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How To: ‘Dip Dye’ Pillowcase the Easy Way to Create an Ombre Effect

by on Nov 6, 2014

Brittni Mehlhoff

When it comes to DIY, dip dyeing is a great way to transform fabric for various projects. But, there are a couple of big downsides to this technique. It’s super messy, it takes a while to boil the water to the right temperature, and you have to carefully mix the ingredients, etc. So, when I decided to dye plain pillowcases for a recent room makeover, I experimented with a couple ways to streamline the process until I found the perfect way to dip dye the faux way.   

It turns out, you can buy pre-mixed dyes in small batches at your local art supply store, and there are lots of great colors to choose from. They won’t alter the feel of the fabric either, which is especially great when you’re working with pillowcases.

To make your own faux dip dyed ombre pillowcases, you’ll need the following items…

A new bundle of cloth, a white bowl of water, two small bottles of paint, and one white paintbrush all sitting on spread out newspaper.Brittni Mehlhoff


  • Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow (available on Amazon and art supply stores)
  • Pillowcases
  • Bowl of Water
  • Paint Brush
  • Iron

Pillowcase ombre effect design creation step by step guide.Brittni Mehlhoff


1. Start by soaking the pillowcase in water, until it’s completely wet. Then wring it out, leaving the pillowcase damp to the touch.

2. Next, begin painting the Dye-Na-Flow onto the end of the pillowcase, just like you would with paint.

3. After you’ve painted several inches (wide) with solid ink, begin thinning out the color as you get further out. Dip your paint brush into a bowl of water to thin out the color.

4. Continue this process, progressively adding more and more water, to achieve the desired ombre/ dip dyed effect.

5. Flip the pillowcase over and repeat the process with the other side. Some of the dye will bleed through, but you’ll still need to touch it up and add more color.

6. Next, remove any accidental dye stains with water before letting the pillowcase air dry completely.

7. Once dry, turn the pillowcase inside out and run an iron over the dyed areas to heat set it, according to directions on Dye-Na-Flow packaging. And you’re done.

Pillows are sitting on a bed with a picture hanging over it.Sarahdipity Photo

Tip: For a subtle ombre finish, like you see in the styled photos, hang the pillowcase outside to dry (dyed area at bottom, non dyed area at the top). Much of the dye will actually run off. For a more vibrant version, lay the pillowcase completely flat and let dry that way instead.

A small table with a blue lamp sitting near a bed.Sarahdipity Photo

Styled room photographs by Sarahdipity Photo for Curbly

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