This post was sponsored, and paid for, by Rit Dye. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!
Spring is just around the corner – and I couldn’t be more excited! Every year I look forward to the explosion of spring flowers, from pale pink cherry blossoms and purple lilacs (my absolute favorite) to yellow daffodils and colorful tulips in nearly every shade of the rainbow. Oh, and fluffy peonies in every shade of pink? Yes, please! Today I’m paying homage to my favorite season with a DIY rainbow watercolor crepe paper backdrop that is perfect for spring weddings, birthday parties, and everything in between. This gorgeous pastel backdrop makes me so happy every time I look at it. Oh, and my secret ingredient for creating this gorgeous backdrop? Spray bottles filled with Rit All-Purpose Dye!
Rit Dye is one of my favorite tools for DIY projects! It’s really the perfect solution for adding pops of color throughout your wedding ceremony and reception, from ribbons for floral arrangements to napkins and table linens to dresses! Rit All-Purpose Dye is perfect for washable fabrics with natural fibers, like cotton, linen, wool, silk, and ramie – or even for materials like nylon, rayon, paper, and wood. I’ve used Rit All-Purpose Dye to dip dye envelopes, create dip-dyed muslin favor bags, and even to dye my own Shibori-style pink dinner napkins! And did you know that there’s also Rit DyeMore for synthetic fibers?? You can use Rit DyeMore for polyester, polyester cotton blends, nylon, acrylic, or acetate – or even faux fur! I’ll need to try that one next!
I was super excited to experiment with multiple Rit All-Purpose Dye colors to create this gorgeous watercolor-inspired backdrop. I mean, it’s a proven fact that rainbows make everything prettier. And a pastel rainbow? Even better! This pastel backdrop is made from a few rolls of white crepe paper spray dyed with fine mist spray bottles filled with Rit All-Purpose Dye. You can also use the same method to dye tissue paper decorations like honeycomb balls and tissue paper fans! Using spray bottles to create a super fine dye mist leaves the most gorgeous watercolor effect on crepe paper and tissue paper, and the result is completely unique wedding and party décor that you won’t find anywhere else!
The best part about this DIY rainbow watercolor crepe paper backdrop is that you can completely customize the colors to suit your wedding color palette! Rit All-Purpose Dye is available in 50 shades, like Petal Pink, Coral, Violet, Aquamarine, and Kelly Green. Or you can create your own colors using the Rit Color Library, which includes color formulas to create over 500 additional colors – including Pantone on-trend colors by season! There’s seriously SO much color inspiration in the Rit Color Library! I love, love, love our pastel rainbow backdrop (you can find the specific color formulas I used a bit further below!), but I could also totally see a gorgeous ombré backdrop in several shades of a single color. How gorgeous would that be??
Skill Level: Beginner
Approximate Crafting Time: 1 –2 Hours
2.5 oz Fine Mist Spray Bottles one bottle per dye color – I used a total of twelve spray bottles)
Protective rubber gloves
Rags or paper towels
Protective drop cloth
To make the DIY rainbow watercolor crepe paper backdrop:
Step 1. First, you’ll need to pick your colors! The Rit Color Library breaks all of the color formulas down by parent color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown, and gray. I knew I wanted spring-inspired colors, so I went with shades of pink, peach, light purple, blue, teal, mint green, and sunny yellow. But I can’t wait to try this again with different color combinations. Burgundy and blush? Lavender and deep dusty blue? Sage green and rose? Yes, yes, and yes!
Step 2. Now that you’ve chosen your colors, mix your colors according to the recommended formula in the Rit Color Library, dividing the recommended dye amounts by 1/4. Don’t forget to wear your protective gloves! We’re using smaller amounts of dye than we’d need if we were planning to dye textiles, but because we’re turning the dye into a super fine mist, we still need the dye to be a bit more concentrated and intense. Dividing the color formula recipe by four seemed to do the trick for me! Shake dye bottles before pouring. Using a measuring spoon, measure the amount of Rit All-Purpose Dye and carefully pour the dye into the small spray bottles, then fill the spray bottle with hot water. Shake carefully to mix.
Pro tip: be sure to label your bottles as you go, otherwise you’re bound to lose track of what’s what (trust me on this). I used a bit of washi tape and wrote the color formula on a small piece of tape, then taped the written formula to each bottle.
Here are the exact color formulas that I used to create the backdrop:
Step 3. Unravel each roll of white crepe paper until it’s one big long sheet, then place each sheet on top of a protective drop cloth on the floor of your workspace. Before you start spray dyeing, be sure to test your colors on a test sheet of crepe paper – or even just on a paper towel – and let it dry completely. The colors will become more intense as they dry! If a color is too dark, pour out a portion of the bottle and add more water to dilute the color. If you need a color to be darker, I found it easiest to pour out the entire 2.5 oz bottle and start over – usually doubling the original quantity of each color (i.e., going from 1/2 teaspoon of kelly green to 1 teaspoon of kelly green to get the perfect shade of mint green).
Step 4. Using one spray bottle at a time, spray a very light coat of Rit All-Purpose Dye all over each sheet of white crepe paper, using each dye color in rainbow order. I switched things up a bit with the color order; sometimes I would start with pink or peach at the top and work my way down to lavender, other times I started with lavender and end with blue. Whatever order you choose, place analogous colors next to each other (oranges into pinks into purples) so the colors flow smoothly into each other and don’t end up looking muddy. For the best and most consistent results, make sure the crepe paper doesn’t get too wet and blot the nozzle with a paper towel or a rag after 5-8 pumps to maintain a fine spray mist.
Step 5. Once you’ve dyed all of your crepe paper, apply a couple pieces of gaffer’s tape to one end of each sheet and tape the paper to the floor. Then, pull on the other side of the paper to remove the stretch in the crepe paper and tape the other end to the floor. Allow the crepe paper to dry completely, around 30 minutes, then remove the gaffer’s tape. It’s gentle enough that it shouldn’t tear the paper as long as you’re very careful while removing it!
Step 6. To hang the backdrop, use a few pieces of gaffer’s tape to adhere the crepe paper to long wooden dowels and use non-damaging, removable wall hooks to hang the backdrop. For added depth and visual interest, layer the crepe paper sheets over each other – or even cut some of the sheets into a variety of widths and mix them all together!
Ta da! It’s such a quick and easy way to add a dose of color to a wedding or party – and you can use the same technique to turn any white paper decorations into a rainbow, from round honeycombs to tissue paper fans and fringe crepe paper garlands! I absolutely LOVE this idea for a wedding ceremony backdrop – which you can reuse as a photo booth backdrop for the reception! Just be prepared for this backdrop to inspire a bit of twirling from your younger guests.
Pastels! Rainbows! Gah, I just love this DIY rainbow watercolor crepe paper backdrop SO much! But what do YOU think?? If you make this crepe paper backdrop for your wedding or party, be sure to share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #madewithosbp so I can see it!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rit Dye. The opinions and text are all mine. Check out the 50 shades of Rit All-Purpose Dye right here and browse over 500 color formulas in the Rit Dye Color Library here!
Photo Credits: Meghan Marie Photography and Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper