Next in our Holiday Guest Series, Carrie is here to show you how to dress up your windows by making your own ombre dip dye curtains — without the actual bucket of dye for dipping! Perfect for when you want to add some color to plain white curtains! Here's Carrie:
How to Make Your Own Ombre Dip Dye Curtains
by Carrie from Lovely Etc
Hi Remodelaholic readers! I'm Carrie and I love to share my DIY triumphs (and fails) at Lovely Etc. I am on a mission to transform my 1970s ranch into a beautiful, welcoming home my family adores on a teeny tiny budget. I love all kinds of DIY, but my absolute favorite thing to do is repurpose something tired and worn out into something beautiful and useful, like this dated brass chandelier I turned into a modern, industrial light fixture. I also absolutely love using paint to transform anything and everything very inexpensively – including my kitchen countertops and even my floors.
Today I have a really fun curtain update to share with you. Our dining room has been this close to being complete for awhile now. The only problem: the white wall and white curtain combo was seriously lacking in color. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a project I’ve been wanting to do for months: DIY blue ombre dip dye curtains.
I could have just replaced the boring curtains, but that’s not how I do things. I had two perfectly good pairs of white curtains that I knew I could make work. Call me old-fashioned, but I just have this need to work with what I’ve got instead of just buying something new. (Plus, I really wanted to try making ombre curtains.)
Most people that dye their own ombre curtains choose to dip-dye them. Basically that means you dip the bottom of the curtains in a bucket of dye and slowly lift it out so that the top is lighter than the bottom. But that seemed messy and way too unpredictable for me, so I went my own way.
Materials needed for ombre curtains
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- White cotton curtain panels (I used Lenda curtains from Ikea which are very cheap. I just cut off the tab tops and used curtain rings. Be forewarned though: they do shrink if you wash them so be sure to get the extra long ones.)
- Tulip One Step Tie Dye in your chosen color (I used blue, turquoise, and teal — or here's a similar color pack)
- Stiff paintbrush
- Trash bags
How to make ombre dip dye curtains
First of all, even though you aren’t dealing with buckets of dye, this is still very messy. Be sure to protect whatever surface you are working on very well. Because dye has one job and it is very good at it. Whatever it touches will change color! That includes your skin, so be sure to wear the gloves that are included with the dye.
As far as the dye, there are actually quite a few great colors, but they didn’t have exactly what I was looking for so I mixed my own color. I used a combination of blue, turquoise, and teal dye to make my own color. I followed the directions to mix each dye with water and then mixed my custom color in an empty squirt bottle. I made sure to keep track of the exact mixture so I would be able to mix more if needed. The recipe for the color I used is 30 teaspoons of blue, 20 teaspoons of aqua, and 15 teaspoons of teal. It made a great dark turquoisy-blue.
Once your work area is well-protected, spread out the bottom of your curtain panel. Make sure that you have a cup of water and your paintbrush nearby.
I started by brushing water on the bottom few inches of the curtain panel and then squirted a line of dye along the bottom. I quickly used the brush to spread the dye all along the bottom edge. I added a few more lines of dye until the bottom six inches were covered. Then without adding more dye, I wet the paintbrush with water and dragged the dye up the curtain.
As you continue to brush upward and keep adding water to your brush, the color will get lighter and lighter. It is important to complete the dye process as quickly as possible and not let the dye dry before you finish.
Once everything is dyed and looking good, you are supposed to cover the dye with plastic for 6-8 hours. This is no big deal when you are dyeing a t-shirt, but when you are working on huge curtain panels, it is a little more difficult. I rolled each curtain up like a burrito, making sure not to let the dyed area drip onto the white part of the curtain. Then I stuck the dyed end into a trash bag and left it overnight.
In the morning, I carefully removed the trashbag and rinsed the excess dye off. Again, be careful that no dye splashes onto the white part of your curtains. The final step is to let your curtains air dry and then they are ready to hang.
I’m loving how light and airy they are without being boring! And they add just the right amount of color to tie the living and dining rooms together.
Now I can't wait to find my next project to dye, there are so many possibilities from pillow covers to duvets to t-shirts!
Carrie, thank you for sharing your curtains with us!
More ways to make white curtains amazing: