Ombre Dyed Escort Cards

Are you as over the moon about yesterday’s cards as we are??

We asked Mara of Neither Snow to share how she did it so you can give it a go. She says it only takes about an hour. Not bad. I think you’ll find her tutorial super thorough! Take it away, Mara….


Supplies: 1. measuring cup, 2. black tea bags, 3. dye (see below), 4. place cards, or the paper or fabric of your choice. I used cards from the Paper Source in luxe cream and luxe white, which have a visible nubby texture. You will also need 5. containers for the dye, as many shades as you want and sized to your item (I used six),  6. an iron, 7. a plastic spoon, chopstick or other stirring device,  8. a piece of butcher paper or old sheet, 9. rubber gloves.

**About the dye: I used ProMX vanilla bean and peach dye from ProChemical. They have an abundance of information about how to properly dye fabric here. I found ProMX > Immersion most useful. This tutorial assumes that you are dying paper for a craft project (not high art/archival work, etc.). The final results are not colorfast. Also, as a disclaimer: I totally made this method up as I went. I’m sure with enough Googling you’ll find variations that are both simpler and more complex. I recommend doing this project outside if you can, as the dye does stain surfaces.


Restaurants often carry these heavy-duty take-out containers that are perfect for smaller projects like placards.


To achieve this spectrum of shades, disperse different combinations of the tea and dye.


Here are my (totally imprecise, off the cuff) recipes: 1. one tea bag, 2. one tea bag + 1/8 teaspoon peach dye, 3. two tea bags, 4. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean + 1/8 teaspoon peach, 5. 1/4 teaspoon peach + 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean, 7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean

I dyed 10 cards in each bath, 5 of each color. I also reserved 5 of each color (cream and white) which I integrated at the end of the beige spectrum. The vibrantly colored dye (peach, in this case) goes a long way, so be sparing if you are after a subtle look.


In each container, pour 2 cups of boiling water.


Use a chopstick or plastic spoon to stir the clumps of dye until dissolved.


Let the teabags steep for about 5 – 8 minutes, or more or less depending on the depth of color you want.


Remove the teabags and immerse the cards into the color baths. Be sure to individually immerse each one, so the front and back is washed with color before placing the next one on top.


This cramped arrangement will result in color variation.  If you want a consistent color surface, immerse the cards in a bigger bath so they can float about completely. I immersed all of the cards for an equal amount of time in each bath, about 10 minutes, more or less. Check in every few minutes and remove the shades that are getting too dark. While your’e waiting, set aside your sheet or big piece of butcher paper.


Remove the paper and drip off excess liquid (don’t use your fingers for the dye — have gloves on hand or use the plastic spoon or chopstick). Set the cards out to dry in the sun or inside for at least 24 hours.  Once dry, you can use an iron on a medium setting to iron the cards flat and crease into a tent.


Arrange the browns from darkest (recipe 3: 2 teabags) to lightest (the undyed white). Next, arrange the pinks from darkest (recipe 2: peach + teabag) to lightest (recipe 5: peach + vanilla bean). Obviously there will be variation so just go with what you think looks best. Once you have the spectrum the way you want it, send the cards to your calligrapher, write the names yourself or run them through a printer. In all cases, be sure to make 20 – 30% more in each color as mistake cards cards for the calligrapher, to test out yourself, or to feed to the printer gods.


The finished product!


Comments (25)

Corley | Reply

I am DYING to know what font was used here! Please post that!

Mary | Reply

Totally genius. I love this idea.

Allison | Reply

mara’s calligraphy and work is gorgeous, as always.

postcards and pretties | Reply

beautiful hues and the calligraphy is pretty outstanding as well!!

Claire | Reply

These are so gorgeous!!!

Madison | Reply

how cute! Love the idea!

jana laurene | Reply

LOVE this! after seeing the cards yesterday, i knew that i was going to have to have these at my upcoming wedding. this tutorial will obviously make my life easier!

ps. @corley – i’m pretty sure the font is original calligraphy by neither snow :)

joythigpen | Reply

corley, do you mean on the finished cards? if so, that is the beauty that flows from mara’s pen, which, unfortunately, pixels cannot contain… :)

KB {eleGALA} | Reply

gorgeous! we love the finished product.

erin | Reply

Love, love, love! So soft and pretty and the calligraphy is gorgeous!!!

Kirby {Colors of Honey} | Reply

holy cow! this is so cool! Thanks for the tutorial!

Jess * Magpie Paper Works | Reply

Oh my, this is perfectly perfect!!! Mara’s fabulousness knows no bounds!

Corinna | Reply

Thanks for the tutorial on these beautiful cards! I love the handmade aspect and they seem realistic even for the not-so-artsy brides.

Tiffanyt | Reply

Love the finished product!



Ramona | Reply

Wow this is sooo awesome! I might try that for my sister’s wedding in other colour nuances! Beautiful!

jenn {bow tie & bustle} | Reply

i just recently obtained this effect for a couple by using marbling ink but the tea bags is SUCH a brilliant idea! love it!!!

Mellissa {de Lovely Affair} | Reply

Simply loving the spectrum of colors here….I have a paper addiction and this certainly fills the craving thanks for sharing. I would love to share this project with my readers and brides. Thanks!

Allie | Reply

Can’t wait to try this with turquoise and orange on shipping tags for RSVPs!
That website has TONS of colors… I was very impressed :)

Cristina | Reply

this is so stunning, but i dont quite understand the basic 101 of dye + tea bags etc..can someone explain what ProMX > Immersion means, is this the same as buying PRO MX Reactive Dyes? what does the tea bag add to the dye process? how much am i meant to buy of each dye for approx 65 place cards? Any info would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks.

drcw | Reply

just used this myself; thanks so much for the awesome tutorial!

one tip: sticking them into the oven on 250 for a few minutes (checking every few minutes) really helps dry them out quickly.

Mara | Neither Snow | Reply

In answer to your question, Cristina: 1. Yep, the directions are very broadly based on the Pro MX Immersion process, but without the added ingredients. 2. The tea bags add an organic, brown hue that temper the brightness of Pro MX dyes. 3. As you can see, each recipe uses no more than 1/2 teaspoon of dye so for almost any project, you can safely buy the smallest containers Pro Chemical sells of the dye. Good luck + let me know if you have any other questions. And Drew, thanks for the oven tip!

Katie | Reply

I attempted this for my wedding and I think they turned out great! I have some pics on my blog :)


Thanks for the tutorial!

Ocha | Reply

I can only find Dylon multi purpose dyes where I am. Can I use that instead?