Beau and I have spent a lot of time (and money) creating our dream wedding photography gear “kit”. We have built a set of amazing cameras and lenses to capture our client’s wedding day, but I have always wanted to put together a photography “prop kit”. A prop kit includes things that I may use to enhance the backgrounds when I photograph a bride’s veil, rings, invitations or garter. Our bride may have a handkerchief that is her grandpa’s that she holds near and dear to her heart and wants photographs of it on her wedding day, but her hotel room is dark and has leather details which doesn’t exactly go with the theme of her romantic outdoor wedding. That’s when I will reach into my prop kit and create her ideal background that coordinates with her wedding theme and colors.
As part of my kit I looked into these gorgeous hand dyed silk ribbon. Vogue talks about the trend here. Let me tell you, I was sticker shocked! $30+ a spool was not in my budget. So I had to investigate and figure out if I could make my own for half the price.. Turns out you can and below you can see just how I pulled it off!
Bride Tip: I love how they add a texture and touch a romance to any bouquet. You can also use it to wrap your bridesmaids gifts, add it to your centerpieces, or invitations!
What you’ll need:
When I walk into Jo-Ann Fabrics, it’s like looking for 3 needles in a haystack, so find a worker immediately and ask where everything is up front! That way you don’t look like a crazy first time DIYer.
Dupioni Silk 1 to 2 Yards (Joann Fabrics, make sure to use your 50% off coupon)
Bowl – Preferably one you don’t eat out of
Rit Dye – You remember, from girl scouts tie-dying t-shirts! I got Pearl Grey, Petal Pink, Yellow Gold, but they had so many other great colors! From our experience Pearl Grey turned a soft blue ish color.
Wooden Spools – In the WOOD section
Rubber Gloves – It’s the adult thing to do.
Cut the Dipioni Silk into ribbon like strips. The silk will only tear one way. Start by taking the wooden spool and measuring how thick each ribbon should be. Then use your scissors and cut about a 1/4th of an inch into the fabric. Have no fear and tear the ribbon. Do this for the remainder of the fabric. You’re welcome to create thicker and thinner pieces depending on your preference. The silk does fray. Do worry, just cut the excess off.
Heat up 3 cups of water in the microwave for 1 minute. Then slowly add a teaspoon of the dye of your choice to the heated water. Stir until all the dye has dissolved.
Put on your rubber gloves. Wet a ribbon in cool water underneath the silk, and dip into the bowl and dye. After 1-2 minutes check to see how the dye is taking to the fabric. Leave the silk in the bowl until the silk is your desired color. I wanted pastel colors, so I used less dye and left the silk in for less time.
Pull out the ribbon from the bowl and rinse the remaining dye under cool water.
Lay out to dry. I put my ribbon on top of trash bags and outside in the sun. They took around 30 minutes to dry.
Repeat with the rest of your ribbon. Feel free to add more dye or allow more time for the dye to take to your silk for different colors. The more dye and longer the time, the darker the color.
I decided that I didn’t like the crickled effect that the silk had taken on after dying, so I ironed out each ribbon and cut any frays that I didn’t like. I do however like some of the color differences and wrinkles — hence “hand dyed”.
I love how the ribbon looks framing the bouquet. Thank you to Fluorescence Flowers for the beautiful bouquet!