There's something about the look of watercolors that has always intrigued me, and I've been wanting to add that blended colorful look in my home for a long time. Well, I finally found my chance! With a simple tie dye kit, I updated my bedroom pillowcases to look like a watercolor canvas! Not only did it take less than 30 minutes, it came out light and blended just like I wanted for my decor. Incorporate your favorite colors to make a simple DIY pillowcase with faux watercolors that match your decor!
Silk is one of the strongest, most luxurious, and most lustrous fabrics around. But do you know how craftspeople actually make silk?
Designboom has given readers a fascinating look at the traditional silk making process. They’ve been working with craftspeople in a small village in northeast Thailand. And their images reveal the highly skilled and very labor intensive process that goes into creating beautiful silk fabric.
I'm all about pastels right now, and I suspect we'll be seeing even more pastels while spring is in bloom. To create the pastel paradise I want for Easter, I felt I needed pastel colored fabric napkins. Since I wanted to learn more about natural dyes, I searched for ways to dye fabric with traditional household items in order to achieve my pastel color palette. I decided to experiment with a few different ingredients, and ultimately, red onion skins, turmeric and blueberries helped me create three pastel napkins to use this season.
To make pastel napkins, I created a dye bath with red onion skins to create light pink, turmeric to make yellow, and blueberries to make lavender. I read a lot about natural dyeing before testing it out myself, but I know that I have so much more to learn as I keep practicing.
My first attempt at these napkins yielded unimpressive results, and here's why: I was using poor quality fabric that was too synthetic to hold the dye. Let this be a lesson to you to use cotton napkins and pre-wash them for best results. Every fabric type will handle dye differently.
- Cotton fabric napkins
- Large pot
- Slotted spoon or sieve
- Dye materials:
- Red onion skin from one onion
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 cup of blueberries
Note, the steps that follow show onion skins as the example, but the directions will be the same for all three types of dye.
Bring about 3-4 cups of water to a boil with the dye material in a large saucepan. I dyed one napkin at a time.
Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon, sieve or colander to remove the onion skins or blueberries.
Wet the napkins and squeeze out water so that the fabric is damp. Then submerge in the dye bath on low heat.
Time will vary according to the dye because some are stronger than others. Let the napkin soak until your desired color is reached, anywhere from 1-30 minutes, moving it occasionally with a set of tongs so that the color is evenly distributed.
Note, turmeric is very strong. You should only allow the napkin to soak for a few seconds before rinsing to achieve a light yellow color. The others DO need to soak longer, and the colors may lighten as they dry.
When you're satisfied with the color, carefully remove the fabric and run under cold water until the water runs clear. Squeeze out excess water and allow to dry.
I dried my fabrics outside in the shade because the sunlight can bleach away the colors. You can also dry the fabric in an electric dryer.
Use your new natural-dyed pastel napkins to decorate for spring! I'm excited to use mine for a lot of different occasions this season!
Can you believe it’s already almost Christmas? Because Christmas is my favorite holiday, I always love to make new projects this time of year. These DIY red shibori placemats have been on my mind for a while, and I couldn’t wait to try the shibori dyeing technique with red instead of the traditional indigo to add a lot of color to a holiday table that can be used for Thanksgiving, Christmas and many gatherings after that.
To kick off the summer, you should probably throw some kind of ice cream social. Instead of serving the frozen goods in regular plastic utensils, why not dye some wooden ones? Here is a completely food-safe way to take care of the little details!
In my review yesterday of Sasha Duerr's new work, The Handbook of Natural Dyes, I mentioned that the publisher gave me permission to share one of the projects in the book. I found one perfect for those who are new to natural dyeing: dyeing beads with blackberries.
According to Sasha Duerr, the author of The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes, if we can cook, we can dye. One of the chapters contained within is even entitled, "Kitchen Couture". And couture it is. Dozens of recipes tell us how to use such things as lavender, turmeric and red cabbage to dye plant and protein-based fibers the most luscious colors imaginable, all of which harmonize in ways 'only botanical colors can.'
Sasha begins at the beginning, outlining supplies we'll need, explaining in easy to understand terms the benefit
3. Water. Yeah, I know, 'duh', but not for drinking; for DIY water colors!
And speaking of paint....
4. Add unsweetened Kool-Aid to latex paint for a colorful surprise.
5. Hair. Kool-Aid will add a hint of color to dark hair and a lot of color to light...