DIY Ombre Tutorial

crafting June 28, 2012
Ombre is so huge right now. I have actually loved it for years, but until now it has been limited to my closet. The thing is, it is a great trend but so far I haven’t seen many affordable items locally so I figured why not make my own?
And you can too!
 
I had 6 of these white pillows floating around. I bought them on clearance for $6 back when Wren was teeny tiny, knowing that glam throw pillows were not in the card for a few years (unless spit up miraculously becomes a big trend, you moms know what I mean!).
I’ve found them a little boring, making them good candidates for a $0 craft. If you have unused bed linens or pillow cases this is a good way to freshen them up!
I had the fabric dyes left over from { this makeover } and I decided to try using my paint sprayer. Obviously not everyone has a paint sprayer laying around, but have no fear! You can still do this project. If you don’t have a sprayer you can pick up a spray bottle at the dollar store (the mistier the spray the better) and get the same effect.
I laid the pillow covers out in the garage on an old piece of cork board so I could pin them down. I chose to leave them a little wrinkled for a more organic look, but if you want that perfect ombre just give them a fast iron first.
This is where the project really starts! No matter what technique you use to apply the dye (wouldn’t brush strokes be beautiful?) you have to start with a HIGHLY concentrated mixture. It is also important to not fill your sprayer or bottle with too much dye because we will need to add more water as we go. So start with just enough to do your darkest layer on all your fabric.
 
One pass of the sprayer and the darkest layer is on! The secret to getting the ombre is not in how lightly/darkly you spray, but to let each color dry, then to water down your solution. 
Various stages of finished product out drying. I did the darkest level, watered down for a second level and then did a final water down for the lightest level.
After all the pillows were finished up I still had a good amount of dye left over so I decided to try a different technique.
I threw the left overs into a bucket and hung Wren’s curtains from the shower curtain rod and into the bucket for about 40 minutes. This kind of reminded me of using coffee filter to soak paint in art class back in elementary school, and it definitely had the same effect.
 
After they were done soaking I let them hang to drip for about 20 minutes. I rinsed all the excess color out and threw all the pillows and curtains into the wash machine with a half cup of vinegar to lock the color in.
I was nervous it would all blend together in the wash, but in the end it all came out like new!
 
Every shade of blue is welcome in Wren’s room.
 

{ pillows all washed and back on the couch }
I did one pillow in just a stripe for some contrast. This is such a fun project, I think I will definitely experiment further with different dyes and techniques.
 
{ All slightly different, but perfect in their own uniform way }

Comments 25

  1. Lesley says on June 28, 2012

    Wonderful take on a trend, but you made them your own in style. Nice. The ombre that is in my home right now?? My teenage daughters HAIR! lol All the girls have this crazy ombre hair thing going. Kinda strange. But hey, it's nothing too permanent is the way I look at it! Enjoy the weekend.

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  2. Rachael says on June 29, 2012

    Wren's bedroom is so lovely! You must not ever sit still; your energy and inventiveness are inspiring. I didn't comment on Lexington but you did such an amazing job. Thanks for sharing – it was fun to see your process. Brava!

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  3. Haley {A Dash of Kennedy} says on June 29, 2012

    You're house looks so peaceful! I am definitely craving some more of that around my little casa! I have a dark grey couch… Maybe some white and grey ombre pillows would lighten it up? Would love to hear your go to tips to lightening a room!

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  4. Kirsten says on June 29, 2012

    Oh wow, absolutely beautiful, classy, and elegant. I'll be honest when I first started reading this post I thought eh that's going to look cheesy, what is she going to do with those. But the final product is so rich and sophisticated. Love the curtains! Well the I pillows too

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  5. cred says on June 29, 2012

    Love these! I want to do the same in a deeper indigo lightening to a similar blue as yours. Yours turned out lovely.

    Michelle Richardson- Ikea sells a nice set of inexpensive white curtains. Vivan are $20/pair- they're nice and airy without being too sheer.

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  6. Little Lovables says on June 29, 2012

    I am so in love with this!!! I was trying to think of a good way to do a curtain/bedroom makeover, and I will for sure try this dye method.

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  7. Nikki Ader says on February 26, 2013

    Have you washed these curtains in the wash machine yet?
    I haven't, but i had some of the dye drip on to an old towel and after i through it in the wash the color came out more vibrant and i was wondering if it was my imagination or if it would do the same to the curtains??

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  8. Sallie says on March 4, 2014

    Lovelovelove this, so fresh and clean, do you have to use 100% cotton though? Inspiring!!!! Thank you!

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