dip dye DIY

March 23rd, 2012

A few weeks ago, I was asked by Buzzfeed to by part of their “Craft Wars” section of their site — and I won’t lie, I was a little nervous, because I don’t consider myself much of a crafter.  But I was excited about the challenge, and I said I’d do my best.

And I think these came out really well!  Fabric dying isn’t that easy (there’s a reason why most designers use machines for it), but it’s also kind of addictive — I can’t wait to do this again!  I found the shorts for $12.99 at T.J. Maxx, the dye for about $4 at a crafts store, and the bucket for $1 at a Dollar Store (I didn’t want to use any of my kitchen bowls because I worried about dye residue on anything that I’d use for food later on). 

So here’s what I did!  Check out the full challenge on Buzzfeed, where I got pitted against the incredibly talented uber-crafter Jenni of I Spy DIY (eek)!

Dip Dye DIY Ombre Shorts

1 bottle RIT dye (or other comparable brand)
White denim shorts
Plastic bucket


Dissolve 2 tbsp dye in 1 gallon hot water (I microwaved the water for 3 minutes to get it hot enough).  Dip the shorts about halfway into the water, and hold them there for about ten seconds.  Remove.

Gently wring out the shorts, making sure not to spread the dye with your hands.  Hang them up briefly.

Dump out the water, and add about half the bottle of dye to an additional 1 gallon of hot water.  Dip the shorts into the darker water about 1/3 of the way up the shorts, and hold them there for about 30 seconds.  Gently wring out the shorts and hang them up again.

Add the remaining 1/2 bottle of dye to the water.  Dip just the bottoms of the shorts in the water, and stir the water to distribute evenly.  Hold them there for about 5-7 minutes.

Dump out the dyed water.  Under cold running water, rinse the shorts until the water runs clean, and then hang them up to try.  In a few hours, you’ll have new ombre shorts!

Tags: DIY · style

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