Get a spool of silk ribbon. The ribbon should be pure white if at all possible. I like Habotai Silk from Dharma Trading.
Choosing the Dye
Go shopping for dyes! You can use silk dye, vegetable dyes, or commercial food-grade dye products. The quick and easy favourite is powdered drink mix. Choose one that is just the dye and flavor, not the sugar! If you’d like to go all natural, you can also create dyes from beets and red cabbage.
Cutting The Ribbons
Measure around the child’s head. The typical young child’s head is about 18 to 20 inches in circumference, so if you can’t measure around the head because it’s for a birthday gift, go a little on the large side!
Cut three lengths of silk that are at least 6 inches longer than your child’s head. This gives you some room to tie a knot at the end.
Place some dye in a pot with water. The more water you place in the pot, the weaker the dye will be. Stir the dye around, and add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to the water to help the dye set. Now warm the water and continue to stir. Create one pot of dye per color.
Dyeing the Silk
Now comes the fun part! You can ask children to help out with this part too. When the water is hot, place the strands of silk into the water. Stir them around with a wooden spoon. When they look done to you, remove them from the water and let them air and drip dry. Remember to put a layer of newspaper under the drying station so that you don’t dye your floor in fancy colors. Even better, hang them on a clothesline outside!
Once you’ve dyed and dried all of the silk strands, it’s time to braid! Choose contrasting or complementary colors of silk ribbon, and tie them in a small knot at the top, leaving at least 3 inches of silk ribbon loose above the knot. Braid them together, then tie a knot at the bottom.
To put the crown on the child’s head, knot the loose parts of the ribbons together. Now place the crown on your child’s head, and watch her face light up. Enjoy!