DIY Project: Sunkissed Ombre Stripe Pillow

While the D*S editorial team is collectively focused on everything autumnal, I’m sure there is a large group of you out there that wishes summer would last a bit longer, and probably another group that is still experiencing high temperatures and lots of sun. This project by Erin Souder was one of my favorite finalists from the DIY Contest; it’s simple and extremely well executed, and even though these lovely watermelon hues scream summer to me, the technique can be used to make textiles for any season.

I like the idea of trying this out on darker jewel tone fabrics, and possibly even thicker materials, although I doubt a highly textured fabric like velvet would take the tape as easily as this nice flat cotton. Either way, this straightforward process is easy enough to experiment with, so let’s grab some tape and bleach and get started! — Kate

See the full how-to after the jump . . .


  • Scotch Blue painter’s tape
  • bleach
  • solid colored cotton pillow cover
  • ruler
  • chalk
  • spray bottle



1. First, mix 1 part bleach to 2 parts water in a clean spray bottle. Then measure out your stripe layout and mark with chalk.

2. Place your painter’s tape along your chalk marks. Be sure to smooth the edges of the tape, pressing down firmly to seal up any loose spots.

3. Take your taped fabric outdoors and hang with clothespins from a piece of twine. Spray, starting from the bottom, in light mists. As you work your way upward, spray further away from the fabric and with softer sprays. Return to the bottom of the fabric and spray the most concentrated part of the fabric again to ensure a varied ombre look.

4. Wipe down the fabric with paper towels to remove excess bleach, then remove the painter’s tape. Agitate under cool running water until all of the bleach is out of the fabric, then wash and dry alone.

5. Once your fabric is dry, you are free to use it as you wish! The wonderful thing about this sun-kissed bleach method is that there are no paints or dyes to fade and peel!

  1. Corrie Anne says:

    YES!! TEAM SUMMER!! :) So beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Christine says:

    You need to neutralize the beach. Simply rinsing is not enough, it could eventually damage your fabric. has some good advice.

  3. how2home says:

    This is such a great idea!!! Book marked! Thanks for sharing with us :)

  4. thisismrsc says:

    simple, stylish, easy. thank you

  5. SharonC says:

    How long do you actually leave the bleach on anyway?

  6. Hi Sharon, The bleach works fast, and will continue to work until you rinse it out. Leave it on until you’re reached the level that you like. For this project, waiting time was about 5 minutes.

  7. MZA says:

    really cool results!

    Ive experimented quite a bit with bleach & tee shirts: and as a word of warning, do a test first! (even just a dot in a corner). lots of colors/fabrics do not simply turn a lighter shade when bleached, but turn a different color.

    also, some spray bottles (like the ones you buy empty) create too sloppy of a spray with big droplets. A bottle that “mists” (I always used an empty fabreeze (sp?) bottle.

  8. Great pillow idea! I hadn’t thought of that one yet. Thanks!

  9. Lucía says:

    This was the project I liked the most in the painters tape contest, so glad you posted a diy! Doing this for sure…

  10. Oh the possibilities! :) I considered doing this on a curtain and on a solid cotton skirt for a while. Vertical lines would be awesome too. Nice little summer project.


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