Editor’s Note: I am so excited about this project from Bonnie of Bonnie Projects! Over-dyed rugs are a huge trend right now. I have seen a few DIY versions that involve a bathtub, lots of bleach, lots of dye, and mixed results. Bonnie brings us a fun new way to try the over-dye technique at home!
I bought a bohemian-style bedspread when I first moved to DC and set up my new apartment. Five years later, my style has changed and I’m ready to change it up a little!
Rather than buy a new bedspread, I decided to refashion this one by dyeing it. For less than $20 and with a few hours of time, I had a totally new look!
My bedspread was 100% cotton, so I used a dye made especially for cotton. The color is Strong Navy. If you’re working with another type of fabric, or a blend of fabrics, check Dharma Trading for the best type of dye to use. I successfully dyed my wedding dress royal blue with polyester-specific dye. RIT dye is cheaper and easier, but the colors don’t come out as true or vivid, and tend to fade over time.
Be sure to wear clothes you don’t care about – any splashes will be permanent! Also, be sure to protect your work space so you don’t accidentally dye your fancy washing machine.
Start by washing your item really well. I use a professional textile detergent from Dharma Trading.
Follow the directions for your specific dye. Read through them ahead of time and throughout the process so you don’t mess up!
Editor’s note: When I did my first dye project, the slipcovers for my dining room chairs, I had my mom come over to help. It was really handy to have one instruction reader and one doer…just to make sure we did everything right.
I couldn’t figure out how to make my touch-screen washing machine agitate, so I ended up doing my dyeing in our utility sink. That means I had to agitate the fabric by hand for an hour and a half. I put on a movie and it really wasn’t that bad. But if you can, make your washing machine do the work for you!!!
After the dye process, I ran the bedspread through the recommended three rinse and spin cycles, followed by two wash cycles (one with the professional textile detergent, and one cycle how I plan to normally wash the bedspread). Then I popped it in the dryer. Done!
You might be concerned with the dye rubbing off, especially with darker colors. But, I haven’t had any issues with the dye rubbing off. If you follow the directions, you should not have any issues either.
I’m loving the new look!
Just for you, I did a little experimenting as well. I had some extra pillow shams, so I bleached one in a 1:4 bleach solution for 45 minutes (followed by a wash cycle). I put it through the same dye process as the other pieces. See the difference?
You can see above, the bleach completely took the blue out of my pattern and dulled the other colors. Below (on the left) you can see, it also seemed to prevent the navy dye from taking as well. It’s definitely a choice to consider, you just need to decide what look you’re going for.
The thread must be polyester, because my cotton dye didn’t do a thing to it. If I decide it bothers me, I might take a sharpie to it. If you want to prevent this, you could add a pack of iDye Poly to your dye bath and it would take care of any polyester bits.
You can also see that this sham corner didn’t get dyed. This is probably because it was folded up while I was dyeing. To avoid this, use a vat much larger than your fabric, and be sure you agitate well! Thankfully this is the only place this occurred.
And if you’re feeling super productive, you could also throw some clothing items in with your dye batch. I added a skin-colored skirt that wasn’t doing me any favors – the new “dark denim” look is great!
So, I know you are already thinking about it…what do you want to try over-dying?