Dyeing Flowers with Food Coloring Tutorial


My Mimmie has the most amazing garden. As she’s gotten older it is less frilly and has more plants that self sustain, but it has always been a thing to see. When I was little she would let me grab a couple of white flowers out of the beds and bring them in to dye them. On extremely special occasions she would even buy me a single white carnation to “pretty up”.

When I was a new adult I would commonly purchase bouquets of bright and colorful flowers to liven up my living space. Now that I’m older and have a mortgage, car payment and all of that jazz a bouquet of flowers is not on my regular shopping list.

Learn how to dye white flowers with Dream a Little Bigger.

When I walked into the grocery store I saw some of the prettiest daisies that were bright pink and neon green. These weren’t natural, sedate pink and green. These were very obviously altered. And I loved them. The cellophane outer wrap showed that they were $12.99. What? Aren’t these still daisies we’re talking about? A quick trip around the floral department found me a package of white mums for $3.99. SOLD.

Want to make your own white flowers into something colorful? You will need:

  • White Flowers
  • Glasses or jars
  • Water
  • Food Coloring (I used neon colors)

First place a decent amount of water in the bottom of your jars or glasses. Make sure that they are nice and heavy so that the weight of the flowers doesn’t tip them over. The last thing you want is watered down food coloring running into your sock drawer or something.Drop in some food coloring until you get a nice, rich color. I used half a little dropper of the coloring in each jar for mine.
Also remember that you can mix colors as necessary, yellow and blue make green and all of that business.

Learn how to dye white flowers with Dream a Little Bigger.

Take your flowers and break up the bunch into as many sections as is natural. Take and cut an angle on the bottom of the stems. You can shorten as necessary for your jars/glasses. Try to remove the leaves that are near the bottom to keep them from sitting in your water and getting funky.

Learn how to dye white flowers with Dream a Little Bigger.

Place your flowers into the jars and allow to sit until you achieve the color you desire. When the color is achieved, rinse the stems well and transfer to your vase. FYI – the water will turn color the longer the flowers sit in the fresh. If your vase is clear, you may need to change the water out regularly.

Learn how to dye white flowers with Dream a Little Bigger.

The longer you keep your flowers in the dye the darker they will become. I removed mine after about 36 hours to achieve the color you see at the top of the page. Cut flowers will naturally get droopy, so remove saggy petals as they form to keep them looking pretty and fresh.

So what do you think? Will you look at cheapie white carnations and mums differently? Next time grab a few for your kids – I can tell you from experience what a wonderful thing it is to keep an eye on!

See where I link up.


  1. Allison Murray says

    It really is fun, Lauren… And come spring you'll can experiment like crazy when everything is blooming!

  2. Allison Murray says

    In my experience the color outlasts the flowers. Some of the coloring lingering in the stems will dirty your clear water, though. Keep that in mind if displaying in a clear vase.

  3. says

    Hi! Can I ask a question about this? I know it’s an old post but I was trying to do this with my daughter and it doesn’t seem to be working out :( The flowers have been sitting in the water overnight (around 15 hours now) and the only one that is showing any color at all is the blue. The pink has a few tiny spots here and there but the purple and the green are still completely white. Like you, I used the neon colors on mums from the grocery, we used glass jars. The only thing different that I did was that I mixed the flower food with the water. I don’t recall your mentioning anything about it. What do you think we might have done wrong?

    • says

      I’ve never added the life extender to the flowers so that might be your problem. Did you saturate the water really well with the color? You might try trimming the stems one more time and see if that helps them suck more of the color up to the petals. Let me know how it goes!

      • Mylinda says

        Thanks for replying! It did occur to me that maybe we didn’t use enough food coloring so I added more. Still didn’t work. I made a fresh batch today, with very little water and more dye, using baby’s breath to test, and they were bright pink in 2 hours! Guess I’ll be following that formula, nixing the flower food. Hopefully the mums will work out for her school project (fingers crossed)…

  4. Nora Phillipi says

    The color of the flowers are just beautiful! What kind of color blue did you use ? I want to try a flower arrangement with the same color blue .

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