How to Make Rainbow Flowers

Food coloring and imagination bring pops of color to white blooms.
DIY: Color Your Own Flowers

DIY: Color Your Own Flowers

Color your own flowers at home for spring.

Photo by: Photo by Melissa Caughey

Photo by Melissa Caughey

Color your own flowers at home for spring.

There was a sale this week on white carnations at the grocery store. They were beautiful and begged to come home with me. Once home, I arranged them in a clear glass vase and placed them on the kitchen table. I stepped back to admire them and they faded into the snow-filled wintry scene out the window. Something was missing. Everything was too white. They needed some color.

Suddenly, I recalled tinting flowers in grade school as a science experiment. It was fun to turn white carnations colors. So, I called the kids and reached for the food coloring. It was time to have a little fun and experiment with flowers!

Plants use their root system and stems to transport water and nutrients to the entire plant including the flowers. Water travels up the plant's stem to the leaves and blossoms via the xylem. Today, colored water would be taking plain water's place. We decided to make all the colors of the rainbow. 

Over the course of a day, we watched the flowers change as we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each hour, the blooms were a bit different. Color seemed to bunch up on the tips of the petals.

White flowers that would work well for this experiment include carnations, daisies and roses. Different flowers soak up the tint to various degrees, but carnations work especially well. 

This is a perfect spring time craft that adds a little pop of color to these dreary winter days. 

Here is the supply list to get you started.

Supply List:

  • White flowers
  • Food coloring
  • Water
  • Cups
  • Scissors
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board

Take a peek at the gallery below to add your own color combinations to your favorite white blooms:

Rainbow Flowers How-To

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DIY: Color Your Own Flowers

Learn how easy it is to add a pop of color to white blooms in this family-friendly craft.

Photo By: Photo by Melissa Caughey

Gather Your Supplies

You will need: white blooms like carnations, mums, daisies or roses/food coloring/cups/water/sharp knife/cutting board/scissors.

Start With Color

In the bottom of each cup, add a few drops of food coloring. The more you add, the darker the tint on the flowers. A good ratio is 20 drops to 1 cup of water. To make purple combine 10 drops of blue and 10 drops of red. To make orange combine 10 drops of red and 10 drops of yellow.

Multi-colored Flowers

Keep the stems rather long. On a cutting board using a sharp knife (grown-ups only) split the stem into at least two sections. Place each different split of the stem into a different colored water.

Single Colors

For a single color on your flowers, leave the stem intact and simply cut it at an angle.

Drink Up

Here a stem is split 3 ways.The blooms will start turning colors within a few hours. The longer the blooms stay in the color, the more concentrated the color will become. Carnations work best giving you the strongest and richest colors.

Rainbow of Colors

As the color moves through the flower the ends of the petals become most concentrated with colors.

Dual Tones

This stem was split into two sections, one was dipped in yellow the other in orange.

Fresh Water

When you have reached the desired coloring, trim fresh new ends on the flowers-removing the splits- and add the blooms to a vase with regular fresh water. They will retain their colors.

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