Friday, April 26, 2013

Ombre-dyed Sheets

In decorating for a Moroccan-themed party, I dyed some cast-off hotel sheets with an ombre effect.  Hopefully, the following directions will help you better understand how I accomplished the task!

This is the finished look we are going for...

You will need:
cotton sheets
3 colors of dye (I used Rit Lemon Yellow, Sunshine Orange, and Wine)
3 large buckets (I used 5 gallon buckets)
very hot water
rubber gloves

Start by gathering the sheet down the center.

Pick up the sheet at the center.

To help you visualize what you will be doing, the folded sheet will be dyed as shown:

Begin with the yellow.  Dip the folded center into the dye bath for a few minutes.  Remove and wring out the best you can.  Caution: It will be hot!  (Disclaimer:  The following photos don't actually show a dye will just have to imagine that it exists!)

Dip the center section of the folded sheet into the orange dye bath, overlapping onto the yellow.  Remove after a few minutes and wring out the best you can.  You will now have one last section of sheet without dye.

Dip the remaining portion of the sheet into the wine dye bath for a couple of minutes, overlapping onto the orange. If desired, you can remove most of the sheet from the dye bath, allowing the edges of the sheet to sit in the dye a little longer to make the edges darker.  Wring out the best you can and transfer the sheet to a sink.  Rinse with cool water.  I personally didn't rinse until the water ran clear, like it says to do, because I wanted to retain as much color as possible.  And, since I didn't plan on washing these sheets any time soon, I figured it wouldn't hurt.  I did run them through the spin-only cycle of the washing machine and then put them into the dryer.

When finished, your sheet should look something like this:

The existing hem on the sheet created the perfect casing to use in gathering the sheet.  I used a strip of foam core, because I already had it, but a dowel, wood slat, or even a strip of fabric would work to gather the sheet.  It was then pinned to the wall and topped off with a decorative foam core top.

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