Make your own magical rainbow flowers

Rainbow flower in a bunch of white flowers
Can you guess which flower came from a unicorn’s garden?

1. Get a white flower. It can be a single flower on one stem (like the rose shown below) or a spray (that’s where lots of flowers are on one main stem).

White rose

2. Cut the very end of the stem off completely (about 1cm). Then carefully cut the stem lenthways to split it into segments (I did 4).

Cut stem

3. Put each section of the stem into a different container.

My container is 3D printed, if you have access to a 3D printer you can download the stl file here. Otherwise use anything that you can get to go close together (eg. test tubes, slim containers, you could even use plastic bags).

4. Add food colouring to the different sections. I found using primary colours worked the best (yellow, red and blue – I used yellow twice on opposite sides if you’re wondering how that makes 4 sections). The food colouring I used was a standard supermarket one, I added 10-20 drops for each section. Top up with water, I used an eyedropper to add the water so it wouldn’t spill over and into the other sections. You will probably need to prop it up in a glass or jar to hold it upright.

Note: You can switch step 3 and 4 around if you like. It doesn’t matter if you put the food colouring in the containers first and then put the flower in or if you add it while the flower is in there.

Food colouring

5. Wait. Wait some more, it takes at least a day. If the liquids are drying out you can top them up with more water and extra food colouring if it’s not too difficult to add. At first the colours come through faintly and then they get stronger.

Rainbow rose

6. When it’s finished soaking up food colouring you can cut the stem past the split and put it in normal water.

I’ve tried a few different flowers and these are some tips/things I’ve noticed:

  • Sometimes you get a brown section, I found using primary colours only worked best to avoid this but it still happened sometimes.
  • Some colours are stronger than others. Blue is very strong whereas yellow wasn’t,
    so I added about twice as many drops of yellow food colouring than I did for blue.
  • Sometimes it doesn’t work well. I had one flower that had just very faint colour come through. It was disappointing but try not to be discouraged, when it does work it is very magical and worth the effort.

A few more examples:

I’ll add more photos as I try different flowers.

Rainbow spray chrysanthemums
Rainbow spray chrysanthemums. This one worked the best of all the flowers I’ve tried so far and lasted for ages.
Blue chrysanthemum
Blue chrysanthemum. This one used blue and black food colouring, I’d hoped for it to be darker but it still turned out very pretty.
Rainbow chrysanthemum
Rainbow chrysanthemum. This one had 2 flowers on the stem. I got all the colours into one flower which I was pleased about but they came through quite weakly.