when summer rolls around, i try as hard as possible to freshen up the cave that is my apartment. while the darkness does help to keep rooms cool, the mood can get a little depressing if i don’t inject a jolt of summer here and there. if you have a plain fabric lampshade, pillow, or any scrap fabric lying around, then you can easily create a completely new set of home textiles that have a lovely airiness and fresh color. dip dye is a very easy process; you can adjust the color saturation in a snap by adding water or dye, and you just keep dipping until you like the results! it’s good to have a few scrap pieces of fabric around for color tests, and a nice outdoor spot or some tarp to work on (as you can probably guess, it can get a bit drippy). you can also mix dyes to make an amazing range of hues, so feel free to experiment. have fun! -kate
CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!
1. buckets of various sizes (a small trash can also came in handy)
2. any liquid or powder dye suitable for textiles (i used RIT dye but have also seen these dyes at craft stores. i find liquid easier to work with, but it’s also more expensive)
3. fabric or a pillowcase (pre-washed)
4. fabric lampshade (light colored ones work best)
5. rubber gloves (helpful for keeping hands clean)
6. spray bottle with water
1-2 hours (including drying time)
1. mix your dyes in the buckets according to the instructions on the dye packets. most dyes recommend adding warm water. if you have enough buckets, its good to have two buckets with the same color but at different saturation. if you need to use the same bucket for the whole project, and you want an ombre effect, simply start with your dye at its least concentrated, then add dye as you go, continuing to dip the item deeper into the bucket.
2. dampen your fabric or lampshade by spritzing it with water all over. you want it to be damp but not dripping. this helps it take in the dye evenly.
3. slowly dip your fabric or lampshade into the dye. for the pillowcase, you can fold the fabric to a smaller width before dipping; the dye will still create an even horizontal line across the fabric.
4. dip several times at different depths. to create the ombre effect, add dye to your dye bucket after dipping several times, you will see a darker line of color, blending nicely into the previously dyed area. adjust your dye or water ratio to accordingly to achieve the desired ombre fade. you can always be working with a test strip as you go to test results.
5. once you’ve finished dipping a piece, you can hang it from a clothesline outside (or inside over a scrap towel) to dry. once it is dry beyond dripping, you can place it on a scrap towel or paper towels to let it dry completely.
6. once the lampshade is completely dry, you can place it back on your lamp! once the fabric is dry, you can sew it into a pillow case. you can also dip-dye napkins, table linens, sheets, etc…just pre-wash them and dampen them before you begin the dye process.