark space where they can sit undisturbed until they are completely dry.

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5. Finally, store your dyed paper doilies in an airtight plastic container when you’re not using them to keep them looking bright and vibrant for as long as possible.

With these simple precautions in mind, you can enjoy beautifully dyed paper doilies for years to come!


Homemade paper doilies are fun, easy, and inexpensive to make. With just a few simple supplies, you can add a touch of elegance to any décor. Whether you choose to dye them or keep them natural, paper doilies are sure to impress your guests. 

If you want to add some extra flair to your doilies, consider dying them! It’s a simple process that can be done with items you likely already have in your home. Give it a try today and see what amazing designs you come up with!

Hopefully, the article on how to dye paper doilies has helped you learn how to add a beautiful touch of color and elegance to your home décor. Best of luck as you explore this fun, creative process for yourself!

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Jennifer Branett

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