Thursday, February 16, 2012


Last week I took a client fabric shopping in Manhattan where I ended up drooling over the fresh, new looks in interior decor for spring and summer.  The bright colors, whimsical shapes and cutting edge designs were enough to warm up even the coldest of winters.  Inspired by what I saw but depressed with my tiny budget for designing our house, I channeled my inner hippie and decided to freshen up a few things in our place with good old dye.  Dyeing fabric is an inexpensive, incredibly easy way to spruce up a drab space by adding splashes of color without draining your bank account.  While I've done this many times with canvases from the Home Depot (paint drop cloths purchased for $9 which I cut into 4'x4' squares, dyed and stretched onto wooden frames to hang as artwork), I've decided to attack the throw pillows our lovely dog, Canyon, has fallen in love with.  If you have pets or kids you know white is an incredibly difficult shade to keep clean.  To bring spring into our house a little early this year I dove right into a bucket of dye.
It's best to do any dye project outdoors or in your garage, wearing clothes you don't worry getting dirty.  While my goal is to dye a slipcover for a chair, I thought I'd start out small with pillow cases.  To make sure the dye will stick, I threw them in the washer to remove any dirt, dog hair, etc. WHITE OR LIGHT fabric is the best way to see your results shine, so I went with two inexpensive pillows I bought at Ikea a few years ago for $5/each.  At Michael's Arts & Crap store I found liquid dye for $3.99 in a beautiful ocean blue.  I came home, filled a plastic dish washing bin with hot water and stirred in the dye with a paint stir stick (free in paint sections of any store).  When the blue was as deep as I wanted it to be (add more to make darker or water to lighten up), I dipped half of the pillow case in until the color looked right.  I immediately washed it in cold water to see the true color then let dry before repeating the steps on the other side.  It was as easy as one, two, BLUE!