rainbow-esque colored clothes pins!
now, there was a wonderful tutorial that i found and of course managed to botch up the directions and take probably twice as long. but here is what i found out worked best:
1. start off with generic clothes pins. i bought a bag of fifty at walmart for dirt cheap and bought a second bag just for good measure (i was making 25 at the time and two for each student. plus, always leave wiggle room for mistakes.)
i tried both the egg dyeing food coloring and the generic shur fine brand - the generic brand takes the gold medal. last, grab some old containers that you might not mind getting discolored.
2. bring just barely two cups of water (this measurement varies depending on how dark you want the color, less is definitely more) and 1/2 cup vinegar, and the food coloring of your choice, to a boil.
*food coloring drops vary. i put the drops in until i had a nice vibrant color. experiment and always start out with less. in the case of the orange and the green, do more of the lighter color (i.e. more yellow than red, more yellow than blue).
3. put the amount of clothes pins you want this color in your containers. i was making a set of two for five kids, so ten clothes pins in each container.
4. pour the boiling mixture over the clothespins. let this sit until the water begins to cool or until the clothes pins are the color that you prefer. CLOTHES PINS WILL DRY LIGHTER THAN WHAT THEY APPEAR AFTER REMOVING FROM THE DYE.
5. lay out paper towels and place clothes pins there to dry. it took mine about a day to fully dry and i made sure that i switched them to the other side about half way through.
*the vinegar will oxidize the metal clip part. no worries, this just gives them that "vintage" look. if you don't want this look you can pick up clothes dye packets to give it a nice, shiny metal finish. this diy gives a great explanation of the clothes dye packets: raising oranges blog
now go and make yourself some pretty colored clothes pins!